Monday, December 19, 2016 – another eventful day

A facebook message from a relative turned into one of those how is so and so and how is so and so and I learned that a cousin passed away after a lengthy illness. I immediately phoned his oldest daughter to express condolences and that turned into a revealing conversation about our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, and of course, the great migration. And as always, more questions than answers.

I recalled, after the conversation, my father’s grief over his sister’s (her grandmother’s) passing. He walked into the house after the funeral and said, “Now I don’t have anybody left.” I remember my six year old brain wondering, momentarily, as six year old brains often do, who and what were we to him. Of course, he was merely lamenting the previous loss of his mother and father, accentuated by the loss of his sister and only sibling. Still, I took it very personally, as six year olds often do. Note to self: be careful what comes out of your mouth around impressionable children.

In 2017, I hope to do a better job of keeping in touch with my Maxwell relatives, especially the direct descendants of my grandfather, Walter J. Maxwell. The fact that folks moved North and West is no reason to not maintain strong links and ties these days and times.

The Russian Ambassador was killed at a public event in Ankara yesterday. Bad news for diplomats everywhere. Bad news for current events in Syria. A ModPo friend posted, “Is the Russian Ambassador in Ankara, Turkey the 2017 Archduke François- Ferdinand ?” Hope not, but we do live in trying times. And several people were killed when a truck drove into a market crowd in Berlin. And I hear there were “events” in Zurich, and in Egypt and Jordan.

The Electoral College met yesterday in the several states, confirming the election results. I am glad to see more sober analysis of the Electoral College as an historic institution, its ties to the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1920 and, ultimately and directly, to the Three-Fifths Compromise, both of 1773 and 1787. It’s an historic anachronism whose time may have come for serious reconsideration. For your consideration.

Last night the Carolina Panthers beat the team from Washington, dashing their hopes of a wildcard playoff berth. I’m not sure what football means anymore.