Doc (echsdoc) wrote,

December 29, 1909

I am reading a book (Murder at Deviation Junction) which is set in the tough iron mining districts of England in the year 1909. It is a pretty atmospheric bit of writing. As I was reading I remembered that my paternal grandparents were married that year, specifically on December 29th, 1909. So the alien and forbidding world of the novel, seemingly accurately portrayed, would have been a contemporary experience for my grandparents. Little Gram was born in 1878, so was not a child in that year.

And now we are exactly one hundred years later, with 2009 being their centennial anniversary. But Grandpa John died in 1952, and Little Gram died in 1971, at an advanced age. So I am thinking what memory must have been like as they looked forward to their weddings. It would have been close to what my daughter (1976) has right now. Good memories of President Cleveland and President Harrison, Powerful recall of the assassination of President McKinley (which happened exactly one hundred years ago today!). And the assassination of President Lincoln would have been as recent a historical memory as that of the Kennedys and MLK are to us today. This is something it is hard to put my mind around.

Little Gram used to tell me how hard it was really to grasp that Grandpa John's grandfather was born in 1795, in the eighteenth century (in St. Nicholas Parish in Liverpool). He would have been fourteen on December 29, 1809. Four generations separate me from the eighteenth century! I can almost reach out and touch it.

And what will the world be like when we are forgot and the date is December 29, 2109?
Tags: books, family, history, murder at deviation junction

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