The oral history of a family never matches up with the written word. As a result, when a person dies who has the basic information, much of the history dies with that person. Gone are the horse thieves, rascals and real characters who make up the gene pool of the present generation; gone are the do-gooders who never created a fuss or stirred a wave. They are forgotten along with the horse thieves, and yet all of them left an impression and were part of the history of the family. In an effort to pass on what was said, these words are being written. They may not amount to much, but at least, they will contribute to the knowledge of the present and future generations. Maybe it can make something of it. Personages are not consciously romanticized; they are treated as they are recalled or as was related. If in the telling, they are made to seem more important than they were, or if they were given a mantle of gentility that they dont deserve, it wasnt done consciously. All one can do is tell it like it is, hope that it is admired for its honesty, if not for its comfort, and hope that the effort is appreciated. It should also be recognized that what I recall, or what made an imression on me as to any event may have been recalled entirely differently by one of my siblings, or what we were told may have been recalled entirely differently. After all, that is the nature of oral history recorded a half a century plus later. I have read some of the incidents of each of my parents youthes, and have the effort that each made to record some of them. Both are just a few pages long. I have no doubt, however, that to them, they record what each recalled as being important in their lives, and that their writings record the things that they recalled and wanted to pass on to their children, grandchildren and subsequent generations. And yet each is but a single chapter. Mother doesnt mention, for instance, what she said and did when I was recording our conversation about the dirty ballad that she knew. (Actually, it was quite tame, and in contrast to present day rap, didnt begin to hold its own.) And for dad, some of the most interesting stories are best left untold. My father was very closed mouthed about his youth, and it wasnt until he was almost ninety that he opened up about some things. As to others, I had to wait until he was in his grave before I learned them, and learned them, then, from my siblings. He specificially avoided telling me about certain things. I recall specifically, that I was given some of the stories by dads younger brother when I was sixteen years old. When I laughingly told them to dad, his comment was, Roy never should have told you that. Some families dont pass on the rich history and heritage that they have. In my own case, having been preceded in death by my elder son, and not being sure of the interest of my other son, this effort is made for the benefit of my other relatives. They have asked me about it - at least some of them have. I make no apologies for the the lack of Notable Americans. I started to say, great Americans, but that would have been wrong. All of my forebears were Great Americans. Its just that they were never recorded as such, or noted. The history speaks for itself.