Legacy

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When you die, how do you wish to be remembered
and by whom?

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konzack-tacquard-pedigree-chart

click here to enlarge

The five of us lounged in recliners and the two soft leather couches with wine or cocktails in hand. We had finished our saucers with portions such as artichoke dip with Mediterranean Herb or Sea-salted pita crackers. Fresh strawberries, grapes, broccoli and cauliflower bites and a crab-log dip were also available. After all, it was my small, modest birthday party — just as I like it.

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom?

We five had arrived at this question in a rather funny way. Ms. Lyncháge had been describing how when she and her late husband had friends over to their small farm cottage, his billy goats — particularly the bucks she explained — seemed to always mount the does just in time and en massé to show off the grandeur of raw masculinity to their human guests. Her and her late husband’s embarrassed… umm, excuses to guests about the loud pornographic show was essentially caused by the local water and/or the trees, bushes, weeds, or “Fescue-passion grass” as possible causes of untimely uninhibited goat-sex. “Is there much difference between goat-love and any other mammalian love?” I asked the room. My mother chimed in “Hah! As one of eleven children, I can safely say ‘HELL YES!’” She pointed over to a large picture of my maternal grandparents (below), specifically her father.

felix-blanche-bonnet

Grandpa & Grandma Bonnet

If there were a hundred different oral tales and stories about my maternal grandparents, the one that was always discernible was Grandpa Bonnet was cheerfully relaxed and content and Grandma Bonnet:  easily agitated. Apparently twelve times and over 172 years agitated, if combining all their children’s rearing years! Ms. Lyncháge, my Mom, and Mrs. Mortician all vehemently gave their personal agreements, and with all being grandmothers too, in unison proclaimed proudly and resoundingly “Keep your damn thingy AWAY from me!

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom?

Several months ago I learned from Mom more about the maternal side of the Bonnets:  the Preece side. It was widely suspected among my maternal grandmother’s family that two, possibly three Aunts were ladies of the night. This apparently was one cause (among many I’m sure) to why one Preece-branch was Pentecostal Church goers, and the other… umm, “something else.” As our family story goes, my Grandpa and Grandma Bonnet would not talk much about “that part” of the family. At family reunions I often heard from other maternal aunts, uncles, great cousins, great aunts and great uncles that “not much is known about that side of the family.” No matter how many times Why was asked, the answers were short and vague. A family conundrum having lived within a few miles or half-day’s slow horse ride from each other!

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom?

Last July while visiting two days/nights with my Aunt and Uncle — my Dad’s younger brother and sister-in-law — I learned some fascinating details about my paternal grandmother’s side (Konzack and Tacquard) going back five and six generations to Xavier and wife Robin Gauthier, who in the early 1800’s lived southwest of Paris, France in Baillou near Le Mans. It was known much of the Tacquard side lived in and around Vauthiermont near Switzerland before some moved toward Paris. I read a copy of a personal letter written in French by Robin Gauthier to my grandmother’s maternal family (the Tacquards) in Alta Loma, Texas transposed into English by one of my French-English speaking great great aunts; see following images.

Learning about such intimate details of our Gauthier and Guyot ancestors, as well as life in 1850s France was not just fascinating, but very personal. They descended from a Germanic origin which in various socio-familial ways, timelines, migrations and immigrations found their way from 1830-1840’s Europe to Galveston and Indianola, Texas. As the personal letter reads, the story of our Tacquard family is one of genuine enthusiasm and some hardships. It explains in part why so many traveled so far to Texas for new opportunities.

The majority of otherwise less known white-Texas history — for example, the truer history as opposed to those families from southeastern and midwest slave states from early America and their versions — actually originates from German, French, and some Eastern European, Italian, and Spanish heritage. These various Texian-Tejano families typically settled in early 19th-century townships and counties with familiar cultures and customs. Several Texas genealogical historians today record that these groups of Texas-Europeans fled their native continent to escape political, religious, and racial tyrannies. This stands in clear contrast to what southeastern and midwest slave-owning U.S. families brought to mid-to-late 19th-century Texas which is more widely told or written. Most all of my maternal and paternal ancestral family sides were, in various degrees, libertarians, reformists, agorists, abolitionists, and/or egalitarians. Click here for a brief encapsulation of the first Tacquards arriving in 1844 Indianola and founding the town of Castroville, Texas. They tried to stick together through time and travels, usually succeeding. My Konzack-Tacquard line had what might only be described as (by wide comparisons)… unconventional spousal, parenting, passionate and lively social relationships within their innermost circle.

