“Pass it down!” You remember that phrase from your early school years. Someone would hand you a note and ask you to pass it to another person so that it finally reached the addressee at the end of the row of students. That was a reasonably reliable communication system unless, of course, the teacher caught on and intercepted the message. If the message was delivered, at least it contained the original words. Another way of communicating with fellow students was by passing a spoken (or whispered) message down the line. This method is fraught with problems because, as everyone who has ever played the game of “Telephone” knows, the message has been altered by multiple repetitions. Sometimes the end product is nothing like the original.
The family stories and traditions that have been passed down to us through the generations are also susceptible to changes through their having been communicated from person to person. Every family has stories that have been embellished and whose details may have been “stretched”. What do you know to be true and what do you doubt? Some research is needed if you are to ferret out the truth, and then it is possible that you may never find the answers you seek. Let me share some of my family’s myths with you.
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