Saturday, October 20, 2012

familiar face

1868 - 1950
Here's a young photo of my grandfather, Burruss Finlayson.  Gina took one look at this photo tonight and said, "You've got his eyebrows".  Yes, those are Finlayson eyebrows alright. She said, "You've got his nose".  I think mine is a little pugger than his..but yeah..I can see that.  She said, "You've got his curly hair".  I HAD his curly hair!

Studying this photograph of a grandfather I never met. I see so many common features that I see in the mirror, or see upon the features of my siblings.  It's amazing what is passed down from generation to generation well over a century.  What else was passed on in the genes?  If we could look back, spend a day with an ancestor, would we recognize other qualities in his or her daily life?

I have a connection to my father when I am working at his old workbench in my garage.  I've learned that my father's father enjoyed working in his shop after work too.  My dad could actually build things.  I primarily repair things that have been broken around the house.  Where my dad had skill to actually construct, I merely restore.  Even though my skills out there are very limited, I find piddling in the garage a quiet enjoyment - a connection.  I think it's something my grandfather passed down to his son and his son to me.  What else is back there that is also in me today?

One day our children's children will be looking at old photos of us.  Who is this fellow on the mantle, this young fellow who was my grandfather - my great grandfather?  What little will be left of us fifty to a hundred years from now.  Maybe just a name.  Maybe a day of birth and a day of death, an occupation, hopefully a story or two.  More than likely, not much more than that.
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