Romance, dancing, flirtation, absorbing enchantment, and frankly sex were never viewed or practiced as dirty, evil, or sinful. On  the contrary, it was gladly embraced as quite natural, quite human; a necessary pleasure if you will. My paternal grandmother was a nationally competing ballroom dancer, and she was exceptionally graceful. Her mother, my great grandmother Lucile Tacquard-Konzack, I fondly remember as spunky, charmingly agile for her lofty age, forthright, and always ready to laugh. My father absolutely idolized her. She and her family loved life and those dearest to her. Every year the “Kiddo” Tacquard reunion, barbeque, spirited-beverages, and live music by bands that could play all the popular Texas 2-step and waltz songs, 1950’s jitterbugs and swings, as well as the traditional French-German polkas and schottisches out on Kiddo’s massive unwalled hay-barn with concrete foundation scattered with sawdust was a town spectacle. It was a gathering of all in-law families and close friends numbering in the hundreds. Through my adolescence into my 20’s this partying reunion was an event I feverishly looked forward to every July 4th holiday weekend! Some of my fondest happiest memories were there with everyone.

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These family traits were and had been passed down from generation to generation, especially through maternal family lines. My father learned about intercourse from a live demonstration by his parents at the age of sixteen. Tis true. Upon the death of my paternal grandmother, my aforementioned uncle and aunt, while sorting through all her private belongings, discovered in one of her favorite books several nude photos of herself taken at their nearby rural bayou-property. Shy, as I remember, was never a Konzack-Tacquard quirk. Life was to be fully experienced, not feared.

So returning to my present-day birthday party-guests, I shared these family customs, with some discretion of course, and I asked the room…

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom?

tacquard_1

My great grandmother Lucile Tacquard-Konzack, c. 1916

I would destroy or burn anything like that!” replied Mrs. Mortician. “Oh, I have already done away with” Ms. Lyncháge explained, “items of that nature between my late husband and I.” We all laughed at such family secrets. Earlier in the evening in the kitchen they had heard my Mom and I briefly talk about our Preece Ladies of the Night and more family secrets. And why not? When you are among close dear friends who are very trustworthy, what are “appropriate” necessary boundaries? What constitutes truly endearing adoring friendships? What should immediate and extended family descendants be expected to understand about multi-faceted dynamics and expressions of love? Who best to learn from?

Over the last couple years my mother continues packing or unpacking to move out of her house going through very sentimental personal letters and items she and my father exchanged while dating. Reading and reminiscing she tacitly expressed to me how passionate and sexual their earliest years had truly been. My personality (family DNA?) warmly thought “How natural; how very human. As it should be.

As a tribute from my own generation’s music, I offer this song I feel is my dance of life for my family of lifetime music-loving dancers going back at least five and six generations…

m1-edison-amberola-phonograph_1

A Konzack-Tacquard heirloom – 1913 Edison Amberola Phonograph

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom?

In my own personal lifetime, I too have created and accumulated MANY cherished romantic, fervent, even wickedly primal moments, and many with photos, in letters, and on video. During our separation and inevitable divorce, my children’s mother made me burn everything intimate and/or sexual we had between us, including all the Swinging-BDSM photos and videos. At the time I did so in the earnest hope I might save our marriage and my family. Today, I understand why she demanded it all be destroyed, but I don’t agree with her reasons. To this day I still have 3-5 recently past relationships of cherished, romantic, steamy memories safely and secretly stored away. Those 3-5 ladies know I have them and the others. To them, or any intimate partner in my future, I do not hide this. It is my way of expressing to them how much they meant to me and still mean to me. All beauty and passion should be free. All have opportunities to be just as adored, just as loved if not more. Come what may!

come-join-me

My hope is that she/they would embrace all my moving past life-moments and for my own personal reasons, cherished memories from a window of time that made me who I am. Very fun unforgettable times, past. Moments captured in a time gone by, but not lost. Nothing more, nothing less. Or are they?

