After I finished Jericho and sent it off to my editor I was left with an abundance of free time. My kids are done with their distance learning for the year and I began to get bored.
I was putting my laundry away one afternoon and smashed my finger in the drawer of my dresser which sparked some curiosity. Supposedly Noah’s dad built the dresser I inherited over the course of Noah and my relationship. I don’t know how true that really is since I’ve now come to realize most of what Noah told me about his past was untrue. But I decided to take advantage of my free time and get online to see what I could find about Noah’s dad and his family.
Noah told me enough truth that I was able to start shuffling through digital newspaper archives and figure out the rest. It took me several weeks to really put everything together. Especially since Noah told me his father was the third generation of only children, but reality is that there were an average of six to seven siblings until his father’s generation and even then most of his uncles and aunts had three or four kids. His father also isn’t an only child. Quite an age gap between his sister and himself, but not an only child.
There was a lot of sorting to be done and figuring out which kid went with which parent and which generation was which since all of them pretty much carried on the family farming tradition in their tiny midwestern town. Great grandpa ran a mill for a while, but otherwise mostly farmers with a few here and there that moved into the city to pursue other opportunities.
Several cousins had notable military histories during World War II, and every single one of them were all honest hard working people. Only one great uncle was slightly shady and found himself in trouble more often than not, and grandpa got in trouble with the railroad when he was a kid.
There are also several adorable and amusing anecdotes of various farming antics that I found scattered over the years with scholastic accomplishments, church functions and general small town life. I had to laugh at most of them to be honest because it was just the most genuine snap shot of small town Americana I’ve seen in a long time.
As I was sharing what I’d found with my husband I expressed my confusion on just exactly why Noah felt the need to lie about his family the way he did. Of course the articles from the local paper are only a snap shot of the family. No one knows what happened behind closed doors aside from the family members themselves so perhaps there are some less than savory aspects that lead to Noah’s dishonesty, although why exactly he didn’t just play along with the recorded history is still confusing.
There definitely weren’t as many skeletons to be found as I thought there might be based on Noah’s aversion toward all things family. The paper holds no punches either. They published just as much unsavory news as they did accolades. It was (still is honestly) the pre-cyberspace Facebook. There was just as much gossip as there was truth, but Noah’s family kept themselves out of the gossip columns.
I guess only Noah really knows why he felt the need to be so incredibly dishonest about basically everything. I know the truth now and the world remains the same. Lol. I actually understand how his dad went from the son of a farmer to his chosen career path now which never made much sense when I asked Noah about it. Anytime I asked Noah he would always say: “oh we don’t talk about that” so I never asked anyone else. Now, I realize that was pretty much bullshit. His family was fairly open. It was NOAH who didn’t want to talk about it and NOAH who kept me removed from them during our relationship.
Thank goodness for the tiny town paper and their digital archives. At least I can put those lies to rest now.