The Truth … According to Greg
Sometimes truth hurts. But it’s still truth. What I’ve always been able to do is express my opinion, even when it got me in trouble, and that’s what I do here as I explore the family history of, well, me.
If you want to know more about me, click here, but I have always been a voracious reader, a student of history, interested in how the world works, and wanting to know our place as humans in it. What is the meaning of life? Is there a meaning to life? Is there a point to the progression of human events, or, as has been said, is history just one damn thing after another?
It is these “big picture” concepts that fascinate me, but also draw me to the specifics of my own evolution as a human being that compels me to investigate it.
At the same time, lately, I am also inspired to write about it by all those who feel the need to loudly proclaim their version of “facts” but demonize those who might think otherwise. You know who you are.
Well, actually, you probably don’t, but just know that you will always be welcome here. Challenge me, take me on, prove that I am just another one of those radical, left-wing California whacko snowflakes beholden to the mainstream media, the Clintons, the Obamas, George Soros, or any combination thereof. Show the world that I am “woke”!
And so, The Truth … According to Greg is a blend of history, current events, politics, religion, education, and, well, you name it. And trains. There’ll probably be a lot about trains. It’s my take on the world around us, and it may not always be pretty.
What you won’t see here is the genealogy part of The World According to Greg. For that, I direct you to The Story of Us on this site and to my other site, finescalehd.com. In that regard, there are several parts to this project. First, there is the raw data — who is related to who, laid out in a tree or some other form, the emergence of DNA as a common tool, and the methods used in researching those connections. That can be exciting as one discovers connections or relationships never seen before.
Second, there is the what happened when. Even more exciting — or touching, or gripping, or sad, perhaps — are the stories and things that bring us together as a family, that try to explain the meaning of our lives, or, are just plain funny. Or touching. Or gripping. Or sad. The stories there are in no particular order, and as you will see, reading these stories and looking through photos, documents, and family trees, the story to date is expansive. It encompasses Hiles and Penroses, Bousmans and Korhonens.
Add in my wife’s family, and you have Baughs and Bensons, Huffines and Dudymotts, not to mention all the other branches extending out on both sides. Our family tree includes three American presidents, another major-party presidential candidate, a U.S. senator, some prominent scientists and doctors, business tycoons, and a family that extends back to the colonial era well before the American Revolution.
It also includes our share of scoundrels, philanderers, neer-do-wells, a domestic terrorist, and possibly even a murderer or two.
After 42 years, I fulfilled a bucket list item. But was justice actually committed?
It was hard to leave the Bay Area but Ella had another destination down the road she had also longed to see. We got a lunch of pie, cakes and milk, and hastened to the train and around four o”clock we were on our way. The view all along the coast line was simply magnificent,…
All of a sudden, things got extremely busy for me …
Ella and family finally see the Pacific Ocean and it seemed to meet her expectations
“Wandering in a garden of dreams,” she said, “and it also convinced me that after seeing such a wonderland of beauty that there was surely a mistake about there being an ugly sordid side of life.”
I’m not exactly sure what the “most thrilling wonderful places” the Hiles would have missed that night were that could top their Royal Gorge experience. But I wasn’t quite prepared for what happened next.
As a historian, what do you do with passages that don’t always hold the subject in a good light?
After the emotional rollercoaster of the preceding day, it was time for the more mundane but some weren’t having it …
The Hiles view the grandeur of the landscape but also experience the vagaries of life.
The end of a long, first full day of travel found the Hiles in Denver, Colorado, with a few challenges to be addressed upon their arrival.
On the first night of their journey, the Hiles get situated, meet a stranger, and begin to appreciate the scenery in all its magnificence.
It’s not entirely clear why they left on the trip, but looking back over the decades and forward to our present situation, we certainly have some clues. The spring of 1919 arrived — much like the spring of 2022 — following some harrowing and frightening times.
Over at the Gogebic County courthouse on June 11, 1928, the Reverend Axel G. Pearson officiated the nuptials of 21 year-old Gisborn Sherman Penrose of Hurley, Wisconsin and 19 year-old Helmi Sylvia Johnson of Ironwood, Michigan as witnessed by Leo Penrose, the groom’s cousin, and Signia Johnson, the bride’s sister. At least that’s what the marriage license said.
A renewal of old family relations came at exactly the right time and place, fueled by someone I’ve never met.
If there ever was a family member I would have liked to have known better, it would probably have been my great grandmother.
Slow news days happen every once in awhile and sometimes things that might go relatively unnoticed to the rest of the world, in today’s parlance, “go viral” and you never know what you’re going to get.
As we come up on my youngest son Justin’s birthday, some things with regard to The Curse of the Hile Males bear reminding as to the implications for us Hile males. So, I made a list.
If anyone embodied the Finnish notion of sisu it had to be my grandmother. As stoic and resilient as they come Grandma Penrose was almost deaf, had a heart condition, a double mastectomy, and a very soft voice, but it was always clear just who was in charge.
Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Not that our kids noticed or anything, but what surprises me is that it ever happened at all.
Why am I interested in the prominent members of my family tree? In a word, gravitas …
I never really got to know my great grandmother, but I do remember the day she died. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry.
It’s not just the pretty face. Things just happen to us that we can’t always explain.
My first post-9/11 sermon, delivered at Cottage Way Christian Church in Sacramento, California on Sunday, September 16, 2001. Has it stood the test of time?
ln the span of less than twenty-four hours, I found myself going from embarking on a spiritual virtual journey across the Iberian peninsula to being unable to legally physically drive to the supermarket.
