I'm one of those people who never knew ordinary. Even the most degenerate of my ancestors had some shining quality that made them stand out among the rest--usually long enough to get singled out by those organizing such things as firing squads. I'm not saying that many of them didn't have it coming, but I also know that a lot of the fire in my political soul was birthed in the foolish and passionate idealism of those who shaped my genes.
So I'm doing what a lot of people do at my age. I'm trying to put together a family history of the European side of the family. It's proving far more difficult than I ever imagined because I'm running into the classic problems of memory, facts, how we remember because we have something at stake in the final memory, and facts as mutable and passionately birthed isms.
Tomorrow I'll post the first story about a concert my uncle gave at the end of the war in Trieste. He played Gershwin.