Header artwork by David Thomas

A page for other family members -- and links to heritage

Of course, the first thing that needs to be said is this:

It is silly to call people "related" who share 99.95 % of our genes in common and "unrelated" those who only share 99.9 % of our genes!

So -- nothing about "Heritage Page" should be taken as a "Holier Than Thou" to my cultural background or a slap against anyone else's. Diversity forever! In fact, my German anscestors came here hundreds of years ago to avoid religious prosecution. Enough of that!

Nonetheless, it is kind of fun to trace back the lattice of one's own lifestream -- and to trace forward into the next generations.

My own heritage is 1/2 German, 3/8 Welsh, and 1/8 Native American. In the days ahead, I'll be adding links of relevance to this heritage.

Closer in time, the three people of the "older generation" who have influenced me the most are my mother, my father, and my grandfather. My mother was an English/Drama teacher; my father, an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry; my grandfather, an artist. If you look carefully, you can see all of these influences on my pages.

Some interesting artwork of my son David's can be found at http://www.perceptualvortex.com And my daughter Kristin is working on an interesting site too: http://www.daydream.com/.

Here are some of my mother's poems.

A Spring Moment

@ Barbara Thomas, 1999

Today I saw a male cardinal,

His color, how spectacular.

I saw a dandelion,

Oh, I know it's just a weed,

But its glorious yellow is reason enough for its being.

In the street, children playing kickball.

Happy are they to shed heavy hats and coats and gloves.

Carefree, as only a happy child can be.

Another spring, a gift for my seventy seven years.

A precious moment, fleeting of course.

The cardinal flew away,

The dandelion dried up and blew away.

The chldren left and went inside --

But in a quet time later that day

I recalled the signs of spring,

And I smiled.

Death of a Friend

@Barbara Thomas, 1999

Where were all the angels?

Where was the bright light?

Loved ones already dead

Reaching out a hand

To guide her to heaven.

Absent was the peaceful face,

The acceptance --

All I saw was the ugliness.

The open mouth,

I heard the labored breathing.

I heard the moaning.

Her dying was not easy.

I'm sorry old friend.

I hope the heaven you so believed in

Is all you wanted it to be.

And you can walk and talk with the angels.

You were so sure!

A Birthday Prayer

@Barbara Thomas, 1999

I said I didn't care,

But I do.

I said it doesn't matter,

But it does.

Just another birthday.

But now, seventy plus, every birthday counts.

Tomorrow it will be better

Because it won't be a special day.

So, a few cards,

A few phone calls -- will have to do.

Fill the empty hours, somehow.

And maybe, just maybe next year will be a special day

For someone else besides me.

To Laurie

@ Barbara Thomas, 1993.

It's not all bad
Being forever eleven.
Missing the early teens,
Spots, periods, weight concerns
Boys --
And then late teens -
College, Jobs, Marriage in my twenties.
Maybe a child or two
And then the worry years really begin.
Children, their children.
Never-ending, a life of pain in one form or another with only some
Make-believe spots of happiness.
So, you see --
Up to now, I've had it all
The Joys and yes, some pain of childhood.
Life has been mostly ice cream cones and jumping rope.
And now, who really knows?
It's not so bad you see
Being forever eleven.

@ Barbara Thomas, 10/1994.

Where and when did September go?
My favoraite month gone and
I somehow missed it!
September --
The bridge between summer and winter
School --
How I miss it.
New Beginnings.
First, as a student -- then, a teacher.
Busy, home, family, friends.
And now?
September, a time of doctor appointments, T.V., reading, restless nights.
Each day, just a bridge to the next day.
September held no joy.
It passed me by. I'm not sure, why.

@Barbara Thomas, 10/1995

With her hot days and cool nights.
Her brilliant leaves readied to fall
How can we trust you?
Will you come again with your wiles and come-hither looks?
Go, October!
Winter, at least is honest in his breathless whiteness
And matchless beauty.

A Message to My Roses
@Barbara Thomas, 1999

Please come back again in the spring
Now you are sheltered from winter winds.
I covered you over with Fall's fallen leaves.

All last winter when you were newly born,
I nurtured you in my home.
And one of more of you bloomed in winter's gloom
To bring a smile to my face.
For you were a promise of spring!

Then, on expert advice (what do they
Know -- I should have asked you, my
Brave little plants) -
I planted you outside in summer's sunshine.
And what a joy you gave me!
Sometimes all nine of you were blooming:
Pink, Red, Yellow and White.

You, my precious roses were a
Constant reminder of the love and devotion
Of a son to his mother

So come again in the spring
And revew your life and my day.

