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News of Otsego County

family history

McREYNOLDS: Our family secrets still feel haunting

Be Afraid, But Do It Anyway

Our family secrets still feel haunting

Erna Morgan McReynolds, raised in Gilbertsville, is retired managing director/financial adviser at Morgan Stanley’s Oneonta Office, and an inductee in the Barron’s magazine National Adviser Hall of Fame.  She lives in Franklin.

Nature or nurture is a question I keep asking myself. Why have I always been afraid? Did I learn fear?

Why did my parents keep to themselves? Kept us close to them?

No overnights with other kids. Or other kids sleeping at our house.

Maybe not just because our house wasn’t as nice as the other kids?

My family lived secrets. Were Mom and Dad just shy? Or were they really afraid? That they would be shunned by neighbors? That they couldn’t measure up? That they might jeopardize the life they wanted to build for their girls’ futures?

Dad had told us why he emigrated from Northern Ireland. But was this the real story?

I had believed his story. It shaped my life. With four daughters on a farm my Dad needed sons. In the 50s and 60s, probably, a man needed at least one son.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 25
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 25

‘Wintergreen’

At The Lake Front

14-19eventspage

LAKEFRONT CONCERT – 7 p.m. ‘Wintergreen’ folk trio performs a mixture of traditional and contemporary music from the British Isles and America. As well as their own compositions. Bandstand in the Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. richcooperstown.org/lakefront-concert-series/

ART CLASS – 1 p.m. Learn to use pen and ink in art with the Leatherstocking Brush and Palette Club. Fee, $10 members, $20 non-members includes free a free membership. Springfield Community Center. Call Janet Teschke @ (607)397-1770.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103