Monday, April 14, 2008

I Am a Unique Person

There is no one exactly like me. Or exactly like most of you ... the exception might be a genetic twin. But each of us inherit physical and mental traits from our biological ancestors. The physical and emotional environment that we grow up in also plays a role in physical and mental development. Some of us get the tall trait, the pretty trait, the bald trait, the coordination trait, etc.

Here are some of my physical traits and my conjecture about their source:

* Blue eyes - both of my parents had blue eyes, and I think all four of my grandparents did too (I never met my paternal grandfather, but his WW1 draft registration card says "blue eyes"). My brother Stan has hazel eyes and my brother Scott has blue eyes.

* Facial arrangement - the eyes, ears, nose and mouth of my grandfather Frederick Seaver and my brother Stanley look very similar to those of Hattie Hildreth, Frederick Seaver's mother. I was told by someone in the Townsend MA town clerk's office that I looked exactly like a local Hildreth man.

* Sandy colored hair - I started off as a straight-haired blonde boy, but it became sandy-hair color as I grew up, and it is now graying. My beard was black before it grayed. My father's hair was black, and my mother's hair was brown. Grandfather Seaver's WW1 draft card says his hair was light brown. Isaac Seaver, my great-great-grandfather, was described as sandy-haired at age 40 in his Civil War Pension file. Hattie Hildreth's hair was auburn red - and my aunt Ruth Seaver had auburn hair, as does one of her daughters and two grandchildren.

* Baldness pattern -- I have male pattern baldness, with now just a fringe around the top of my head but with very sparse hairs on top. My great-grandfather, Charles Auble, had a similar head of hair. My grandfather, Frederick Seaver, had a similar male pattern baldness head also. My grandfather, Lyle Carringer, had hair on his crown and receding at the temples in his later years. My father's hair receded at the temples but not on the crown.

* Height -- I am 5' 10" tall. My father was 6'2" tall, and both of my brothers are over 6'1" tall. My grandfather, Lyle Carringer, was short - only 5'7" tall as an adult. My grandfather, Frederick Seaver, was about 5'10" according to his children's memories. My mother was short - 5'4", as was her mother Emily (Auble) Carringer.

* Body type -- I started out as a string bean and grew into a pear. At age 16 I was 5' tall and 100 pounds, at age 23 I was 5'10" tall and 135 pounds, and by age 40 I was still 5'10" but 200 pounds (thank you Linda for really good food!). I'm now 220 pounds. After a lifetime of sitting at a desk, at a computer, in my recliner, my center of gravity has definitely shifted downward! My grandfather, Frederick Seaver was similar in build as an adult (listed as "stout" on his WW1 draft registration), and so was my father, but he was taller. My grandfather, Lyle Carringer, was always slight - 123 pounds on his World War I discharge, and about 135 pounds on his last driver's license.

* Eyesight - I am far-sighted and have amblyopia - my right eye is fairly useless. I see everything important with my dominant left eye. The exception is peripheral vision to my right which is great! Amblyopia is heriditary they say - my Aunt Marion had it and one of my Seaver cousins has it. I wear glasses, and have since age 12. Both of my parents, and all four of my grandparents wore glasses in their senior years.

* Left-handed - I am the only left-handed one in my family, and I don't think any of my ten first cousins are left-handed. My granddaughter, Lauren, will probably be left-handed.

* Analytical mind -- I majored in engineering and mathematics, and have always had an analytical mind. I like math, science, equations, programming, logic, mysteries, etc. My father worked with numbers as an insurance agent. My grandfather Seaver was a plant manager (as was his father) and worked with numbers. My great-grandfather Thomas Richmond was a plant manager and mechanical genius. My grandfather Carringer was an accountant. My great-grandfather Carringer was a carpenter and a mechanic (I didn't get those traits, unfortunately). My great-grandfather Auble was a "painter" - I'm not sure if it was artistry or house painting - probably the latter! My great-grandmother, Della (Smith) Carringer was an artist and furniture designer. My mother was an artist (water colors, then enamel on copper) before babies and after we moved out of the house.

* Relationships -- One trait that has been noticed through several Richmond and Seaver generations is the tendency to "cut off" people who have harmed us emotionally or physically. There is a streak of jealousy or mendacity. One example was my grandmother Seaver - her sister Grace "stole" her boyfriend and Bess never spoke to her again or went to her funeral. My father always had "enemies" that he plotted against (mostly in baseball, but still!). When my roommate skipped on his share of the bills, I cut him off. On the other hand, my Carringer grandparents and my mother were the most peaceful and serene people I've known and got along with everyone. I see a "glass half full" as did my mother and as do my daughters, but I think that my father and his parents saw the "glass half empty."

* Baseball -- is there a baseball loving trait? My grandfather Seaver, my father, my brothers and my daughters have all played sandlot and high school baseball or softball. I didn't play because of my size and my eyes, but I sure learned the nuances of the game, and coached it for 20 years. It's the game of life - success, failure, pain, happiness, luck good and bad, etc. My dad was a terrible sport. My brothers and I learned from that and are good sports. My daughters are wonderful sports and teachers.

Well - now you know all about unique little old stout me.


Lidian said...

Great post - and such an interesting topic for COG, I'll bet each of us could write several posts about what we have inherited (and what we haven't) from or families/ancestors.

footnoteMaven said...


You are unique my friend, and I for one am glad of it.


P.S. I live for baseball season!

Janice said...

I definitely want to say on your "good side." (grin)


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