People ask, “Do you do family reunions?” Michael and Julie Curnick of rural Tennessee traveled to Ireland recently. They went for a reunion of family members from all over the globe. Here they went sailing along the York River with their son and his friends. Julie related how many of them at the reunion had the “Curnick look,” notably the nose and face.
Michael discovered a cousin who resembled a veritable twin separated at birth. All of them marveled at the family patriarch. He spent years assembling the genealogy, which dated back to the 1600s and ran 47 feet vertically. Around 1,500 living members were identified around the world.
One of the more obscure (and expensive) hobbies these days is garden railroading, combining miniature trains with elegant gardens in the back yard. Gail and Jerome Klink have track winding for a quarter mile behind their house in central Ohio.
The engines and cars extend 18 inches long and run on G-gauge track. Jerome clarified that as “not ‘g’ for ‘garden’ but the German word ‘gross,” for big.” He added, “They have garden railroad groups in all 50 states and Europe as well.” The couple throws their grounds open to the public at the holidays. And they attend national conventions that bring in 1,500 enthusiasts. “It’s a hobby for retired people,” Gail said.
“Our little town of Erwin [Tennessee] is famous in 1916 because a circus elephant named Mary killed her trainer, so they hanged her” Laura Allen said that while sailing serenely. “The story goes that the trainer kept prodding her behind her ear, so she threw him on the ground and stomped him.
Police tried to shoot her with revolvers. But that didn’t penetrate her hide.” It took a derrick crane on a railroad car to hang her, before a crowd of 2,500. “My great-great grandfather was there. It was a huge elephant.” It turned out Mary had an abscessed tooth where the trainer was prodding her.
We cruised the York River with the family of Grace and Scott Daugherty of Midlothian. In so doing, we yielded to the USS Milius, an Aegis guided missile destroyer bound for the Naval Weapons Station.
As the ship passed Yorktown, a loud cannon shot rang out from land . It startled all of us, as if we were under attack. “Gee, with us out here near the ship, we could become collateral damage,” Scott joked. The Milius proceeded apace.
Let’s Go Sailing into Genealogy
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