I just found out that there was a real Sam Hill. And that the wife is related to him. She has seen his name in their family Bible. Heard his story from her oldest living relative. Cool, eh?
The first names on the list got off the boat at Plymouth rock. Some of the men fought at Valley Forge with Washington. Many of the names fought in the Civil War. All the names span the history of the United States, since before we became the United States, and were merely Colonists.
The wife's Dads immediate family all died from the flu in 1918. Each and every one of them. He headed West, and met my Mother In Law, and they created the wife.
When she held that family Bible in her hands, she was holding a thing as sacred as the Constitution. And she knew it. They couldn't put it in a copier without destroying it, so the wife's sister took digital photos of the important parts. The wife read love letters hundreds of years old, written on parchment, or vellum, that must have cost dearly in those days. If you took someone from those days into your home office, they would think that they had met the richest person in the Colonies.
And I give Nat sheets, entire reams, to scribble on, and cut up into puppets and whatnot.
She goes through more paper in a month than the entire population of Early America went through in two years, I bet.
Back to that family Bible, do you think that there are any bookbinders today that could print and bind a book that would hold together perfectly for hundreds of years? Maybe, but you would pay dearly for it. And what are the odds of this book, this Bible, surviving indian attacks, war, disease, fire, and likely every other sort of human and natural cataclysm, unscathed?
It has traveled across the country, perhaps more than once. Or even twice. If you touch it, it will likely be the oldest thing you have ever touched. Unless you have fondled a mummy, or dug up lizard bones.
And the kin of every name listed in that book, several pages of family, there in the front, stood around and looked at in in wonder, and each touched it reverently, there, drawn together by the marriage of another descendant.
They didn't think of it, because the book is sacred to them, in more ways than one. But I am going to suggest that the keep the tradition alive, buy some vellum sheets, and mail it around all over the country to family members to sign, and mail it back. By the way, you wanna know what the wife's maiden name is?