Friday, February 01, 2008

Floats, Flutaphones and a Fantasy Parade

Bill West of West in New England has challenged genea-bloggers to create a float for his genealogy parade which is scheduled to get underway on February 6th.

The float that I'll enter in the parade may end up being fairly large. Hopefully it will make it through the streets of the city okay. Where's the parade going to be Bill? Well, doesn't really matter as it's a fantasy parade, so it's a fantasy float as well.

We'll start with a Swiss theme on one end of the float since the Phend and Wiseman families came here from Switzerland. Both families lived in Canton Berne, the Phend's in Interlaken, in the valley between the lakes, and the Wiseman's came to Vevay in Switzerland County, on the banks of the Ohio, so we have to have a lake or river in there somewhere. I think it will be a river flowing across the length of the float. We'll have the mountains of Switzerland on one end and the hills of southern Indiana and central Ohio (where the Phend's first lived) on the other.

As were most of my ancestors, these too were farmers. Among other things, Charles and Jacob both grew fruit. So there will be orchards alongside the banks of the river. Apples, peaches, and pears. Samuel, Charles' son, played the harmonica and violin at family gatherings and parties. Or so I've been told. Samuel's wife Amanda, their three children and 14 grandchildren will join him on the float. Amanda will lead the grandchildren in a rousing rendition of several of the old favorites. The children have their own instruments too, flutaphones, of course. Jacob Phend and some of his grandchildren will be there although I'm not sure if he'll join in with the dancing that will surely be going on.

At the other end of the float, in the rolling hills, will be a church. A white one, plain and simple, but with a tall steeple and bell tower. Charles Wiseman was a Presbyterian while his son Samuel was a Methodist and Jacob Phend was an Evangelical. But I think they'll get along okay. Charles and Jacob both spoke "German" and Jacob is a peacemaker, having plenty of experience with establishing several churches in northern Indiana. As the float nears the end of the parade route, the haunting melody of 'Amazing Grace' can be heard wafting through the air, as voices from the crowd join the flutaphonists in perfect unearthly harmony.

Updated February 7, 2008:
Don't miss the parade! Check out the other floats and bands at Genealogy On Parade! posted by Bill West.

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