This is the photograph that started it all. The confirmation photo for my father from 1925. I grew up looking at this photo and of course, compared it to my own photo that was taken 40 years later. I was fascinated by the clothing, the hairdos, just the oldness of it. The photo includes my dad, Willis (top row, 2nd from left), his cousins, Howard (top row, 3rd from right) and George (bottom row, left). It astounded me that my father was once young. But, now I look at it very different eyes. Now, I see my son’s eyes and ears. I see life long friendships of cousins. I see a photograph that still hangs in the church in which it was taken. I see Pastor Worthman that my dad described as “a very big but a very gentle man. He taught me a lot.” I see a photograph that inspired me to begin this journey of finding out about our families, about our roots, about the places where they lived, loved and died, about our extended family that includes cousins that I have never met.
A few years ago I picked up a folder that Rick’s mother had given to him before she died. I discovered that she had been working on the Lakes family tree. I loved looking through this collection of mementoes, photographs, family group pages, pictures of headstones, and notes that she had kept. And, I thought, ah, I want to do that. I want to continue looking for our family. I want to find out who they are, how they lived, where they lived. I want to see them. I want to remember them. I want to carry them into the future. I feel incredibly honored to remember and celebrate those who came before us. I hope that you will be interested to join me on this journey. For me, it’s not about time, it’s not about place … It’s About Family!