Death by Basketball, Fatal Zits and Abraham Lincoln

Poking around in the ancestry files over the past few months has unearthed some weird stuff.

I made some discoveries that:
  1. Make me wonder how we've survived this long and
  2. Convinced me that we're cursed
I'll start with Genevieve.

From the February 23, 1928 issue of the Forest City Courier, I learned of the untimely demise of 15 year old Genevieve Hollifield, young cousin of my grandfather, he being named as one of the pallbearers at her funeral.

A year prior to her death, Genevieve sustained an injury while playing basketball which lead to the amputation of her leg, followed by a year of bed rest and eventually, her death. 

Now, I made some pretty cut throat moves on the court when I played for Brewbaker Academy back in the seventies, but I'm pretty sure there weren't any feckin' amputations as a result. 

Good Lord.

A young mother (my great, great aunt I think,) expired prematurely when she developed "blood poisoning" (I think that's sepsis) after popping a zit on her nose. 

Let's take a moment to appreciate the festering, puss filled mass she must have had in the center of her face, for her to have developed blood poisoning AND DIED as a result of trying to pop it.

Go ahead, I'll wait...

Another of the kinfolk lost some of his sight when the belt popped off a sander he was using and whacked him right in the eye seein' hole. I reckon this was way before OSHA regulations were a thing. 

The 1920's were rough.

The other side of the family had their share of misfortunes, although they tended to drown rather than developing raging infections. Most of their entries in the Forest City Courier archives were on the social pages. They seem a little high fallootin' and obviously, not in my direct line. I'm pretty sure my ancestors were the poor, working class cousins across the tracks. 

The socialite side of the family loved to sing, one of the cousins leaving the little town to go on to Boston for the beginning of her concert tour.

I did not inherit that gene.

Anywho, they always participated in Music Club, which met monthly, and gave a performance surrounded by a theme. Following is the description of one such night:

The program consisted of Indian music, and as the guests entered the home they were directed to a wigwam made of leopard skin, with the skins of other animals. Inside the wigwam were pots and pans and an old black kettle, out of which delightful coffee was served with sandwiches, served by two Indian squaws. Just outside of the wigwam door, Miss Jeanne sang an Indian lore song accompanied at the piano by Mrs. P. Another solo was also given by Mrs. Weathers, which was greatly enjoyed. The life of the composers of Indian music was studied during the afternoon. 

I'm sorry, but that's some Lucy and Ethel shit right there. As I read it for the first time, I may have snorted so loud I scared the dog .

Meryl Streep plays Mrs. Weathers in the version in my head.

I found some weird stuff about Abraham Lincoln while chasing ancestral ghosts. There's a story that Lincoln wasn't actually born in a one room log cabin in Kentucky, but on Puzzle Creek near Bostic, North Carolina. I happened across the story because legend has it that two of my Hollifield cousins 
(or aunts or whatever) were friends of Lincoln's mother and helped care for him when he was a baby. You can read the account here  and decide for yourself. I thought it was interesting.

Digging in the past is a great distraction when your world is kittywampus. It doesn't hurt that T.A. is the weekend librarian at the Frog Pond Holler branch.

Anywho, I'd better get the dishes washed, earn my keep *insert eyeroll.*

Ya'll have a good one, we'll talk again soon.

Later Taters!
All tips appreciated!