St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Washington's Birthday Remembered

     For the Northwest Regional Writers assignment:  "How did I find ____?"   I chose to write how my family came to find Wisconsin as a home.   The meeting is Friday, Feb 8th 1 pm, Frederic at the Sunrise apartments (open to the public).  As President's day is nigh, I humbly submit my own personal direct connection to George Washington for your perusal.   We have no documentary proof of the following, however this story has been passed from father/mother to son/daughter for 250 years with nary a change in detail.    
George Washington cuts the cherry tree and is forced, by his genetic flaw--complete and total honesty-- to tell his Dad he did it. This egregiousness fault has passed down through all of his descendants.   

    I am genetically unable to tell a lie.  I attribute this failing to my 5th great grandmother Ingrid Hansdottir.  At sixteen Ingrid was sold into servitudeness by her father, Ole Ingridsfader Hansson during the great Rutabaga Famine of 1767 in Sweden.  She was transported in the hold of a whaling ship to the New Sweden colony in America where she was bought by the Washington family who loved her oily complexion.  

Young George's esteem for her arose every time he saw her and soon several children followed them around. She died young when a cherry tree fell on her.  The children were adopted by her brother, Hans Ingridsbroder Hansson, who moved to Wisconsin where the family has lived since.  

    It was said about George Washington, that he could not tell a lie.  This trait has been passed down these many generations, so I too am condemned to speak and write only the absolute truth.  It is a hardship that I have labored mightily to overcome--with very little success.  

   Mark Twain:
"I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't." 

Edgar Wilson Nye (19th century writer and humorist Bill Nye --of River Falls heritage)  
   "A malicious lie is injurious personally. A business lie is a falsehood for revenue only. But the yarns that are spun around camp-fires, in mining and logging camps, to while away a dull evening, are not within the jurisdiction of the criminal code or the home missionary."