In our ever-changing, nothing is permanent, instant gratification, throwaway world it is easy to lose sight of where we have come from, to forget our roots.
My family tree has deep roots in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. I have been told that my forefathers settled in Estill County in the late 1700’s and I still have relatives there today. My father was raised on a farm there and still thinks of the hills that are the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains as home. There is even a spot on the map with the name of Wagersville — it really is not much more than a spot on the map. For many generations Wagers were born, raised, lived, died, and were buried in Estill County. There is a cemetery close to Wagersville where several generations of Wagers lay in rest in the shadow of the hills.
I remember going to the Wagers reunions growing up which were held in even-numbered years. Family that had been scattered throughout the land would come back to the hills and hollers to catch up on what everyone was doing. Often the reunion would take place at the Indian Fort Theatre in Berea. There was a stage there and on one side there was a cabin-front that was used for productions as seen in the picture above. (Yes I am in the picture.) I chose this picture because I think it captures something I have some to realize and appreciate: being a Wagers means having a sense of humor.
As far back as I can remember I have been trying to tell jokes and trying to be funny (notice I did say “trying”). I can remember jokes that were told to me by Aunts and Uncles and cousins. Several years ago I remember that my Great Aunt Helen’s 90th birthday was celebrated as part of the reunion. At one point I walked into the kitchen and there was Great Aunt Helen sitting at the table and enthusiastically telling jokes. It hit me right there — it is not my fault that I keep telling jokes and finding the humor in situations, it is in my genes.
So don’t blame me that I post, supposedly, humorous blogs or that I will tell you a joke when I run into you, it is a genetic condition (I wonder if it is covered under ADA?) Perhaps you think I am just plain nuts. Well, it appears that this nut indeed has not fallen far from the tree.