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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Son of ex-slave and Union soldier passes away (you read that right)

It's stuff like this that never ceases to fascinate me.  These things impress upon us that so much of our history... isn't that long ago after all.

Luke Martin, Jr. passed away a few days ago in Raleigh (that's the capital of North Carolina for those who might not know that).  Mr. Martin was 97.

He died 179 years after his father was born.  His father, by the way, was a former slave who escaped to freedom and then fought in the Civil War as a soldier in the Union army.

Fox News has more about the life of Luke Martin, Jr. and his father.

It wasn't all that uncommon for soldiers on both sides of the conflict to, long years later, marry much younger women.  A lot of it was because of the considerable pensions that soldiers received.  But the general consensus is that there was never a lack of true love in such relationships.  Many of which produced offspring such as Mr. Martin.

He died the other day and he was one generation removed from the greatest and most trying  war in American history.  A war that ended 150 years ago this year.

Think about that.

Historian though I be, it honestly astounds me that we could have that kind of connection to the past in our own day and age.

I'm reminded of something else in this kind of vein: Samuel Seymour, who at age 96 appeared on television (along such notables at the time as Lucille Ball) in 1956 to describe how he witnessed John Wilkes Booth assassinate Abraham Lincoln...

Gotta appreciate the pronounced presence of Winston cigarettes and the can of Prince Albert pipe tobacco in that segment, aye?  That's something nobody could get away with on television today.

It's been suggested that some people living today, perhaps even born in the 1960s, could live to ages approaching 200 years old. Can you imagine someone old enough (like myself) telling his great-great-great-great grandchildren about watching on television the destruction of the Challenger (which was 29 years ago yesterday)?

I suppose that anything is possible.