My parents seldom talked about family history, but my older sisters did. I used to eavesdrop on my sisters telling stories about various relatives. They'd say "That's rich," which I took to mean funny with a dash of buffoonery. Later on it hit me that many of the stories involved crime.
"The horror! The horror!" (Heart of Darkness) is my first thought when I find out my high school class is having another reunion. This year it's 55 years and starts at 5:30. If they keep these up, we'll eventually be having luncheons and then breakfasts. God knows we like to get up early and avoid rush-hour traffic. And we'll need smaller rooms.
I'm not a lifelong Democrat. My parents were Republicans, largely because they were cynical about Chicago politics and steeped in resentment, which the Irish do so well. I began to make my break when I was old enough to vote by writing in Nelson Rockefeller in a Republican primary.