Look What Fell Out of the Family Tree…


When you shake the family tree, you are sometimes surprised by what falls out of it. Shake mine, and you get the usual assortment of fruits and nuts, a Magyar or two and some Quakers. One descendant of the latter, 12th Cousin Fern twice removed (or maybe that’s 2nd Cousin Fern twelve times removed?) turns out to be the famous “Fern Andra.” (Go ahead, Google her…) I’m not bragging; I was just somewhat surprised. Considering her Quaker heritage, she seems to have gone a bit far out of “plainness.”

A love of performing seems to be part of my family. My cousin Don is a telegraph operator who does Civil War reenactments. He knows that the North always wins, but he goes back time after time to be shot in the line of duty. Another cousin, Margaret, is “Marvolet the Clown,” entertaining children and invalids. Me? Well, until I definitely outgrew the part, I was cast as the dumb young ingenue in any play or musical that would have me. One of my memorable on-stage lines was, “Men are WONDERFUL!They’re practically all I ever think about!!!” (Just shoot me, please).


Is the love of playing a part genetic? Nah. Is it fun? Uh-huh. So Fern, shake your booty; Don, bang out those telegraph messages; Marvolet, make those kids giggle; Judy… maybe you should take up knitting?


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