Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Pawhuskan

I frankly did not know which blog I should write in to cover Tabbitha.  She is my niece, fourteen months old in this photograph, a copyrighted one I borrowed from a set I made for her second Christmas.  I think it matters little which blog but she is a Pawhuskan so I settled on Pawhuska Trails.  My brother Charles married later than most do and became a father even later.  I became a father at age twenty-three, Charles became a father at age forty-five.  He is a first time father at the age most of my classmates became grandparents.  When I have been out with Charles and Tabbitha and people have observed them together, I wonder how people see them.  He seems too old to be her father and maybe they think he is her grandfather but then, what do they think I am?  I am an uncle, which I emphasize because even friends forget and comment about my being a grandfather, which I am not.  My son died childless in 2003, my only son, my only child, so I won't be a grandfather.  I keep genealogy records for my family Payne, which I began in search of my own origins.  A year ago I used to say that I went back only one generation, which was my mother and father.  Then through the tools of research and luck, I learned the identity of my grandparents and great grandparents and the rest was easy.  Now I can trace my ancestry to long ago in Scotland, to long ago in Croatia, and to long ago in Poland.  My great grandparents on my mother's side, Sam and Lena Harris, were Jews who immigrated from Poland.  When you combine my Scottish, English, French, Polish, Croatia and Cherokee, I am quite a mutt.  It doesn't change who or what I am but it's nice to know.  I no longer have to abstain from conversations when someone trots out their pedigree for mine is now substantial.  Tabbitha gets some of that too, Cherokee, English, Polish and Jew, from my mother's side.  She gets Cherokee from her father's side.  It's nice to talk about our heritage but all said and done, it is my heritage; not what I am today.  I am an American, an Oklahoman and a Pawhusakan.  I have lived other places but my heart belongs to Pawhuska.  Pawhuska has changed and is changing but it has a future and the future in part belongs to Tabbitha, a new Pawhuskan, and those who share new beginnings with her.  What will they bring to it?  I can not know but I remain filled with wonder, curiosity and hope for the future of Pawhuska.  I am glad that my family continues with it, in Tabbitha.

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