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........
Since our twitter troll commander in chief took office I've read about family members being murdered, hung, scalped, kidnapped, arrested, and elected governor.....only to be stabbed in their bed. What started out as a little jaunt into the historical weeds, turned into a full time obsession. I barely had time for deer season and long before the inauguration I'd given up sweeping my floor and all hope of a super hero swooping in to save America from the menace that is Trump. It was much safer for me to concentrate on 1717 than 2017. So that's what I did. With the Jennings I started with a murder conspiracy and with the Osterhouts a conspiracy to murder. Both sides of the family have been blood thirsty since the get go. Way more so, than I ever imagined. If it wasn't for the internet and piles of books I now have scattered all over my living room, I never would've known any of this. Eight months later and I feel I've barely scratched the surface.
As an artist and quickie song and column writer, I'm not used to such laborious process. I like to have an idea, approach it head on, come up with a plan of attack and expedite the conclusion. Win, lose or draw, it's usually over in a matter days, if not hours. But this is different. This is dragging on into fucking eternity and I see no end sight. The more relatives I find, the more I realize I haven't invited the right ones to the family reunion. The Jennings are bad. The Osterhouts are worse. WE (both families) had slaves, killed and were killed by many different Indian tribes, all the while swindling them and each other out of land and selling everybody booze. We watched as slaves were tortured, churches burned and family members were hung. What I thought was a purely Dutch and English lineage, turns out to be heavily infiltrated by German and Irish. And if we have any Indian blood it runs calico. I want to be able to say something insightful about all of this, but I don't know what. I'm in a quandry.
So I've come back to HWS to take a breather and hopefully get a little distance, Turkey season is coming up and I can't wait for the first gobble and the stomach flutters that come with seeing a red head appear bobbing through the spring woods. In the meantime, after educating myself just who Sullivan County was named after- Maj. Gen. John Sullivan (google it) I've initiated a campaign to change the name of the county. It's a lost cause. Nobody is taking me seriously, but that doesn't matter. After eight months of self- inflicted internet class I know what side of history to be on. Like a friend said, "If it doesn't happen in ten years, it will happen in twenty." You can't ignore atrocity. I have the bloodlines to prove it. We Jennings/Osterhouts are some crazy, tough, crooked, murderous, stubborn, brilliant, pathetic and resilient fuckers. And if there's one thing I've learned from all this reading, we don't give up easy. The war has just begun.