Monday, August 21, 2017

Speaking of, and to...

I am looking at an old photograph of A.M. Van Valkenburgh.  He was my great-grandfather.

Father of fourteen Van Valkenburgh children.  That's a lot of kids and responsibility.  And he seemed to do well in that responsibility department; all the fourteen seemed to grow up and become really, REALLY fine and upstanding citizens, all over the U.S. of A.

Years ago, my book club posed a question:

With whom would you like to visit, any time, any era?

Well - that is such a far-reaching query.  But here I go:

Obviously, I would like to have a chat with Great Grandfather A.M..  I'm not even sure what I would ask him. I would ask how he managed to successfully rear fourteen kids to be independent and happy.  (I think they all were ?)

I would love to talk with the first Van Valkenburghs to the New World, ca. 1678 or so.  They planted themselves into what is now Manhattan, I think.  Even more precise, that which is now 5th Avenue?

Beethoven.  I want to know what was in his head.  He was a genius.  There were things floating around in his head, and he put those things into music.

I would love to talk to all of the surviving US Presidents, if I could chit-chat with complete assuredness that only he and I would be privy to our conversations. I would love to have chats, but I would hate to think that down the line, I might be subpoenaed regarding a recipe or a Middle East provocation.

I would love to visit with Anne Lamott.  She's still living.  Noam Chomsky.  He's still living.  Michelle Obama.  She's still living.  I'm not sure I have the mental wherewithal to keep up with the three aforementioned, and I would probably stutter about, but I would still like to have a chat.  I think I would LOVE to visit with each of the First Ladies, come to think of it.  All of them.

Who else?  I don't know.  Maybe some Mother Teresa nuns.

Oh!  I know!  Mahatma Ghandi!  Yes!

And Sir Edmund Hilary.  He would be good for a few hours, to be sure.

I can go on and on...  


1 comment:

Tom Plummer said...

That's a fine list. Thoughtful, insightful

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...