15 July 2022
There are times when the internet is a really special place to be.
The other day I posted this photo of my godfather, Fred West on the page where I
was talking about scanning photos.
I had several comments about the photo, including a discussion of whether
this was 1909 or 1934 (it was 09). But one comment, from a
woman named Lauren O'Leary was very special. Her first comment was
Is that Fred G West? His mother was Bridget Doyle West? She was my 2nd great
aunt (my great grandfather was James D Doyle.)
I realized that she and I were related.
Bridget Doyle West and James D. Doyle were brother and sister but Bridget
was almost 20 years older.
I'm terrible at figuring out that makes us related, but we are related.
Whoda thunk that posting a picture like this would unearth a relative?
And then there was the article I posted about my grandmother's brother and his
messy divorce proceedings.
A woman named Noreen Driggers Snyder checked out the
story in a newspaper account she belongs to and she found all sorts of articles
about this case, giving more information about the case and she sent them to me.
As it is with the internet, I can't now find where she sent them.
Not to my gmail account or to my Facebook account. I've written to ask her
to remind me where she sent them. The additional details were fun to read,
but the most fun was learning that Leo Legler's attorney was my godmother's
husband, Gus Fourtner, a district attorney in San Francisco. One of the
articles stated that the judge didn't find reason for either Leo or his wife to
be divorced and wouldn't allow the divorce, but something else she found listed
his wife as divorced, so I guess they did eventually divorce, but nothing about
who got custody of their daughter.
Now I find all this information very exciting
(though I suspect nobody else reading this does) but also very depressing
because there is nobody who cares enough about this famiy to share this
information with. How I would love to tell my mother. It took such a
long time to explain it all to Walt and by the time I got finished he had lost
interest. That's the problem with growing old...all of your childhood
relatives and friends die and there is nobody with whom you can share those
I remember my cousin Peach and I were kind of
separated for many years...she wasn't interested in staying in touch with
me...but at one point we had to get together and she and her husband came to
dinner. It was like having my childhood open up again. We talked and
talked and talked...and re-established our friendship. But now that she's
gone, and my mother is gone, there is nobody left who is part of my growing up
years and that is lonely. But I suspect a lot of people feel that way when
they get to my age.
It is so cool being with Walt and his siblings
because they have such vivid childhood memories and talk about them all the
time. I have the memories, but nobody to share them with.