Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 30: Starting and Ending in Pittsford

Short post today because it is traveling day. We had a fun, fun week with Peg, Sandy, Dave, Jordan and Christopher.

It was also productive. Dave and I developed the Olive Diet, and I am glad to provide the details. All you need is a variety of stuffed olives (classic pimiento, garlic, jalapeno, etc.) Prior to dinner, serve three of them chilled in a triangular glass filled with vodka and a dash of vermouth. Repeat. After two of those, you can eat your meal and you won't care if you're fat as a pig or not.

In a few hours, we are heading to Rutland. It's been over a year since I've been home, so it will be great to see the family and re-learn how to talk like a Vermonter. (I don't think I've said "Ay-uh" in months.) That rich Vermont accent that Hollywood actors love so much is really only spoken by a few people anymore. It is often referred to as "woodchuck" but given Dave's history of armed conflict with those animals, I won't use that phrase until we're well out of range.

The town we're leaving, Pittsford New York, is really lovely, and after a week I've even learned how to get to and from the store without turning on the GPS. It has the same name as the town in Vermont in the area where the Kelloggs, my mother's family, lived for well over a century. (And many of them still do live there.)

Last night I sent Jordan and her friends on a Google research project and we discovered that Pittsford, New York was in fact given its name by Caleb Hopkins, who was originally from - where else - Pittsford, Vermont. Google couldn't confirm it, but I suspect he was sent into exile because Vermont's only fortune teller at the time correctly predicted that his descendants would cheer for the New York Yankees and Buffalo Bills, rather than the Patriots and Red Sox.

Two minutes of free association with Google this morning, showed that Samuel Hopkins of Pittsford VT received the first patent in the US at about the same time that Caleb would have been living there. Can't prove a connection, but wouldn't be surprised since there wouldn't have been many people living there at the time. Hey, there aren't many people living there now - especially if you don't count flatlanders. (Wow, I'm already starting to talk Vermont!)

Amos Kellogg lived in Pittsford VT at this time and served in Captain Caleb Hendee's company in the War of 1812. Don't know if that is one of my ancestors, but wouldn't be surprised. And the Hendees are still around the area, as well.

Oh well, can either spend all morning speculating on odd results from Google or can get ready to hit the road for 5 1/2 hours and go from Pittsford to - well - just a few miles south of Pittsford.

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