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The Other Side
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John Sherk's comment reminded me about the other side of the family--the Quakers. Also on these shores since the mid-17th century, persecuted for their non-puritan, pacifist beliefs. And with a reputation for integrity and honesty, made themselves financially comfortable in the world of commerce.

My great-grandmother of that descent inherited a large estate in Connecticut. That family, deeply religious in the Quaker way, were horrified when she chose to marry a firebrand hothead like my great-grandfather. Talk about family fireworks! In the end, though, stubbornness won out. After bearing 8 children, she was dead and he retreated into anger and self-justification. His mother-in-law hated him to his deathbed. "All you need is love," sang the Beatles, but sometimes you need a bit more.

My mother and sister and I stayed in Quaker circles until I came to California. Don't quite know how or why I strayed from those roots, but the influence is still there. I feel it every time I say that there has to be a better way to resolve differences and disputes than bombing someone back into the Dark Ages or blowing oneself up in a crowded market for the faith and for the promise of heaven and umpteen virgins.

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