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Old 01-20-2012, 08:00 AM   #1
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A Laugh To Start Your Day Off

the family refers to Son #2 at "The Pirate." When he was about 13 y.o. he and a friend go to the next town over looking to get into trouble. They are playing of the beach and a boat pulls up with the intention of the owner to load it on his trailer. Before he get a chance to shut the engine off and exit the boat, my son and his friend jump in and make the man jump out. They take off with the boat. The reason the owner was bringing the boat in was because he was low on fuel. My son didn't know that. Halfway across the cove, the engine dies. In the meantime, the owner had called the police. The next day the two of them are in front of the judge. All of a sudden you hear a roar from the bench.

"Piracy on the high seas, forcing the owner to walk the plank?" Technically, the charges were correct. But this case belongs in a Court of the High Admiralty. But not before the judge reads them the riot act.

"Do you two know that you can still be hung from the yardarm for these charges?" Now they didn't know what a 'yardarm' was, but they sure knew what hanging was. My son burst into tears and looked over at me to help him. I kept a straight face. (That did not go unnoticed by the judge.) You never saw two more scared kids. The judge called me and the prosecutor up to the bench. Quietly, he told us he was going to dismiss all charges, but wanted to scare the daylights out of the kids. He placed them on six months probation. I never told my son the truth until about ten years ago when he was in his 40's. But you can bet, facing hanging, kept him out of trouble for a loooong time.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Oh, I love it! Family legends are the best!
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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Great story, Addie!
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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this seems as good a place to put it as any. Do any of you have urban or family "legends"? In my case right off the top of my head I have one, and it turned out not to be true. As silly as it sounds, I keep my version of it in my mind and like it better than what people tell me is the truth.

My aunt was a young bride and kept seeing a moose in her back yard. Her husband kept telling her she was nuts, no way. So she got out a shotgun one morning, and that was that. They had meat for the winter.

Now I've been told it wasn't a moose, it was a deer. No one in my family are hunters. But in my little gray cells, there is my young auntie telling her husband there is a moose in the yard (they lived in a place where that isn't impossible) and killing the thing to prove to her husband that it wasn't her imagination.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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this seems as good a place to put it as any. Do any of you have urban or family "legends"? In my case right off the top of my head I have one, and it turned out not to be true. As silly as it sounds, I keep my version of it in my mind and like it better than what people tell me is the truth.

My aunt was a young bride and kept seeing a moose in her back yard. Her husband kept telling her she was nuts, no way. So she got out a shotgun one morning, and that was that. They had meat for the winter.

Now I've been told it wasn't a moose, it was a deer. No one in my family are hunters. But in my little gray cells, there is my young auntie telling her husband there is a moose in the yard (they lived in a place where that isn't impossible) and killing the thing to prove to her husband that it wasn't her imagination.
So who is the big hero in that household?
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:04 AM   #6
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Addie and Claire, I love your stories. I have one of my own and while I don't want to hijack anyone's thread, would love to tell it.

Most of you are probably aware of the Gold rush on both sides of the border. Here in Canada it was the Klondike and the Caribou and there are several famous characters. I happen to be related to one. Barkerville, named for Billy Barker, is a famous tourist attraction in our Caribou region of British Columbia. John "Caribou" Cameron was a cohort of Billy Barker and my maternal Grandmother's great Uncle by marriage. He was from Ontario and brought his wife (my grandmothers great aunt) out this way to make his fortune, which he did. His wife died of disease and made her husband promise to take her home to be buried with her family. He had her coffin filled with formaldehyde and spent more than a year taking it back to Ontario by horse and cart. When he got there the family was horrified and as the very heavy coffin was put in the ground accused Caribou of selling her body to the Indians and filling the coffin with his gold. He had it exhumed and was vindicated, but was still not treated well for having taken her there in the first place. My grandmother had her mouth washed out with soap on more than one occasion for bringing up his name. He is written up in many history books and while the story changes according to who is telling it, it is pretty close to the family version. He went back to B.C. to start over, but by the time he got there the rush was almost over and he died poor. His secondary claim to fame was that he founded Cameronton, next to Barkerville, which was a graveyard for all the lost souls who, like himself died trying to make their fortune. My cousin, his son and my nephew all have the middle name "Cameron" in honour of this colourful relative!
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #7
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It is nice to have a family member be an historic person. And to have a place carrying on with the family name is even better. Every family has a black sheep. Even if the title is undeserved. And you know he is not forgotten. I have often wish I could have just a nugget of gold. I had a girlfriend that had one in a little glass container that she wore on a chain. A relative had found it while panning. Like your relative, he too died poor. But he left a little piece of his life with that small gold nugget.

