Everyone’s ancestors are boring.

I know this, and yet I can’t stop looking up mine. Recently I unpacked an extensive collection of photos, scrapbooks, and letters from my maternal grandfather’s family—a side of the family that I never knew well, but what little I’d heard about them was pretty intriguing. Most of the material I’ve found covers only three generations, so I’m less interested in geneaology than I am with making sense of all the photos and evidence I have on hand. After all, when you find out your great-great grandparents lived in an insane asylum, you want to find out more, right?

As for me, I live in the present over here.