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Sixty years ago yesterday

The Legal Genealogist remembers vividly the days on which each of the younger members of my very large family were born.

Each of them, that is … except for one.

The day my brother Paul joined the family? Even though I was not quite four years old, I remember it in detail.

The Thanksgiving Day when my brother Fred was born? Oh yes…

The June day when my brother Warren was added to the roster? Yep, sure do.

The October day when the baby, my brother Bill, was born? Absolutely.

But there was one birthday… sixty years ago yesterday… one that I don’t remember.

Sixty years ago yesterday, my baby sister was born. I don’t know where the first name Kathryn came from — but her middle name of Cladyne was to honor my mother’s older sister who, in turn, was named for their father Clay.

And she was never Kathryn (except when she was in trouble) … Not Kathy. Not Kate.

She was then, is now, and will forever be Kacy.

Her initials, pronounced in full.

I remember her as a baby, for sure. Her first Christmas with us, Christmas 1956.


I remember her as a toddler when we spent some months in California. And when she slept in a dresser drawer when we visited Disneyland.


I remember her as she was on her fourth birthday.


I remember the day we all ceased being heathens — at least officially. The population of the local Lutheran Church swelled in one day.


I remember her as she grew into a lovely young woman and mother.


I remember her as she blossomed and grew into a frighteningly competent adult — scholar, educator, mentor.


But I don’t remember the day she was born.

My memory tells me that she stayed in the hospital longer than any of my other siblings. That she became ill within hours after she was born. That there was some question, at least in my mind, and in the whispers I recall hearing, whether she was going to make it.

My memory tells me that I didn’t really believe she was going to be there, long-term, until she came home to us.

And my memory tells me it was that homecoming that is the event I will never forget.

The homecoming that brought a baby sister into my life.

And, from a birth sixty years ago yesterday, a lifelong friend.


Happy birthday, Kacy.

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