Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pushing Even Further Into Teh Bush

In a recent post titled "A Brief Excursion Into The Tangled Underbrush of Heisenberg Family History" — a possibly unfortunate choice of potentially charged title words that may well have contributed as much as anything else to my blog's being scoped out, however temporarily, by a Polish Porno site, an issue I hope I have remedied with this current post's more subdued, adianoeta-free title — I mentioned that, over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was contacted — via, quaintly enough, actual, honest-to-Jebus dead-treeware letter format (and I couldn't tell you when I last received an actual postman-delivered letter before this) — by a cousin on my mother's side that I didn't even know I had. Seems we share a common set of great-grandparents, his grandmother having been my grandfather's eldest sister.

This cousin — let's call him Frank, not just because that's his name, but also because roughly 47% of my male relatives, on both the Quisling and Heisenberg side, are named "Frank", including Teh 'Dad and my eldest brother; as for the issue of how many of my female relatives are named "Frank", it's just best not to ask — informed me in his missive that he thought (as it turns out, correctly) we might be related. His letter included an obituary from The Terrorist-Coddling, America-Hating Times (now known as The New York Times; of course, back in 1949, New York's name was "Terrorist-Coddling-America-Hatingville" so the Times' old name made sense at the time) for my maternal grandfather, who died roughly 7 months before my parents married. Brand-new cousin Frank knew that that guy was his grandmother's brother and he reckoned that if I were that guy's grandson, we, he and I, would thus be cousins at some remove that only a genealogy geek would know or care about. Which we are; the documentary evidence fully supports this conclusion. But as I noted in that earlier post, what sealed the deal for Teh 'Bride — proved to her satisfaction that this had to be an actual long-lost relative — was this throw-away line in Frank's letter: "One of the reasons for our1 curiosity [about your branch of the Quisling family] is that Glaven Quisling [i.e., my grandfather] was never spoken of by our grandmother or parents."

My namesake, Glaven Q. [1898-1949], had been shunned by his eldest sister — to the point of being "disappeared" from the family history! To which revelation Teh 'Bride's reaction was, "O, they're related to you on you mother's side, all right!" (to understand which (non-seminal) ejaculation, you really would have to go back to that earlier post and read up on the Irish Catholic Tradition of "Shunning", which Teh 'Mom did not invent, but, historians agree, she did perfect). As far as Teh 'B. was concerned, any con artist with as-yet-unrevealed ulterior motives could have dug up the Times obituary to gain my trust before revealing his get-rich-quick-via-Nigerian-royalty scam; but that casual mention of the Quisling Tradition of Shunning simply could not be faked. (Of course it could be now, since I just told all six of you people about it.)

This led to a series of e-mails between, mostly, Emy and me (though I did cc Frank), because as it turns out, it was Emy, not Frank, who really cared about the genealogy of the Quisling Family and she thought I might be able to fill in some gaps for her. (To which the collective reaction of my regular readers should be: Pfffttt! Riiiight.) Because of her grandmother's Shunning-With-Extreme-Prejudice, Emy did not know anything about my branch of the Quislings, and even at one point revealed that she had seen, as a young girl of seven years of age, my grandfather's name on some piece of family memorabilia or other and had asked her grandmother —  Eleanor by name — who this mysterious "Glaven A. Quisling" who was being mentioned in the same breath with Eleanor's known siblings, Alice and (I swear to God) Etheldreda ("Tedda"), might be; to which Grandma Eleanor responded that GAQ was her brother and left young Emy with the impression that he had died in childhood — not a lie, exactly, because he did die, only it was like 30 or so years subsequent to his childhood. And that was the only time Emy had ever heard Eleanor speak of Glaven Q., and even then only because she, Emy, had brought him up.

Emy was trying to pick my brains about the family history of this branch of Teh Quislings so she could fill in her genealogy charts and whatnot, I guess. She actually could not have picked a less appropriate Quisling descendant than I for this task.

Emy foolishly believed I might be able to fill in the gaps going back to when the Quislings came to America from Ireland sometime in the 19th century, but any of that oral history, assuming it ever existed, died with Teh 'Mom back in 2001; and I'm not at all sure it ever existed, because I myself have no memory of Teh 'Mom's ever having spoken of her paternal grandparents much less her great-grandparents. Why would she? They had all died before she was even born and so were probably as alien to her as my maternal grandparents are to me. Plus, I just am not that into genealogy. I always liked the anecdotes Teh 'Mom would tell about her parents and her (maternal) Nanna; and I also liked Teh 'Dad's stories about his parents, who did live long enough for me to remember them. Beyond that, things got murky and too entangled for me to make sense of because, being Irish Catholic on both sides, I had ancestors who bred like rabbits and then fucking named every male child either "Frank" or "Joseph" or "Glaven", so who could keep track?

But I knew my best source for more information on Teh Quislings would be Teh 'Dad, who's 88 now, and whose memory is not, strictly speaking, in the best of shape, a situation made slightly more perilously mine-strewn, informationally speaking, by the fact that Teh 'Dad was always ... not mendacious, per se; let's just say "a bit of a fabulist2" and leave it at that.

And so instead of asking Teh 'Dad about what Emy cared about, I asked him about what I cared about: Why did he think Eleanor had Permanently Shunned my namesake, Glaven A. Quisling3? Among other things.