(Written accompanying dad @ 1985? to Texas)

Poor kitty,
Hour after hour
You seek shelter from the relentless sun.
Where do you find your food?
Where are your kittens?
For you are a new mommy.
I can see that in your swollen teats,
Your lean body,
Your weariness of man.
I hope this is your last litter -
You look so worn weary,
So uncared for.

Dark feathered birds,
What are you called?
Aggressive, noisy, so unlovely --
You don't seem so graceful as others of your class.
Why do you hang around?
So many dropped tidbits from hotel guests, I suppose.
Do you also eat unwanted insects that thrive on Texas sun?
Get out of here, you unlovely birds --
Fly to California
For a remake of a Hitchcock film.

Alone guest
Always alone
Is that as you wish?
When you leave for the day is there a family waiting?
More of the same housework drudgery?
I hope you have some time off, free to do a "for me time",

Poor sad palm tree,
You died this past brutal winter
And now the city can't afford to bury you.
If only you hadn't been transplanted and transported
You might still be alive
Still climbing majestically heavenward,
Doing your tree-thing,
Instead of standing, naked and tall
A rememberance of Man interfering with Nature, again.

To Jenna
@Barbara Thomas, 1998

My late love,
My last love --
For all my other loves
Are known to me.
Precious grandaughter
Darling girl
May you grow strong and tall,
May you love others
As they will love you.
May you grow in strength
Able to combat all of life's sorrows and joys.
Remember me always
And the winter happiness
You gave to me.

My grandfather traced the German side of his family through the first Weimer republic and hence back to the Norse god Odin.

On the other hand, my Welsh heritage, it seems to me, heads straight back to Merlin.

You might find it interesting to subscribe to: indianz-subscribe@onelist.com

And to the RedRoadNewsletter put out by SumerWCree@aol.com


There's a crack in the Liberty Bell.

And only you and I can fix it.

Fine words the founding fathers uttered.

Brave deeds followed.

Liberty, at long last, was won.

For some.

That first joyous ring did not quite ring true.

We marched the marching band.

But, you see, we stole the land.

Cut the trees.

Then stole people to work the land.

Put them on their knees.

The Bell still sits its silent vigil in Philadelphia, the "Cradle of Liberty."

For some.

But, we could yet make things right, you and I.

We could repair the crack.

Bring the ringing back.

You and I.

We'd have to face the ghost.

We'd have to cross the other side.

We'd have to own up.

Be a big boy.

Be a big girl.

Admit those wrongs to make it right.

Hard to do, for me, for you.

When after all, we've got the power.

It's our finest hour.

We're on top.

Why should we bend?

So, for now, the Bell will wait.




Waiting for us to grow up a little.

But I see a day when the Bell will be whole.

It would take another round of courage to make it our goal.

To hear the sweet sweet knell of Freedom ring true throughout the land.

A Bell without a crack.

A country for all seasons.

A country of rainbow.

A country that doesn't hide its reasons.

A country for the Red and the Blue as well as the White.

Can you begin to hear that faint and distant sound?

Once in a while, whispering on the wind, I can hear the pure tone.

I can hear it ring from way across the water, far across the field.

Can you hear it too?

Here's a poem I wrote about the attitude of taking everything

The Wages of Sin are Death

You don't need all this land.
(I'll take that.)
They're savages, after all.
(I'll take that.)
They don't even believe in our God.
(I'll take that.)
We have superior weapons.
(I'll take that.)
We have more germs.
(I'll take that.)
We need more farmland.
(I'll take that.)
You can go live on that reservation.
(I'll take that.)
Well, now it turns out we need that reservation.
(I'll take that.)
Learn to be a farmer like us.
(I'll take that.)
Well, not THAT successful a farmer. Move on.
(I'll take that.)
Killing buffalo is fun. Take a photo.
(I'll take that.)
We need to put a railroad here.
(I'll take that.)
A little smoke in the air? Who cares?
(I'll take that.)
You leave the reservation, you die.
(I'll take that.)
You practice old ways, you die.
(I'll take that.)
We need more land. Go live in that tiny corner.
(I'll take that.)
WHAT! You're making money?! No way!!
(I'll take that.)
We need more factories.
(I'll take that.)
We need to cut more trees.
(I'll take that.)
We need to get all the fish we can NOW.
(I'll take that.)
The waters of the world are polluted.
(I'll take that.)
The ozone layer is depleted. Skin cancer.
(I'll take that.)
Acid rain; lead and mercury for the brain.
(I'll take that.)
A world of death. A world without breath.
(I'll take that.)

Now, for something more modern, and perhaps more cheery, here's an early painting by my niece ....

Carly's Dragon


If you have any suggestions about heritage links, please write me at: truthtable@aol.com
Last modified: Thursday, June 6, 2002