Above the Horizon: Postscript

Stop running away at the sight of this title, ya scaredy-blogger.

Really. I’m done exhausting and exhuming the story of my grandma and dad. But at this point, before I move back to the usual programming of posts that detail how Jessica Alba is somehow like a Shamrock Shake–and other random pop culturized profundities that are, in truth, what actually occupy my brain–I thought I’d squeeze one more drop out of this family tale.

By now, it’s not much more than a vanity project. Interestingly, the vanity has come about because–and hold your mullet here, Wayne!–I’ve actually learned how to use our scanner, and therefore I am veddy, veddy proud of my small, delicate, “copy-button”-pushing finger, the one what has bravely helped a host of old family photos to become computer friendly. Honest to Edison, before these past weeks, when I’d use pre-2004 photos on my blog, I’d just prop them up on the counter out on the back porch and take pictures of them that way. Good, old-fashioned digitization and all.

So as long as I’m feeling flush with pride over my techno-smarts, and so long as I’m struggling to grade the work of 90 online summer students and therefore have smallish writing time, and so long as we’re pondering family and how its members resonate through the generations, I thought I’d provide this mini-album of photos.

My dad? Was talented and pragmatic and gentle and awesome. My eight-year-old girl, who is talented in her own fashion but not necessarily musically, is doing her best to occasionally hit the right note and sporadically find the dominant beat. But she LOVES her music, as did my dad. And she’s definitely pragmatic and gentle and awesome.

Look at these two Beethovens, in photos taken decades apart. Legacy, indeed.

Dad at the wheel

Girl in her first recital, last weekend

Dad, as I remember him best

Girl, feelin’ groovy

Dad, in tails, directing his college choir

Girl, taking direction and managing to use her hands and voice simultaneously

And then.

There’s Wee Niblet Paco Dinko, the five-year-old here in the house. As resident goofa$$, he is clearly mine. But how, exactly, can he be traced back to my dad and that serious branch of the family?

This might be our only evidence of a relationship.



By Jocelyn

There's this game put out by the American Girl company called "300 Wishes"--I really like playing it because then I get to marvel, "Wow, it's like I'm a real live American girl who has 300 wishes, and that doesn't suck, especially compared to being a dead one with none."


  1. Dinko’s your wild card, a spontaneous genetic mutation that ensures the survival of the species through diversification of skills.


    I didn’t just make that up.

    Oh no.


  2. your dad is smiling down at your girl and no doubt laughing his stoic finnish butt off in the afterworld as he regards the boy.

  3. It’s the nostrils. Clearly related.

    I envy you your scanning skills. We had a broken scanner next to our computer for several years, which I finally got tired of dusting every 6 months (because I firmly believe one should only waste time dusting if one can really feel good about the difference before and after). I think I may have to resort to your technique of photographing the photo. Simple, yet brilliant, and I am embarassed to say, one I had just not thought of.

  4. Ya know, your kids may just surprise the living daylights out of you one of these days, as they grow and mature and suddenly, out of no where, you see this or that family trait, or resemblance or talent emerging! My kids are 41, 35 and 32 and they still never cease to amaze me as I see little bits and pieces of various others of my family, long passed from here, showing up in each of them. And what a glorious feeling it is to see those people re-appearing in my life after all these years too! Trust me.

  5. You’ll probably never talk to me again after coming out with this but I can’t help myself. My first thought upon seeing your dad at that very grand piano was that if a sports car is supposedly a symbol for a man’s, erm, manhood, then what is a piano if not the same thing?

  6. I don’t know if I’ve had a picture of me taken with a regular face in the past dozen years, which means I’m just as childish as my exes say I am.

  7. Great photos. And you know, every family needs a resident goofass. Sadly, my family of three has three.

  8. I would add to Glamourpuss’s comment that Groomeo added hybrid vigor to the equation. So Paco Dinko could be a super-human goofass. Rare indeed.

  9. So girl is following in her Granpa’s musical footsteps I see. As for Wee Niblet Paco Dinko, you might want to consider spontaneous genetic rearrangement as an explanation. The genes are there, they just decided to express themselves in a more original way. 😉

  10. I’m sure in his own mind,your dad’s face looked exactly like Wee Niblet Paco Dinko every time something went wrong mechanically, but he just kept that cool control personna.My father-in-law was the intelligent one at university that wasn’t allowed to enlist to go to WW2,being seen as too sensitive, and not robust enough.He really wanted to go,made more difficult by the constant family accolades surrounding his enlisted brother.Personally I think everyone was doing the FIL a favour and knew him very well!

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