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Where are you?

At a place for biography and autobiography. A place for life stories shared with family and others. An invention of facts.

In this case, you are at the website of Tay Vaughan. It's a work-in-progress where Vaughan collects bits and pieces of his life's history and sews them into a montage of interesting people, far places, and curious events often using free indirect narration. He began this autobiography or memoir or library so that his descendants might know him as more than a one-line name in the family tree. Vaughan himself dearly enjoyed meeting his long-dead great grandfather through that man's autobiography, A Doctor's Memories. He appreciated being able to meet his grand uncles Henry and Herbert, if not in person, certainly through their life stories. The life stories of too many real ancestors who played, loved, worked hard, and ate eggs for breakfast on summer mornings have, regrettably, become dust.

Lizzie's Ancestors

In principle...
No smoothing of wrinkles.

"...the most baleful mischiefs may be expected from the unmanly conduct of not daring to face truth because it is unpleasing."

Thomas Malthus (1798), An Essay on the Principle of Population, Chapter 17

As a youngster at my grandfather Bud Knight's deathbed in a hospital in Boston, I had no idea what was going on. I knew it was solemn, I knew my mother was upset. But we were talking with him and being "normal," and nobody told me I wouldn't see him again or smell his sweet Mixture 79 pipe smoke or hear the clink of his "highball" moving through the den where he would press it against my neck and exclaim that it was "snowing outside." Ever. He looked a little yellowish and tired, I thought, and from my place at the foot of the bed, I noted that his curling toenails were the longest nails I had ever seen.

Many years later, I wished we had been closer. I wished I knew more about him. Where did you grow up? Who was your first girlfriend? Why did you marry Gram? Where did you go on your honeymoon? How did it feel being a PGA golf champion? How come you planted a pear tree instead of an apple tree in back of the barn? But by then there was no one to ask.