The Clemstead

A place heavy with history and screaming for new thoughts.

Mag 172: Taking the Hit


“Master Thomas Fitzhugh!” the matriarch bellowed, “Come here at once!”

An eight year old child slinks out from the back of the hen house clothes and hand bedecked in all shades of color.

A foot starts tapping at a rapid pace on the hard dusty ground threatening to produce its only little thunder cloud. A finger points to the door of the plain abode with a full arm flourish.

“Didst thou profane thee house?” Thomas’ mother puffed trying to hold her temper while flourishing her hands to follow the lines of paint. “No Ma’am”

“Thomas, go wash at the barrel and come back at once and prepare for extra chores. Ye are lying.” Walking to the barrel Thomas passes his father who is just as colorful holding the brushes and hidden behind the hen house

“Fa..tha..ther?” Thomas pleads sobbing with tears running down his face. Father winks, stands up, takes a breath, and walks towards the house.  

“Oh my Lord in heaven, Mister Fitzhugh!!??”

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I come from German (Mennonite/Brethren) stock with bits of Norse, Celtic, Native American, and some mysterious unknown combination from an adopted grandparent. Not an uncommon blend for most of us who settled early in Pennsylvania. This type of diverse heritage left me ripe for the genealogical bug. I make a pilgrimage once a month and attempt to trace all the branches of my family tree. Unearthing facts that were never documented previously always brings excitement.

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