If you pass into the afterlife, or pass from this life sooner than expected, suddenly… should those cherished, sentimental, romantic, passionate things be (or have been) destroyed forever, never to be known or treasured by even your closest most meaningful persons or descendants?

When you die, how do you wish to be remembered and by whom? What will your true legacy be?

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Footnote — if interested, this post: My Heretical Heritage, covers some of my maternal ancestory.

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12 thoughts on “Legacy

  1. The New Radicals – what a hugely unappreciated and flawlessly hewn album! “Crying Like a Church on Monday” – with great lyrics too. Anyway, it’s interesting to read of your European lineage, Professor; have you travelled much at all within the continent? As to your closing question, then I think it is sufficient a success to pass from this world leaving in others no memory traces of bad deeds. Harmlessness is enough – the only legacy I wish to leave. We’ll see how I fare over what remains of time; it’s all been a work in progress, but that’s the goal.

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    • On the continent? Yes, it included England: London, Oxford, and Portsmouth. Then Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels and Anderlecht, Germany: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, Austria: Salzburg, Linz, and Vienna. All of it for/with football-soccer.

      Hmmm, harmless and no bad deeds. Fair enough. Perhaps much better than many, huh? 😉 Ahh yes, “a work in progress.” As it should always be my friend.

      How much of the world have you had the fortune of seeing, visiting, or living? Perhaps North America?

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      • Of course! I forgot the footballs! Oh yes, I’ve been to your fine country tons of times, mainly in the seventies and eighties. I used to take an annual trip to Napa Valley in January to tour the wineries, but have been East, West and in-between on business. The only bad experiences I’ve ever had in the States – and I had them every time I visited – was with the immigration officials at the airports. They were always so incredibly rude and unwelcoming that I can only presume it was part of the training. The one time I felt welcomed in was at JFK when the official saw that I had $40k in travellers cheques – “Come right in my friend! Welcome!”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How timely your blog. When I was packing to move into our new place, I came across a diary that I had started when he and I had been dating. I had to smile at the vivid memories that my diary had brought back to me since the entries were very explicit and detailed! I laughed when I was discussing this find with my hubby and said that I should probably destroy it because if “something were to happen to me” what would the kids think? Oh my!! He looked at me with mischief in his eyes and said, “don’t you dare destroy that”. Me, surprised by his adamant response asked, “why not?” He smiled and said that by reading it they would know we were human and passionate and we should never apologize for that. He went on to say that he hopes that when we die, it is when were naked having sex and the kids find us that way. What a riot that would be! Imagine them telling people just how we died. So yes, I want to be remembered that way, as a person with passion and love and not afraid to demonstrate both even well into my elder years!

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    • Hahaha! I must agree with your husband and your final conclusion about the marrow of life, LIFE with others, especially those intimate and dear to you! 😉

      Had I not known about these ancestors and their personal stories, I would not have as complete a pedigree and understanding of what makes ME tick. I am so grateful for the way my family, my bloodlines were unafraid to LIVE and share that passion with their descendants!

      Thank you for reading & sharing your delicious story LS! ❤ 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is most definitely my favourite post out of all I have read by you Professor; the stories, the photographs, the love shared and openness between you all, it’s really quite wonderful. What a family name too! Konzack Tacquard. Marvellous! You’ll be remembered alright, by many, many people, a great deal of them ladies methinks hahahaha. And, should you leave this terra firma afore esme, she will be one of them, and that memory will be a sparkling one.

    I shall be remembered as a Cloud dancer who brought light and laughter to the blogosphere, from the aether I hope.

    – esme doffing her own top hat back at him upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • My many kind thanks Esme! Yes, the Konzack-Tacquards were/are a lively bunch and do enjoy working hard and playing equally as hard! I am grateful to have come from such “sturdy” bloodlines! 😉

      Light and laughter are most definitely an Esme wake left behind when you enter or leave a room, or establishment! You transfix Darling! Hahahaha!
      (and tips his top hat to the delightful spectacle that is Upon the Cloud) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, Taboo! Our paths meet again, at the end of the bend. Like in all good stories. I have dearly missed your writing, and this entry was both moving and fascinating. It reminded me that our names are made for us in another century. There is something familiar about this, about your family, which is odd. Or is it? The family trees of all of us, of whatever origin or trait, meet and merge at the end of things.

    Liked by 1 person

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