An English Vocational Surname

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my day off. President’s Day isn’t something that Stef’s company gives them off, so I was on my own for the day. I considered roadtrips and movie watching marathons, but in the end I did research while watching pieces of Roots and Roots II - The Next Generations. I needed to get all of my notes and such in order for the weeks of family history research that lay ahead of me. All in all, it got a bit depressing. It made me wonder why I decided to get involved in this project in the first place.

One of the major realizations of the day came when I was reading through notes I’d received from distant cousins in New Jersey regarding the family history. My first mistake with the Clark ancestor I’ve been focusing on was to assume that mariner, an oft-mentioned occupation in the family, meant fisherman. Once I’d realized the error of my ways, I thought I was done with discovering errors in my assumptions. Unfortunately, I was not.

The New Jersey Clarks apparently had stories passed down of Joseph Clark that cast him as a carpenter, not a mariner. I quickly went to my own notes and records and discovered that I only had him as a mariner on an official record once. It was his ancestors who were constantly coming up as mariners. I had made another costly assumption. Most of my reading centers around the marine trades. I was fucked.

Of course, once I calmed down I realized that it would still be valuable for me to read about the marine trades because that is what he grew up in and, even if he eventually did become a carpenter, he was from that marine background. I’m not sure if any of this is making any sense.

I went out for a little while to buy some supplies from Staples and see if I could find a used copy of DJ Sammy’s Heaven disc. I’ve been hearing his cover/manipulation of the old Bryan Adams’ song “Heaven” a lot recently. I did manage to find a used copy at Bull Moose Music in Salem, NH and all was good.

On my return home I popped in the final episode of the Roots II miniseries and watched it while I finished up my iTunes cover gathering project. Towards the end, I focused my attention on the TV screen and I cried in all the familiar parts, or came close. My melancholia set in around the time that Alex’s father tells the girl at the airport gate that his son, “wrote this book,” while holding up a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X (which Alex wrote in the form of an “as told to” book).

By the time Stephanie got home, I was in full-blown depression. I was moaning about how pointless my writing and research pursuits are. I wondered aloud why I was bothering with anything. My indigestion, stress, and heartburn reared their ugly heads. They continue to wrack my chest with pains as I type this.