It’s been a while since any new stories were added here, so I primed the well with one of my own. This is my small contribution for Open Education Week 2020.

Yes, I have a blog. That’s hardly new, though it’s practice many would say is in decline. Or dead. Again. I make a lot of posts laden with technology and code.

But I also write about family stories. Re-telling is my way of keeping family members alive in my mind. And as I find myself atop a family tree with few branches left above, I have only my own memories (and some audio recordings) to rely on.

This video was prompted by twice in the last two weeks receiving blog comments from people I never heard of who have connections to, and more information to add, about the family members I wrote about.

In a post about my grandmother’s close friend who was a painter (and I show one of Gertrude’s paintings I own), a comment from one of her relative describes how she was part of a creative family of some 12 siblings.

Another comment on a post I wrote about my Grandfather’s success in the construction business was from the niece of his long time secretary (with promise of more stories to come).

These comments were not the goal of my writing, but they sure are an amazing bit of what the web can provide. They provide even more detail than I would have gotten from the family stories I heard. This is even more key for my grandfather as he passed away before I was born; his presence was old photos and things my parents and grandmother spoke of him.

I also added a third bit about my Great-Grandfather, David Gottfried, a Chess Champion in the 1920s, all while single parent caring for six kids. I have his wooden chess set and medal, but I hope the same kind of web serendipity can reveal more about him.

You cannot count on that happening, but putting the story out there at least nudges up the potential serendipity energy levels a few micro-joules.

Shared by: Alan Levine

Reuse License: CC BY Creative Commons By Attribution