One of the problems about writing a history even about family members is trying to separate out what is true and what are embellished truths, imperfect recollections, and perhaps even wishful rationalizations.

From the perspective of a grandchild, Harley and Floye were never known by their given names, but rather by the appellations granddad and grandmother. As well, Floye was not her first name nor was Floye the original spelling given to her by her parents.

On one hand, I am fortunate to have a number of historical artifacts from which to derive names, dates, places, etc. Floye was a collector of such things. On the other hand, close inspection leads to unanswerable questions and gaps that can never be answered or filled in. I have tried to keep speculation to a minimum, but I am sure that bias is present to some degree. While some things might appear reasonable as a logical consequence or extension of events, humans sometimes do not do what is logical or obvious.

It is impossible to know how Floye and Harley viewed themselves or each other for that matter. Although Floye kept a diary for 42 years, most of the entries were more like reading a daily planner and offered little in the way of insight into her life or the lives of her family and friends. But that may be reflective of the times in which she lived. It does make it more difficult for a biographer to drape human qualities on them.

As is often the case, I wish that I could have asked the questions of Harley, Floye, and those who knew them best, but it is also possible that some of the answers I would have received would have been embellished truths, imperfect recollections, and wishful rationalizations.

Harley and Floye were larger than life figures to a grandchild like I was and will always be. I have tried to present them as objectively as I can and to be clear about what are my own embellishments, imperfect recollections, or speculations.

© 2018