Genealogy Fun: Generational Traditions You Didn’t Even Recognize
All of us who love genealogy know all about family traditions. Those wonder efforts, large or small, in our families we love to carry on simply because our ancestors did them and so we carry them on with joy in our hearts.
But what about a generational ‘habit’ that you didn’t ever even realize was becoming a new tradition except by accident? This just happened to me and I wonder how many other genealogy lovers out there have had similar experiences?
Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, my dad was much like all the other dad’s in my neighborhood. He focused his life on his job. ‘Kid stuff’ pretty much fell into my mom’s area of responsibility. So it was just like that when while I was in junior high school I was quite shocked when my dad suggested he and I go play a round of golf together. I was shocked first because he asked and second I was just as shocked over the fact that it was golf and my father did not play golf. He said it took too much time and cost to blanky-blank much (my father was notoriously tight with a buck). But there he was asking me!
In just a few minutes there he and I were on a beautiful summer Saturday, renting clubs, and getting ready to hit the links. I use the term ‘links’ rather loosely. You see the course was a local one called Rock Ledge and believe me it was rocky, had loads of ledges sticking out, just a bit of grass, was a short 9 holes, and best of all to my father, a round only cost $2.00. Hard against the B. and O. Railroad it appeared in its prime to have seen better days. But that summer it became, for my dad and me ‘our course.
If my memory serves, I think we played a three or four times that summer. I remember the times well. It was lovely being outdoors with only my dad and me. Not a lot of chit chat, but just being together was something very special to me. And then there was always a stop at the Dairy Queen on the way home – which we had to eat outside since my dad would never, ever allow ice cream in his car!
Decades later, and while I admit the memory of Rock Ledge did not even occur to me at the time, our son came home from elementary school and announced to his mother and me that he no longer had the least desire to play the saxophone any more. I explained to him that I was still making payments on the horn! He asked me what if he sold it and could pay off the loan. Could he quit then? His mother and I relented and said fine. The very next day he waltzed into our kitchen with a fist full of cash, laid out the exact amount due on the horn, and said ‘There! I sold it on the bus. Now can you please take me to Kokesh Sporting Goods? I have enough money left to buy myself a set of golf clubs.” Once his mom and I regained our composure we all piled into the car for Kokesh and he bought himself his first set of clubs. Left-handed ones at that. He went on to become the Captain of his high school golf team and fell in love with the sport. While I hacked a few rounds now and again, being a great golfer just wasn’t in the cards for me and I found myself only occasionally playing with my son.
When we moved to New Mexico though our son would take a day off from college and I would take a day off from work and we would play a round together at our favorite course, Cochiti Lake Golf Course on Pueblo de Cochiti. He shot great, I shot like junk, but we had some wonderful times walking on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the U.S. and had some exceptional father-son time. Plus we made some forever memories such as when he hit into the rough only to find his ball snuggled up against a rattlesnake (he took the drop on that one).
Now it is some 15 years later and while talking with our daughter-in-law she casually mentioned that our son and grandson were very excited inasmuch as they were going to be going out together this week to the golf course to play a couple rounds together. It seems our grandson has been taking lessons from his dad and they are going to be heading out for the first time, together, to play.
It was as my wife was relating this story to me that all those memories of Rocks Ledges and Cochiti came back to me while showing me a pattern or a new tradition if you, while I was not even realizing it.
I wonder if when they are out this week our grandson will be thinking about someday playing with his son? I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one!
Onward To Our Past®