It was in the early 1900's, and my grandmother was not yet in her teens then. Her brother, Lionel, was a healthy, strong, determined young man. He worked hard on the farm. He went to school. But that day, there was something other than work or school that had his attention. An air show was coming to town! An air show! Something new, something different, something thrilling!
This new invention held his curiosity, and he wanted more than anything to see in person these flying machines. Could he go, could he go? Please, please, please?
His mother only said "No". She didn't trust these new machines.
"No." What a disappointment that must have been for Lionel.
Unfortunately, he did not obey his mother that day. The lure of seeing something spectacular was too strong. Instead, he chose to go with his friends to the air show. I can imagine his excitement as he walked, possibly skipped, to the field.
What happened that day? The pilot made a mistake, and the airplane swerved into the crowd. Lionel was killed.
Of course, that wasn't the only memory she had of Lionel. But it was this story of a strong, healthy, young man being struck down so senselessly that shocked us. Almost more moving was the way that Grandma wiped a tear from her eyes when she told it.
My grandmother has now passed on. She is buried in that same cemetery, along with her husband, her parents, her grandparents, and her brother. And we remember and tell the stories, not only of Lionel, but of all our loved ones that have passed on before us.
These stories are our heritage.
The rose pictured is the Austin rose, 'Heritage'. It is fragrant, almost thornless, and grows to 6 ft tall and 4 ft wide, in zones 5 through 10.