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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Eleanor was a Ross"

Eleanor (Ross) Purdy, Al's mom
In this UEL country of deep roots it is no surprise to find entanglements. As even friendly dogs exchange sniffs to establish identity and catch up on the news, so local folk like to settle their family links first-off. Seeking the known; the common bonds, experiences, values, memories. Establishing the connection. Then they can move on...and just be.

No "OMG!" cocktail party discoveries for them. No wild public excitement in discovering those 6 degrees of separation.

Insular small county, isolated for generations until well past the 1950's. George Bowering's 1970 description of Prince Edward County and Belleville was as accurate as it was unflattering. (I'll quote it for you when I receive my Abebooks copy)

As I grew up, I got tired of hearing that phrase "Oh, yes, she was a ...." as women nattered about who was related to whom. As I get older, of course, wanting to pull out and examine the handiwork of generations, mourning the lost women who kept the history, I find comfort in those conversations that start with "she was a ...." and self-consciously join in.

That is why, as I looked at old photos with Eurithe Purdy ("get the names on the back" Jean urged) I was curious to know the ways in which we might be connected via that A-frame story.

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