The meaning of family history sinks in
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:00 PM
My mother collected information about our family history. I never saw much value in it. The history, that is.
Frank Phillips claims Hoosier roots, even though his parents lived in Michigan, because he was born in South Bend's Memorial Hospital. He has reported on the news, events and people of west-central Indiana for years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh sure, I had watched "Roots" during college and was amazed with the debates and even a few fights that miniseries stirred. The series was about Alex Haley's search for his family that led him back to Kunta Kinte and the terrible abductions from Africa.
But our family went back to England and Scotland and Mom had learned we were part of the early church reformation movement. We've always stirred up trouble! Guess that's why I've never been too concerned if my reporting upset someone -- as long as it was the truth.
When Mom died, we gave her research materials to a distant cousin named Zellers. I remember boxing up that crate of papers and drawings and giving it to the UPS man.
"What a waste of $134," I thought. That was what Angus or Argos or Whoever Zellers had paid to have the information shipped to him.
I started to think about that because last Saturday Dick Munro & Co. came to Alamo. They looked over the Alamo church building with an eagerness that reminded me of the first time I set foot in that building in April 1975.
They took pictures and discussed at length how the interior and exterior of the building will fit into their plans for their Montgomery County Movie. Then, Dick and I sat down in the sanctuary while the rest of the gang walked around the outside of the building, taking more pictures. It was like two of my worlds collided.
After moving to Crawfordsville in 1977, I had friends and acquaintances outside the church and those inside the church but the two groups never seemed to mingle, at least not when I was around them.
I first came to Montgomery County because Randy Whitehead was resigning the pulpit of the Alamo Church and I thought I might like to become a preacher. He put me in touch with the pulpit committee and the rest is part of my family's history.
I had worked in radio in Illinois and so, naturally, I became acquainted with the local radio folks. Dick Munro was one of the more prominent members of that group.
Add that to the birth of our sixth grandchild this past Monday and the importance of family history has struck me deeply.
My wife spent her teenage years in Montgomery County. If the pulpit committee at the Alamo church would have done the sensible thing and said, "No, sir. No college kid who reads his sermons in the pulpit will preach for us," my family's life would have been much different, and, quite likely, much poorer. I would not have had the adventures that have been woven together to make Montgomery County such an important part of my life and "home."
Details about the newest member of our family?
Dominick Franklin Kinzel was born Monday afternoon in Rolla, Mo. He was 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches long.
He was named for Father Dominick of Lafayette, who married my daughter and Ed Kinzel. His middle name comes from a newspaper man and preacher no one has likely heard of and the Kinzel family lately are of Ohio.
Supposedly the first words tapped out on the telegraph were, "What hath God wrought?"