” It’s a summer afternoon, somewhere in Kansas or Illinois or Oklahoma. The wind is blowing the leaves down the gutter as the mailman comes by. “Afternoon Mrs. Higgins, hot enough for ya?” Over on Stone County Road there’s the smell of chicken frying.
“Henry! It’s getting t’wards suppertime you know. Henry!” There she calls from her second floor room. The end of a back porch afternoon. Where we’d stand on the bow of our own man-of-war.
No longer the back porch any more. And we’d sail pulling for China. The pirates of Stone County Road. All weathered and blown. And we’d sail ever in glory. ‘Till hungry and tired.
The pirates of Stone County Road. Were turning for home. “
— 1969, John Stewart. From the album, California Bloodlines.
Once a upon a time. Long ago. I seem to be determined to go on a journey through my past. I’ve been having dreams about the past. About a 1969 El Camino with a 454 big block motor. About places that I’ve been. About people I’ve lost over the years.
This musician, John Stewart, mattered to me a lot once. After he passed I sort of forgot him. Magically, this song popped into my head this morning. So, now I’m playing the album from which it came. It’s called, “The Pirates of Stone Country Road.” The version that I like best is live, from an amazing concert back, way back in time. The live album is called, “The Phoenix Concerts.” No. Not after the desert city. After the bird who rises from the ashes.
Anyway. Enough of you are interested in my ancestor’s history that it sparked my thinking. I’ve decided to take one more shot at learning about my family history. This time I’ll do it right. I’ll spend more money on research. I won’t stop with Ancestory.com. I have nothing against them. But, they can only take me as far as I already know. We are taking this a step further. A lot of steps further. A trip is in the very basic planning stages. My little town – Horodok — is in sort of located in an odd place. Even though it’s a Belorussian place, it’s actually located in Ukraine. The closest big city is located in Poland. The legend of this region is that you could live there, go to sleep in one country and wake up in another. That’s just how fast the borders changed, especially pre-1910.
I have a question for you. This could cost some serious money. I see a lot of pictures coming out of this. I see the possibility of a book. (Finally, I think that have a project in mind that is worthy of a book.) I advised a friend of mine to create a GoFundMe site, as I did once, to fund her gallery shows. I think these projects are self-contained and somewhat worthy.
I’ve watched GoFundMe deteriorate to the point where I watched a photographer ask for funding for a new camera. WTH? That’s a business expense. Get out of the industry if you can’t pay for your tools. I’ve watched two people ask for funding to pay for their vacations. WTH? Stay home if you can’t afford to travel for pleasure. And, the last came from a person who wants better seats at a concert. WTH? I’m a fairly generous guy, but really, really and really?
You know where this is going. I think. I’d like your advice. Should I create a GoFunding page for this project? Or, am I over reaching just like the examples that I’ve cited? Oh, don’t feel compelled to contribute just because you think it’s a good idea. I just want your opinions.