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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ancestor Dinner

Last Friday night was the big Ancestor Dinner at her school in Carmichael.  Yes, I am revealing more than I normally do about my personal life in my genealogy blog here.  The dinner was fun.  It was the culmination of quite a bit of work on the part of all of the students.

In February, my daughter spent hours putting together her presentation poster, writing the report, and rehearsing her presentation for the class.  Her family artifacts were really two-fold.  Each student had to bring in something or a photo of a family artifact to share with the class.  My daughter brought a duck decoy that was carved by Uncle John Maxwell Flanagan.  Her second artifact was photos of the Flanagan Ranch house in Carneros - 1900, 2008, and 2013.   Those three photos showed the old, the before renovation, and the after.  The after is the redone house that was completed last Fall.

Let's just say that the duck decoys were a hit in second grade.  The Flanagan Ranch house is probably a more adult concept.  My daughter asked if she'd ever been there.  I could with certainty tell her that she was there in 2008 walking the premises when the house was fairly dilapidated.  She found that to be interesting.  As far as sharing the concept of the Flanagan's with 30 other seven and eight year old children, that's another story.

My mom was funny about the duck decoys.  We were trying to figure out how old they were.  Were they carved by John as a teen, young adult or when he was older?  My mom said that my grandfather (Richard) and John used to go duck hunting as adults.  Now, this seemed to be new information to me.  I did not know that they did this as adults.  We wonder if it was in the 1940s, 50s, or 60s that they did this.   We may not get the answer to any of this.

There were several duck decoys.  You'd string them together with rope and float them in a line on the water to attract other ducks.  I have 2 decoys.  My mom has a few as does my sister.  I'm not sure that all of them were carved by John but mine were.  The bottom of the decoys have J M F carved into them in caps.  My mom also gave some decoys to her cousin up in Oregon who is a hunter.  The decoys belonged to my grandfather (Richard J. Flanagan) until he passed away in 2000.

As for the dinner, it was fun, the students sang a few songs in a performance, the food was awesome, and the evening passed very quickly.  The designated family photo area was decorated with laminated paper quilt squares that each student had made in art class.

Part of the students' singing was complimented by their signing the words and parts of each song too.  My daughter has been signing (yes, sign language) along with the songs she sings since Kindergarten.  It was an amazing performance and a great way to honor family, heritage, and ancestry.  We also got to eat some amazing food!

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