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Thursday, January 9, 2014

No tall people in our family


I visited my daughter Beth and the other two grandchildren not long ago. My daughter’s house is a revolving gallery of children’s art. It’s always on the walls.

Caroline, the mistress of cats, had another portrait on display. By the arthritic knees I’d guess this to be Kipper, the cat as old as Caroline, nine, going on ten. I understand cat years are exponential.



Francis current piece was on another wall. This is the young man who bolted the Paint like Picasso class at Cousin Camp two summers ago. Georgia O'Keeffe and he was gone. He said he wasn't interested; I figured being the only boy among girls was a contributing factor.

Francis' O'Keeffe, 2012

On display by Francis, an obvious self portrait. Eyes didn't interest him that day, he said. Before I left I made an estimate of his height, and he’s in the 5’6” range. At twelve years. And I was reminded of an incident when he was not a year old.



Francis was crawling, making his way somewhere. Passing my foot he helped himself to handfuls of blue jeans and pulled himself up.  His face was above my knee, and I said “Oh, my, you will be a tall one.”

His father looked over. Now, Bill is a respectable 5’10”, as was his father. “How tall?” asked Bill. “Over six feet,” I replied.

“There are no tall people in our family,” my son-in-law responded.

Some of us in the room had a good laugh before we reminded Bill he was responsible for only half the boy’s genes, and he’d never meet most of Beth’s forebears.  Both her grandfathers were over six feet. Both my brothers were taller than our dad. And in case Bill needed more convincing, my father had one six foot tall grandmother, not bad for a nineteenth century woman.

No tall people in Bill’s family, but more than a few in his son’s. I attribute France’s black hair to my dad, too, although his Welsh father and grandfather probably contributed.

21 comments:

  1. My family seems to be growing shorter every generation. My Great Great Grandfather was 6-5 350 pounds. My uncle was 6-2 and no one else has yet topped 5-11...go figure.

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  2. Everyone on my dads side was a shortie but my moms father was tall....didn't help me any.

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  3. My son is tall and slender like my father. My son's father isn't short, but he's not as tall and he's definitely not slender.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. Love the art! I'm coming from the family of shorties... I'm 5.1" 'in the hat'.

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  5. Apparently, we can inherit traits over six generations. That leaves room for a lot of possible surprises.
    The art is beautiful.

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  6. I love the cat picture - adore it, in fact :) All these paintings show thought and creativity.

    A six foot woman would be a rarity a couple of generations ago, I think. Generally speaking I believe the trend is for each generation to be taller than the preceding. Imagine if this had been the case with this lady!

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  7. Those are some seriously talented kids. It would be a bit nicer if Francis had been into eyes that day though.

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  8. No tall people in my family except my brother who is 5' 11", but he had a different father, obviously a tall man. My first husband's family is mostly tall, he was one of the shortest at 5' 6", so my children all ended up taller than me, and most of the grandchildren are now taller than me, only the youngest is shorter, but she is only 9 yet.
    The paintings are wonderful, love the blue cat.

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  9. I believe you can tell the eventual size, roughly, by looking at the baby's feet. Big feet, big person! Love the self portrait.

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  10. There are no short people in my family, but most teenagers are taller than me these days.

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  11. i love art created by children. those pieces are truly wonderful. you have some talented grandkids.

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  12. Oh, this is too funny. I loved this post. My daughters are all taller than I am, especially the younger one. I wish now that I had framed some of their art work when they were kids.

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  13. At 12 years old and 5'6", he will probably set the record for height in your family.

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  14. what a wonderful cat painting; the bird house at the top looks so cozy, hope the birds take advantage during the winter season.

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  15. Your daughter's honoring their art will most probably lead to a life-long appreciation.

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  16. I love the cat painting, Joanne.

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  17. Those pictures are very good. I like the cat painting too.

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  18. Hari Om
    I know nothing about height. It's all above me... %-0
    YAM xx (4' 10")

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  19. It's always nice when your children choose to marry someone who is from enough of a different gene pool that their kids come out in a big variety of good things.

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  20. I was a short person until I was 15. I grew eight inches that year and two the following year. So, I have looked at life from both sides now. I am the youngest sibling, the only girl, and the tallest.
    Love those drawings. And empathise on the arthritic knees front.
    Off topic. I have just finished The Fishing Fleet (Husband-hunting in the Raj) by Anne De Courcy. I think you would enjoy it.

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  21. Very interesting paintings. The colors are quite striking.

    Funny thing in our family is that the youngest boys are really tall. The others are all on the shorter side.

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