Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I have words in my blood

1969. The year I was born, and the year my great-grandfather self-published his one and only novel, Jake, Hessian Soldier.

Clarence H. Nickerson was a civil engineer who founded C.H. Nickerson & Company, a general contractor that still employs a lot of people in northwest Connecticut. He also wrote a lot of articles about antiques and New England history, several of which my brother (the genealogist and historian in the family) has been able to track down.

Of course I never knew any of this while my great-grandfather was alive (he died when I was just a few years old), but here I am today, a writer who often covers engineering-related topics in my articles. It's amazing how connected we often are in ways we don't ever realize, sometimes until it's too late.

We only had one copy of Jake in the house growing up. That was my dad's copy, which now resides on my mother's bookshelf. My brother tracked down several other copies for family members a few years ago, and this particular copy came to me a few days ago from my grandmother's house after she passed away two weeks ago at the age of 97. It's inscribed to her, and dated just a few months after I was born.

With my grandmother's passing, another link to the past is gone. But with cherished items like this, some of the memories remain.