Friday, October 2, 2009

Status Report

 First, a quote:


An old friend of mine who died recently at great age was, in infancy, held on the knee of an elderly godmother who had been, in her infancy, held on the knee of yet another godmother who had been held on the knee of Queen Anne, who died in 1714.  Viewed unsympathetically, this is nothing, a chance association-by-knees; yet if we cherish life, and are not merely creatures of death and sepulcher, deluded by the notion that only our own experience is real and our demise the end of the world, we see in it a reminder that we are all beads on a string – separate yet part of a unity.  The past is only partly irrecoverable.
-- Robertson Davies
in A Voice From the Attic – Essays in the Art  of Reading, p. 109

Robertson Davies is the real Most Interesting Man In The World.  During a long and varied career, he was a newpaper editor and columnist, a Shakespearean actor, a theater producer, a college professor, a novelist, and an essayist of formidable wit, insight and eloquence.  He was one of the early champions of the Stratford Festival.  He was a towering presence at the University of Toronto, where he headed Massey College, the university's graduate school. His books, particularly his essay collections, are highly recommended.

Now, for a tally.  

I'm trying to maintain some small measure of anonymity for my living relatives, so I'm not naming names until we get deep into the dead folks.  Yeah, I know: Who cares?  We've had 38 visitors, most of whom already know who everyone is, the rest of whom -- I'm talking to you, guy from Italy, and you, too, Brazilian dudes -- were looking for Botswana-bound goats and/or gladiators battling robots, and they don't really care if I name names.  But we are a people easily outraged, so rather than offend, I'm sticking to numbers for now.

Last week, I added my name, my wife's name, and the names of our three children, for a total of five individuals.  This week, I've added:
my wife's parents  -- 2

and her siblings -- 5
my parents -- 2
my mother's siblings -- 2
my father's siblings -- 3

my siblings -- 6
my wife's grandparents -- 2
my granparents -- 2
my sibling's spouses -- 6
my sibling's children -- 8 (with one yet to be added)
my wife's sibling's spouses -- 4
my wife's sibling's children -- 10

Total this week: 52
Total thus far: 57

Names remaining to reach goal: 2,943


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