And you haven't stolen any site.

Being Indian, the tribe that my grandfather came from were headhunters. This was a practice that wasn't broadcast to the outside world. They were the most feared tribe on the East Coast. Fortunately, they gave up the practice once the white man invaded their territory. Today, they are one of the wealthiest tribes in the nation. They sued the Fedeal Goverment and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to get their land back. Now they own most of the forests in Maine. Everytime a tree is harvested for sale, part of the profit goes to the tribe. And every child has the opportunity to attend college free. And every family gets a check once a month. Now, contrary to a popular belief that Native Americans are lazy, unemployment is still high in the tribe. So they created their own employment agency. Adult males are expected to go out and protect the trees they fought to regain. They keep an eye on what is being harvested on their land. And they have the paperwork to show their efforts. They are leaving a record behind.

We welcome stories about families. It is important that family history is remembered.

I am proud of my family's history. My father grew up when it just wasn't cool to be a Native American. But he was smart enough to pass down the stories his father told him.

When my grandfather came to Massachusetts he got a job in a pottery factory. His job was to put the handle on chamber pots. Eight of my parents grandchildren were potty trained on one of his pots. My neice now has the pot. And she trained her kids on it also. As a result of his job, we all called him Potsie.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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I don't know that this is funny, but it is a family story. My great-grandfather's mother died when he was young, his father abandoned him when my great-grandfather was 12. He became a cowhand in southern MN. In December 1880, they were herding the cows back and he was riding on the back of a wagon. There was a terrible blizzard and somehow he fell off the wagon into the snow. He was unable to catch up with the wagon and so started to look for a house. He found a woodpile and threw logs in all directions, but did not hear any of them hit anything. He suffered extreme frostbite. In the morning he was found and one of the logs was only a few feet from one of the outbuildings. He was brought into town and the local doctor amputated his legs from mid-calf, his left arm from the elbow down, and all the fingers and the first joint on his thumb on the other hand. They ran out of ether during this and his screams could be hear throughout the village. He recovered at the home of the family where this was done (on the kitchen table). The father of this family was to become my great-great grandfather. My great-grandfather finished school (he went to school pushing himself along on a modified baby carriage). He went before the representatives of the state and asked for 2 years of funding to attend college and for prostheses. He had a very charismatic personality and got both. He was a teacher, school principal, owner of a bank and newspaper, served in the State Legislature, was McKinley's campaign manager for his 2nd term election, went to the Philippines as McKinley's "front man" before Taft went for the Taft Commission, spoke to WWI veterans, and was one of the first three people to drive a car on what is today the Yellowstone Trail. When he died, his widow founded Camp Courage North. Camp Courage North and Camp Courage are still in existence. There is a school named after him in the Cities, as well as a street. He could have become a bitter and broken person. Instead, he rose above his physical challenges. He is often quoted as having said, "I thank God I'm not a cripple." He believed that a mind was a terrible thing to waste. If determination is genetic, I know where I got mine.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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WOW! The story doesn't have to be funny.

One of the best lines I ever heard about handicap folks was, "We don't use the part "Dis" with the word "Able". Some people are just meant to be leaders by example.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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WOW! The story doesn't have to be funny.

One of the best lines I ever heard about handicap folks was, "We don't use the part "Dis" with the word "Able". Some people are just meant to be leaders by example.
Access for those with disabilities has definitely improved since my great-grandfather's day. His first artificial limbs were leather "sand bags" that he shuffled on, this after the modified baby carriage. And yes, we have photos of him with both.
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