Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Historical Notes

It's strange how unexpected information can give insights on your own relatives. I bought the CD "Gentle Giants" which is an album of songs about Clydesdales. In the notes it comments that Clydesdales required a real man to control them (as opposed to Shires that could be led by a child). It then went on to mention that in the villages of Scotland in the late 1800's the top job in the village would be the plowman. He was the one that controlled and looked after the plowing horses. As a result he was one of the wealthier men in the village and a "top catch" for the girls as a result. This caught me by surprise. On one side my mother's family were of one of the historic blacksmith families of South West Scotland. On the other side my Grandmother's father was a well respected ploughman. I had not realized the stature of the job, and why he might have kept it rather than going back to the family farm. Now perhaps I have that insight.

In our more mundane world I talked to Mum yesterday and she was in the middle of a blizzard. She sounded slightly out of it, and did not follow the thread of conversation well. Her neighbor across the hall went into hospital on Friday, and is not expected to return. I need to get over there before too long.

On another note at a meeting today one of the faculty wives talked about her upbringing in a concentration camp in Poland after the war. Her mother was German and the tale of her treatment (she was 23 when she went in), was disturbing. Eventually after getting to East Germany the family was re-united and came to America. The dry words about sexual abuse and beatings were very moving coming from her daughter who grew from 1 to 5 in those circumstances.

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