pilgrimage

March 25, 2012

depending on which side of the family tree you look at,
i’m either fifth or sixth generation michigander.
i’m also the first generation
not to grow up in detroit.

my family emigrated from ireland and settled in detroit
and did all those big life things in the motor city:
work
school
marriage
death
burial (i discovered our family plot)
all with a particular irish catholic flare.
my grandmother’s grandfather was chief of police.
my grandfather’s grandfather built a house there for a staggering sum.
(though that might be the german side. not as popular in the family lore)
last time we checked, someone’s still living in it.

the same feeling that made me weep when i found my ancestral knock in co. kerry i often feel when i go to detroit.
getting to know detroit
makes me feel closer to my family history.
it may be silly or illogical or whatever,
but it’s something i enjoy doing.

this saturday,
i was lucky enough to make it to john k. king used and rare books.
(sorry for the photo quality. clouds + iphone + no photoshop = reality)

the connection to my knitting blog?it used to be a glove factory!
though, i think they may have been sewn,
not knitted.

still,
walking around a factory
that purports to have 1,000,000 books. . .
overwhelming just isn’t a big enough word.
being there ignited the hoarder within
and i left with more books that i need.

while i doubt any of my family members went there
it’s still a really cool piece of detroit history.
and now, it’s part of mine.

6 Responses to “pilgrimage”

  1. Anonymous, too Says:

    You didn’t leave with more books than you need. You just didn’t know you needed some of those books until you saw them.

  2. Debbie in Pittsburgh Says:

    What comes around, goes around. :)

  3. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    I’m definitely a hoarder when it comes to books, but figure it’s an ok vice to have.

  4. Tawnee Isner Says:

    That’s too cool. I don’t think its silly to be concerned with your family history. I wish I knew mine. I love history and to have no one in family know the true story have my family in this country is depressing to me.

    Also books are like yarn, You can never have to many. After all they smell so nice and its satisfying to see a row of books on a shelf. Maybe the smell thought is just me.. Oh well =)

  5. misa Says:

    Books should be hoarded. What a cool building and place. Here’s to Detroit’s beautiful decay, I hope to visit someday.

  6. jenny Says:

    i loved reading about your family. i didn’t know you had such deep roots in michigan!


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