Lest we forget

I received an email from one of the genealogical sites that I subscribe to, revealing that my paternal grandfather, Raymond Dellinger has been drafted for WWI.  This is his draft paper.

I am not 100% sure but I don’t think that he was actually sent to war.  Lucky for him as so many veterans of WWI died of battle wounds and disease.  I was intrigued that he was a bank clerk in Nebraska.  His older sister had married a doctor from Nebraska but the family had previously lived in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  My grandfather was born on the Chickasaw nation in OK.

I never had the opportunity to meet this Grandpa and he died when I was a child.  He was so handsome with gray eyes that I would have loved to have seen him in person.  Now I know where the recessive gene for my blue gray eyes comes from.  My father had brown eyes and my mum had blue.

Kerry with dark, dark blue gray eyes

Grandpa Dellinger

As I am looking at the WWI drafts I see that 20 more relatives had been drafted into the war.  I do not know how many actually fought but my great uncle Earl (grandpa’s brother) was a Marine and fought in the Battle of Managua, 1927.  Then an incorrectly spelled name caught my attention, a distant cousin named Tony Ortiga (Ortega).  His draft fell into a strange category of Indians, Insane and Prisoners.  Well, in my family it could be all three….but what awful world categorizes those groups together? It was Folsom Prison in Tony’s case.  I wonder what he did?  Be careful when you open the genealogical closet because you never know what skeleton will fall out.

As I was reading this sad draft, I could hear Johnny Cash playing at Folsom prison.

‘When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry’

Somehow that is the perfect segue from my last post on trains to this one on Memorial Day.

Lest we forget. Rest in Peace.

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Racists come in every color…

Me with my mum and dad.  Is my Dad dark enough for you?

I recently wrote a tongue in cheek post entitled Hueheucoyotl is mischief making. Sometimes I take for granted that many of my followers know all about my ancestry and DNA. New readers must look at my profile picture and envision someone Scandinavian or Irish – both are correct. My name Kerry is a giant clue.

I very rarely receive unpleasant comments (if ever?) – the spam is just that. The comment below, on the above post, incensed me.

Typical white woman think she can just claim our culture. Also just necause you want to interpret things as the work of Huehuecoyotl it does not even remotely mean you have facilitated contact. What a joke, if only my teacher could hear this hahaha. I am Mexican and Navajo descent as well, Coyote is my spirit brotjer/reflection so you’re literally getting it from the horses mouth :p (sic)

Perhaps I should have just deleted it but this is my response –

I will shortly delete both of these comments but how dare you! I have both North American and Central American Native DNA with a long line of Mexican ancestors that I can trace back to the 1700s. My grandfather was born on the Chickasaw Nation reservation in Purcell, OK. Why don’t you go take some lessons on DNA, recessive genetics that produce blue eyed blondes, and more importantly on etiquette? You would make President Trump proud with your racist views. I can choose whichever spirit reflection I want. It’s unlikely I received your opinion from the horse’s mouth but from his ass.

The more I ruminated on it, the more I thought that I would write this post.  It sounded like a young person with a chip on his shoulder.  Try living in a Scottish public housing estate with the name de Ortega.  My only advantage was that I was not discriminated against in the work field as I might have been if I had stayed in California, my birth state.  Most people of Mexican origin are happy to accept me as a half cousin but sometimes I know that I am not quite Mexican enough.  In truth, nobody from Mexico is indigenous because the native tribes both north and south came across the ice passage from Siberia and Asia.

This is my Grandma Juanita and my great aunt. I don’t think there is any doubt about their Mexican heritage. Which one is my grandma?

Mestizo means mixed and can be used as a mongrel insult.  We should all be proud that most of us are mixed.  It should give us less reason to hate each other but even Hitler had some Jewish blood. Not all my family were happy about a Catholic marrying a Protestant, both of whom no longer believed in our faiths. I have embraced my Catholic upbringing with a sense of nostalgia and happily pray in churches all over the world. None of that means that I believe in institutionalized religion but I enjoy elements from most beliefs and faiths.

There was no vision about Huehuecoyotl being my spirit guide, just a happy quirkiness in embracing one of my many roots, with no offence intended. I like Freya, leprechauns and a wide variety of saints. My unwelcome commentator has not responded to my rather snarky reply. After a few days of working with an impossible millennial, I feel a little sympathy but not much.

Is this Mexican enough?

Or is this white enough?

Toffee won’t get out of bed…

The Preamble –

When Teddy is out of town, Toffee sleeps with Mum. We both slept in late but it was about 11 am and Toffee wouldn’t get out of bed. I wanted to change the bed for Teddy’s arrival. So why didn’t I just push her off?

Toffee is the last surviving cat that we brought from Egypt to the USA. When she was a feral kitten, she went missing for a night and I was looking for her frantically. Our gardener had found her and put her in his shed. Whatever happened was traumatic, perhaps a near miss with a car or a fall of the balcony, and she had injured her leg. We could not take her to the vet until she was more tame and by that time the injury had healed.

Every so often she would limp and so she now has Gabapentin to help with that. At almost 15 years old, we still can’t lift her and I don’t like shooing her (off the bed) in case she hurts her leg. She still runs around chasing a laser pointer so the meds are working. Now, enjoy!

On a final funny note, I sent this to friends and family. One of my aunts replied, “What are you McHugh girls like with your pusses!” She was referring to my Irish mother’s side of the family and my two cousins, her daughter and two nieces. We are all crazy about cats and have no children. I am the oldest crazy cat lady but I suspect there will be more…