And so those of you who have waded through this lengthy preamble will be rewarded for it tomorrow because I know many of you lurve Teh 'Dad, and it was to Teh 'Dad that I turned to try to get some answers (while Teh 'Bride took copious notes); and so most of what you'll see in tomorrow's post will be, essentially, transcriptions of Teh 'Dad's memories of his wife's (aka Teh 'Mom's) family.
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From Teh 'Bro's Family Treasure Trove (aka, boxes o' crap he rescued from Teh Heisenberg Homestead when we sold it a few years ago):
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Glaven A. Quisling (my grandfather); my grandmother; Teh 'Mom (age about 16? mid-1940s?); my Uncle Joe
Teh 'Mom as a toddler with my uncle, Glaven Quisling, Jr.. Somewhere in NYC
Teh 'Dad in uniform, back in the Daze when he was fighting Adolph Hitler, whom Teh 'Dad likes to call "Easy Al" Hitler, who, incidentally, WAS WORSE THAN HITLER!1! (But not as bad as Obama.)
Teh HeisenDad probably around the time of my parents' wedding in 1949? Just a guess. Why else would he be wearing the monkey suit? Incidentally, Ladies, he's single now. I'm telling you that because, well ... HUBBA-HUBBA, am I right? But Ladies, please be tasteful with your remarks in the comments because it IS my Dad, after all. And I swear I will DELETE all comments of the "Where did those looks go when it came to you, G?" nature! I'LL DO IT!1!
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 3.1 miles on Morrissey (pussy-@$$ recumbent exercise bike, in case you never made his pussy-@$$ acquaintance) this morning in 10 minutes. I took it easy on him. Also, the usual exercises and yoga with junkless wonder Rodney Yee.
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1 The "our" in Frank's letter referred to him and another cousin from his branch of the family, Emy, who lives in San Francisco and who'd done the research that lead to the discovery of this, my, Legendary and Long Lost Tribe of Quislings, and at whose urging he had written me. This took some of the sting out of recent events because, even though the Phillies didn't win the World Series, it's nice to know that one of my cousins, Emy, lives in SF and thus the Title of World Champs of Baseball has at least been kept in the family.

2 Which, according to my Mac's dictionary, means: "a liar, esp. a person who invents elaborate, dishonest stories." Which, yeah, is waaaaay better than calling Teh 'Dad mendacious.

3 For those of you who don't already know this because you only come to this site for the Polish Porno, I was born on Glaven A.'s birthday, which is why my name is Glaven Quisling Heisenberg instead of something lame like "Andrew", which is what Teh 'Mom said she'd have named me if I hadn't clung for dear life on to the walls of her uterus until just past Midnight on May 15, 1960. Actually, it wasn't so much that I clung to anything as it was that I was a breech, emerging @$$-first, which is just about the worst way you can emerge and is especially bad if you're a flat-@$$ed Irish baby; because what is there for the doctor to grab and yank you out by? But I was the sixth of Teh 'Mom's seven children and by this point she was probably capable of popping 'em out like a Pez Dispenser, and so that's why I never heard that I "Nearly Killed" Teh 'Mom from Teh 'Mom herself. No. My oldest sister told me that when I was like 9.

At least she didn't Shun me. Although you know how it is with family: Sometimes a Good Shunning seems vastly preferable.

9 comments:

  1. I hope it skips a generation and Ian gets Teh 'Dad's looks & not yours...just sayin....

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  2. Interesting to me how names run in families. In my mother's family, the tradition was that the first boy was named Albert, the second Arthur and the third Otto (guessing that Otto gives away that they weren't Irish); tracing family trees was hard with multiple Alberts in one town at one time. On my father's side, the firstborn was Wilhelm or Wihelmina, the second Cornelius or Cornelia.

    Glad those traditions died out.

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  3. Surprise, surprise....I am one of those genealogy geeks!!!! My popular family name was "George"....
    I also found out that my paternal grandmother had twin girls who died at birth and she never told anyone. I come along doing some "paper" digging at the local courthouse (one of my favorite places to hang out-next to the library of course!) and noticed how she had 5 boys total, one being my Dad. They were all roughly 2 years apart, I noticed there was a time frame between my Dad and my Uncle of 4 years. She was always depressed over the fact she never had girls-little did anyone know she did-but they never lived past 2 days. Talk about pissing off the family!
    My funniest genealogy story is the one of my ancestor who was court martial-ed for stealing a cow during the civil war! I have the court papers and everything! Turns out that he didn't do it, another soldier finally stepped up and admitted to the crime clearing my ancestors name! Phewwww, how embarrassing would THAT have been-known descendants of a cow stealer living in Wisconsin!!!

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  4. I've never heard of an Irish family named Heisenberg! Something's definitely fishy in the family gene pool!!!!!!!

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  5. Glaven...Etheldreda...think what other odd names would turn up in your genealogy research if you cared to do some digging. Tell us more, please.

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  6. Please record your teh Dad telling you stuff like that sometime...it's an awesome keepsake. LOVE the pictures. Is that any surprise? I love all things old. Especially PEOPLE! :)
    (from lil sis. the old 4in1 won't let me sign in)

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  7. I have forebears, who, in the mid-19th century, married each other. They were first cousins. Ew.

    One of my ancestors was names "Keturah." Talk about old-timey. I think she may have been one of the half of the cousin-marriage.

    It makes me wonder who will care about me in 100 years...oh that's right, no one, since I will never have kids. I'm OK with that.

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  8. My grandmother was Benjamina (everyone called her Emmy), so my dad (her favorite child) was named Jesus Benjamin. All except one of his sons have Benjamin somewhere in their name. I stubbornly passed on that tradition to my male spawn.

    Rodney Yee AND Morrissey?

    Huh.

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  9. Whoa! That is your dad?!?!

    I, mean, I always like Teh Dad stories and all, but now with these pictures?

    Damn, If only I was 40 years older....

    Pfft. Who am I kidding? I would do him now.

    Aside: You look like him. Yes, that is a compliment and NO, that is not an offer. I am only willing to do the Octogenarian Heisenberg set.

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