the wind and i just come and go

Skeletons in the closet – sort of…

My family, brothers, sister and their children mostly, know that for many years I have worked on tracing the genealogy of the Lindsay family as well as other branches, including some of the in-laws (Scoppa, Hasslinger, Stokes, Ahrendt/Tozier, as well as Pam’s family, although her cousin Karen has done a ton of work on the Ordways.  Through this medium, I will try to bring the history as I know it to the present.  The oldest relative I am sure of is John B. Lindsay, Sr.  He is the great grandfather of my dad, my gg grandfather.  He was born in 1820 on Christmas day, according to a statement he made to a journalist in Clark County, Washington in about 1895, at the age of 73.  There is no record that I have been able to find where he mentions his parents, although he also stated for the journalist that he was born in Harrison County, Ohio.  We learned alot about him after I connected with Arnie Lindsay in Sheridan, OR, and later Roy J. Lindsay Jr., in Madison, SD.   Both are cousins from John B’s second marriage in Washington Territory in about 1856.  He first married Margaret Norman, who gave him five children. In April of 1849, John B. left his home in Muscatine County, Iowa, for the promised land of the Oregon Territory.  Margaret and her four children and stayed behind.  What John B. probably did not know was that she was pregnant with the fifth, Mary Margaret, when he left.  More to follow. Image


I was, many years ago, a fairly active political participant and observer.  Forty years later, I have thrown up my hands.  “Lindsay, I can never figure you out – are you a liberal or a conservative?”  My standard answer? “Yes, I am”.   That is my answer because it is true.  I think, I analyze, and keep my mouth shut unless and until I have a clear and comfortable handle on the issues.  That is not very often.  Some people would be surprised, I think, by what I believe, and it will vary by issue.  I will take a “liberal” position on some things, pretty “conservative” positions on other things, and by the political tenet that I hold most dear – “the right to be left alone”  as made famous by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.  The things I have decided are just that.  Mostly minor things, insignificant, but things I can put away as decided.

You want me to “re-engage”?  Here’s what we can do.  Get the money in politics down to a reasonable level.  In fact, I liked 1968.  Let’s use that, and ok, you can adjust for inflation.  No corporate money – directly or indirectly.  One man, one vote.   You are who you say you are until proven otherwise.   Let’s pay the bills, no bullshit about how deficit spending is the only thing that will keep our economy strong.  I will pay taxes for what I cost the government and gladly assist those who have problems doing the same, both with charity and my taxes.   Let’s do term limits, with a sundown strategy after 20 years.  If it hasn’t worked by then, we’ll go back to doing what we know isn’t working now.   Lets put the job of drawing the lines for districts in the hands of somebody who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.  And I heard this about that the other day, and I think it’s brilliant:  A political district can have no more than five linear sides.  No squiggling about to include or exclude neighborhoods or politico-ethnic concentrations.  Gerrymandering, I believe it is called, and it is just another way for the party in power to preserve their influence after the people have tired of them.

If you’re a politician, and I don’t care what party you are from, don’t tell me you are proud of the job you do as long as we are spending millions on wars and our people, including many veterans are losing their homes because they got sick and can’t pay the bills.  The rest of the world seems to have figured it out.  We just can’t get past our greed and self interest to let it go.   Based on my experience with my parents and other elderly folks I know, we have a pretty good system: it’s called Medicare.  It works.   Doctors still drive BMW’s, and corporate as well as not for profit hospitals build one after another, sometimes right on top of another.   Every one is mucking around in the money pot.  Corporate investors, individuals, attorneys, insurance companies, attorneys, manufacturers, and the medical professionals.

One thing I am, and have found that it follows a long family tradition, is that I am a pacifist.  I believe in peace.  Got my buddy in trouble for naming me as one of his friends, almost cost him his army job, as I understand it.  I walked the anti-war picket lines.  I had things thrown at me, and got jeered at work.  When I thought about joining the military, my dad had a one word answer “NO!”  I would challenge you to look at the pictures of the day after at Gettysburg and tell me war makes sense.  That is where the family history as conscientious objectors got it’s start.  As members of the Christadelphians in Ogle County, IL, my great grandfather and his family took a stand against armed conflict as well as against slavery.





A memo from my friend Thoreau

Many years ago, a friend gave me a little book of quotations from Thoreau.  She signed it: “Since Walden seems to be your Bible, I thought you would enjoy,  Love, BH”. My friend was very Catholic, and if I had been, things probably would have worked out. I wouldn’t say it was my Bible, I think that would risk hell and damnation.  It was my conservative evangelical upbringing  – just that Thoreau and to some extent Emerson, always resonated with me. she and I went different directions, but remain friends to this day.  I am happy with my path and I know she is happy with hers. My debt to Beverly is that she pushed me along mine.  Thoreau has always given me a path to walk, (not run).  I have been to Walden.  Living among the beautiful lakes of Southeastern Wisconsin, the pond was unimpressive in comparison, but you could feel the solitude, which I have always craved.  Every once in a while, I run across something I have never seen before from my friend Thoreau, and one came to me this morning from the blue of the internet.  I am an advocate of teaching kids to write, in cursive.  To be able to develop and have a signature. To be able to write a note and stick in their wallet or purse.  Writing your name gives you an identity, something only you can do the way you do it.  My signature was something I consciously developed when I was at OSU (Oshkosh State University).  If you wanted cash, you had to write a check at the bookstore for cash.  As I recall, the limit was $5 or $10, so I had to write lots of checks.  (Beer was a quarter)  I worked on my signature.  I had lived with my brother Jerry and his wife for awhile, and I admit, I copied his signature.  It kills me that we “don’t have time to teach cursive”  – so I was struck by this quote from my friend Thoreau:  “Writing your name can lead to writing sentences, and next you’ll be writing paragraphs and then books.  And then you’ll be in as much trouble as I am.”  I am proud to say my writing has gotten me into trouble at times.  At OSU, letters to the editor of the Advance Titan about the war in Viet Nam, about campus “rules”  and later  at UW-Whitewater, when I led the losing side when the powers that be wanted to arm the security guards on campus. (they shot a kid a short time later for stealing a boom box from a dorm room).  Later as a minor public official, when I proposed changes to any thing for which the reason  was “because we’ve always done it that way”  I’ve always been a troublemaker and a pot stirrer when something doesn’t make sense.  Life is quieter now.  I have my Walden.  It is Passing Wind farm, where we raise no animals save for one 14 year old Springer Spaniel. For crops, we raise only hay and perennial flowers because I don’t want to mow it all. We host a large quantity of bees for a friend, but that is the extent of our farming.  It all started with writing my name                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 . Image