Labels: Photo: George Holz
Labels: Photo: George Holz
My family, the Montgomery Osterhouts are isolationists. We grew up in a world of Voegelins, Crabtrees, Broas, Suydams, Snyders, and Badaluccos. There were other Osterhouts in town, but we didn't hang with them. Since my Great Grandparents Andrew and Elsie Decker were divorced in 1915, we didn't have much love for the Osterhouts, outside of our tiny orbit. So when I started writing this book, I had no idea how vast and numerous the kin were on the "O" side. Now that the weather has cleared, my research has shifted from the virtual to the actual. If I drive a couple of hours in any direction I can stand on old Osterhout property, granted, bought or stolen in three states. Last week I journeyed along the Susquehanna to the Wyoming Historical Society in Tunkhannock, Pa. to check out that branch and Monday found me in the basement of the old Hurley church facing a table filled with genealogists. I peeked in and they all turned their heads at once, eyes aglow. The only thing missing was the hooded robes and secret handshakes. When I mentioned the name Osterhout they straightened in their thrones, smiled and nodded knowingly. "Welcome my son. What kept you?"
"When WJV Osterhout (1871-1964) was a member emeritus of the Rockefeller Institute, he told me a story during one of my visits to him and his wife and co-worker Marion (Ikky) Irwin, in their apartment at the Marin Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole. I begged him to write it out, for I thought it too interesting and important to be lost, but he never did....I wish to dedicate this essay to his memory."- George Wald, Biological Laboratories, Harvard University 1982
Journal entry: Woke up at 6:00 am with Cheeky squatting on my chest, his stiff little legs pile driving into my breast bone, staring down at me with his beady black eyes. He's usually so cuddly in the morning. What the fuck? Then he jumped off the bed and rocketed down the loft ladder, accidentally turning on the radio. Between pledge drive nonsense on my local NPR station I learned that Trump had bombed Syria. Could this be what had Cheeky so riled up? When I mentioned this, he headed for the litter box and squatted. I told him to relax, maybe it won't lead to nuclear war. "It'll all be OK Cheeky. We've been through worse." By the smell emitting from the box I gather he's not buying it. In either case, it's barely light out and way too early for disarmament policy discussion.
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
Journal entry: I'm writing a book. I know it sounds stupid. Who the fuck writes books these days? People barely have the patience to read a blog. And to add insult to injury the book is about my family. Groan. I admit it, I'm not proud. I joined ancestry.com and am now spending my time chasing down bloodlines, wills and land deeds, riding the genealogical bandwagon off the cliff. This is why I stopped writing HWS. I didn't have anything left after seeing to the slaves, making sure the still was fired up, building gallows and girding myself for the next Indian attack. How did I get myself into this mess? Well, let's see. I think it was about the time of the election........