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Jump ahead 4-1/2 years….

I’ve been gone from here since the first day I created this blog, March 27, 2007. A long time ago now.  Too long.  But now that I have recently retired from working, I have more time to devote to all the little things I’ve been putting off for my whole life.  One of those things is delving into the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne, thus this blog. 

Today I haven’t got anything to write about.  I hope that isn’t a recurring theme here.  I live in Salem, Massachusetts, the Witch City, where NH was born and lived.  He is my cousin.  I really should have read everything he ever wrote and every word ever written about him.  But I haven’t.  Up until now.  I plan to start that process, here in my 64th year of life.  I hope I have enough years of life left to complete this task.  If I don’t, no one will pick it up for me.  Paul can’t even turn on a computer much less run one. 

In fact, Paul told me last night that if I die before he does, he will cancel the cable TV account, the internet and land-line phone account, and all he will keep to use will be his little Radio Shack mobile phone that he only uses for emergencies on his boat.  He is a lobsterman and works on the ocean. 

He is not technologically-inclined, to put it mildly.  I wonder what NH would have thought of life today with all the gadgets and things?




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It started a very long time ago.  In 1700’s Salem.  The tether that ties me, here in the 21st century, to a long-ago man who also walked the streets of Salem 300 years ago.  A man who was called Nathaniel Hawthorne.

For a good part of my life, I’ve been somehow drawn to the story of the man we know as Nathaniel Hawthorne.  I never knew why until a few years ago.  No one in my family ever bothered to tell me.  It wasn’t until my mother was sick with cancer, with not much time left to go, when she casually mentioned to me that “You know you’re related to Nathaniel Hawthorne, don’t you?”

Well, no!  I didn’t know that, Mum!

Oh yes, dear.

Turns out, my great grandmother, L. E. B. Ingersoll – was married to a ship’s captain who was directly related to the Ingersolls of Salem who were related to Nathaniel – who walked the streets of Salem and wrote books in his spare time.  His first cousin was called Susannah Ingersoll.  And her father, Nathaniel’s uncle, owned a gabled house in Salem that became known as The House of the Seven Gables, later made famous by his nephew, Nathaniel.

So that’s where it started.

I had even gone so far as to buy many old copies of his books, to make pictures of him and frame them in my home – before I found out about the ties I had with him.

Now that I know, I look at my home town quite differently.  Driving thru the north section of Salem each day, I think back to the exerpts I’ve read of his diaries, where he writes about walking down North Street, out to the farmlands (now called Danvers – where my office is) and I try to picture what it must have looked like back then in 1700’s Salem, when Nathaniel was walking those 8 miles down the road I travel every day.

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