So, suppose I wanted to write an autobiography. Where would I start? With my own birth? With my parents? Grandparents? So much affects who I am but the stories in my head are limited – only second hand accounts of the last two generations and a failing memory of my own experiences.

I was born in 1949, the first child from a union between a WWII Navy officer and a society girl from Houston. My father’s father had come from Germany in 1848. My mother’s family had been in this country for a long time. They met in Houston, where my father lived briefly before the war with his brother, a contractor, helping design houses. It was a time of debutant parties and tennis matches and my mother said my father, a terrific dancer, was flirtatious and handsome.

My mother was the last of 5 children, the other four considerably older than she. She was raised by nursemaids and had audiences with her parents rather than loving interactions. When I was growing up, my parents always said, “Children are to be seen and not heard.” This notion was apparently the child-raising maxim of the pre-war era, and it certainly trickled down to my psyche.

My father was the baby of a family of 6, his closest sibling being 10 years older than he. His mother was 45 and his father 65 when he was born, and my sense is that he learned to expect to get whatever he wanted. This also trickled down to my psyche.

How these things affected me is something I think about from time to time. Sometime I can see it clearly, but other times I’m sure I act how I act without even being aware of it. We humans feel so smart, knowledgeable, capable, but we are really rather unaware and imprecise.

How does one do something autobiographical? Chronologically? Interrelationally? Randomly? Who would even care to read it? The beauty of a blog is it doesn’t much matter. This is supposed to be a design blog, but what the heck. Perhaps I’ll add a little autoblog.

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