She’s as bad-ass as they come. In fact, she was born bad-ass, following a long line of bad-ass women, like her mother, her grandmothers, and the generations of strong, smart, powerful women before them. Of course, she’s only two, so there’s bound to be a certain amount of figuring out of stuff along the way, but with a face like this, who can doubt she’s going to rule the world some day.
Sarah Skinner McIntyre was a bad-ass woman who lived to almost one hundred. Which brings me to my daughter Lindsay, a bad-ass woman herself, who carries on the tradition of strong, talented, independent, kind, and powerful family women in ways that continue to amaze me and for which I am so proud to be a part of.
William and Frances Finding the Unexpected When You Least Expect it William Bousman was my great-great-great grandfather. Born in 1837 in Clark County, Illinois, William was one of seven boys and six girls born to William Delos Bousman and Nancy Biggs. In 1855 William married Frances Shoemaker of Cooper County, Missouri. The Shoemakers were a…
The response to Sidney Powell’s admission that no reasonable person would believe her claims of electoral fraud proves the existence of what I now call AINOs — Americans in Name Only. It’s sad to see people you love reduced to this spectacle of their own doing.
One of the things I tell clients and those interested in family history and genealogy is to be prepared for what you might find. Case in point: me.
We often think of the westward movement as Manifest Destiny and its movers and shakers as noble pioneers. It wasn’t always that way.
Does CAHOOTS work everywhere? Probably not — every community will have their own particulars to work out — but it’s a much better starting point for meaningful discussion and reform than two smirking yahoos. What do you think?
Sometimes, genealogy can be used not only to prove family relationships, but also to disprove it. Case in point: if you follow California wing nuts you have no doubt heard that our governor Gavin Newsom is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. Uh, no. He’s not.
It was easy to laugh at Trump and his followers because we knew it couldn’t last. But now it’s no longer funny as the blood of Americans is in their hands.
President Obama stirred up a bit of controversy on the campaign trail in 2012 when he said people succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
Is this the new church? Probably. And just as probable, like pretty much everything in the church, change will not come quickly or easily, but, yeah, this is the new church.
The long lost hobbies people around the world people are revisiting during the coronavirus pandemic
Whether it is incredulous politicians or innocent and well-meaning genealogists and family historians, as we navigate the sometimes difficult pathway between truth and assumption, we must always consider the source.
People keep asking me who I’m voting for. The overriding question for me has also always been the ability to beat Trump, hold the House, and take back the Senate, and for awhile it seemed like Biden might go down for the count. South Carolina changed all that, and so I’m sticking with Joe.
It was six years ago to this very day that someone joined our little train group but didn’t last long. Keep in mind we’re a pretty chill group of mostly older men who still play with trains.
Who knew this would become a recurring topic?
An example of my outdoor model train layout projects
An essential skill in genealogical and family history work is an appreciation for detail and a passion for investigation. Even when it’s the president of the United States …
Aside from the fact that their Bible calls those who demand a return to prayer in schools hypocrites for demanding such public prayer (Matthew 6:5-6), it’s also just not true that prayer is banned from high school football. At least not in God-fearing California.
All people, at all times, must have created myths and stories to sketch a picture of our place under the sun. As I would ask myself what is the purpose of life and what is my role in that purpose, I came to wonder who in my past sat around a campfire and asked those same questions.
A couple recent incidents have sparked this question, and I name names.
Based on family oral history it is highly likely that I am related to William Jennings Bryan but exactly how is still not quite clear from the documentary evidence. This points out an important factor to consider when doing genealogy research, namely that one cannot sit in front of a computer and expect perfect, full, and complete answers.
Christmas has not been always been that joyous of an occasion for me over the years. Still, Christmas has its moments, family traditions that only the family would understand and appreciate and covet, children discovering and rediscovering Santa Claus, or whatever is special for you.
Most of my family tree branches go back several hundred years. The Dudymott lineage, on the other hand, is another story. James Dudymott was born in Pennsylvania in 1812. At that point, the Dudymott name turns into what genealogists call a brick wall.
Located near Mt. Lassen National Park in Northern California, the Allen Telescope Array (funded by the late Paul Allen) searches for extra-terrestrial signals from outer space. Makes you wonder what in the world those from beyond Earth must be thinking as they listen in on us.
Actually, none of the people in the photo were parents or grandparents of mine. Enter the good folks at WikiTree, of whom I am proud to be a member.
We all remember Lois Lane from the Superman sagas in comic books, on television, and in the movies. Smart, tough-as-nails, and tenacious, the world might never have discovered who the Man of Steel really was behind those glasses had it not been for the star reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper.
My first foray into genealogy and family history occurred when I was a nine-year old fourth grader at John Enders Elementary School in Garden Grove, California. Now let me make it perfectly clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being Korean. It’s just that I don’t happen to be one.
It all started back in the early 1990s at University Christian Church in Berkeley, California, but not really …
Funny the kinds of things we remember out of our past, and as we celebrate another Thanksgiving, what are the little memories you bring to the table?
My first — and last — post here was in 2014 almost five years ago. Okay, so it wasn’t all that short of a break, but I had a reason. Several of them, actually.
A blend of genealogy, history, current events, politics, religion, education, and, well, you name it. And trains. Here are the stories and things that bring us together as a family, that try to explain the meaning of our lives, or, are just plain funny. Or touching. Or gripping. Or sad.
The World According to Greg began as an exercise to prove to my boss that a website and SEO placement could be done in-house.