I thought this story in the New Yorker about the family of 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Allen (1941-) during the first half of the 20th century was interesting. In two words, his family was “Old Money.”
In contrast, I think most of my ancestors could be described by the word “Farmers.” This isn’t bad, of course, but I think it’s interesting to read or hear about people’s families (Albert Einstein, for example) and think that, instead of being from an urban middle class family, most if not all of my recent ancestors have been farmers.
Both of my grandfathers served in the army, but that’s sort of an accident of being born male in the mid- and late 1920s – one grandfather served in the South Pacific during World War II, and the other served in Korea during the Korean War.
I think one of my great-grandmothers had a college degree, which probably wasn’t terribly common in the 1920s, and divorces probably weren’t that common either, but I’m not exactly certain just how common either of those things were at the time.
Anyway, I always think this sort of thing is interesting to think about. On a lighter note, I started watching “Community” earlier today, and now I can understand its popularity among my friends. I remember seeing an episode about 4 years ago, but now I’ve seen the first three in order and it all makes a bit more sense.