Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hodgepodge 116/365 - Family

It seems I've never written about my family. Or if I have (which I must have, right?), it's embedded in some other story and didn't make it onto my quick-and-dirty index, which I use to check things like this.

I have one brother, Jim; one first cousin, John (on my mother's side); one niece, Erica (plus my departed niece, Melanie, whom I miss every day); and a great-niece, Kimberley. I also have a wonderful something like fourth cousin three times removed, Kris, whom I visit every time I'm in Wisconsin (so, not very often) and whom I went to the Torino Winter Olympics with, with her partner Diane. Fun time!

This past Sunday I met a long-lost cousin. The nature of our relationship remains a mystery, but her name is Mary Geissman, and that's my family name, so we must be somewhat closely related. There just aren't many Geissmans in the world. (There is the jazz guitarist Grant Geissman, but his relationship to the rest of us will forever remain a mystery. I think "mystery" is the middle name of this family.)

Back in 1966, Mary—who then lived in Chicago—came to visit us in Santa Monica. She was studying chemistry, and my dad was a chemist, so there was that link; she was also a big Dodgers fan, and was going to go to a game in Chavez Ravine. I believe I was in school (I would have been in sixth grade) when she visited, but my parents told me about the visit when I got home.

It took over fifty years for us to meet. But now we have.

I found her via a letter written by earth scientists protesting Trump. She wasn't a signer, but her brother, John, a geologist, was. A friend on FB noticed the name and asked if we were related. I figured we must be, and tracked John down at the University of Texas, Dallas. Email correspondence ensued, with Mary included. At which time Mary mentioned that she was going to be attending a conference at Asilomar Conference Center and suggested we meet.

That was several months ago, but I've been looking forward ever since to meeting Mary Geissman.

New family, in a clan this small, is nothing to sneeze at. She has a beautiful big apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC. Also nothing to sneeze at, since she invited us to come visit. I very much enjoyed getting to know my new cousin.

Here's a picture her friend took of us, which Mary sent me today. Milo showed his winningest side.

1 comment:

  1. Love that you're meeting a long-lost cousin. Clearly, you're related: the chemistry connection. Geology. The protest letter!