My heroes are just everyday people who work hard, are honest and have integrity. ~ Jordin Sparks
Why do we call celebrities, “stars?” I mean, from my perspective, everyone has a light inside them.
Anyone can be famous these days. They don’t have to do anything extraordinary. In fact, they can do something absolutely moronic in a thirty second video and turn into the most sought after person in the world.
My favorite kinds of stories to read and to write are about extraordinary people living what appears to be ordinary lives.
Have you ever seen the television show Who Do You Think You Are? Sure, at first glance it appears to be about a celebrity, but bear with me. The show’s premise is to take one celebrity and dive into their genealogy. What I find fascinating about the show, is that it turns out the celebrity is not so special anymore. They usually find an extraordinary ancestor they (supposedly) never knew about.
Kelly Clarkson’s great-great grandfather fought in the civil war (for the north) and was put into a POW camp with tens of thousands. No food, no water and left to fend for themselves. Most of them died. Obviously, he did not. He went on to become an Ohio state senator. Did I mention that he was also shot in the leg? It wasn’t so easy to recover from a single gunshot wound in those days. I’m not advertising for this show or anything. It just goes to show you who the real person of importance is when you hear such a story.
My ancestor, paternal grandfather, 1914. Approximately ten years old.
Marissa Tomei’s great-grandfather in Italy stood up for something he felt was right and was killed as a result.
Chelsea Handler’s paternal grandfather fought for the German army during WWII. In fear for his family, he didn’t speak out against the Nazi’s and kept kept himself under the radar as a soldier. During the war, he was captured by American troops in the south of France and taken to Iowa as a POW. He was treated better as a prisoner than he was as a German citizen. When the war was over and he was released, he moved his family to the United States.
My ancestor, paternal grandmother, 1929 on a boat for a visit back home to Italy. Twenty years old.
Have you ever heard of Eddie Rickenbacker who fought as an American fighter Ace in WWI? I hadn’t, until I received one of those forwarded emails that sounds like an urban legend. I always try to verify these things, and when I did, I was shocked to learn most of the email about him was true. I’ve never read about a man who achieved so much and cheated death countless times.
Romeo & Rofina in front row, my maternal great-grandparents and their six children. My maternal grandmother stands behind Rofina, 1939.
It is all of you who are the extraordinary ones … all of us … not just those few you read about in the line at the grocery store. Do you know of any extraordinary stories about ancestors in your family? What daily chores and activities are in your extraordinary lives?