Sunday, June 13, 2010

If I dig further back, I'm sure I'll find pirates and cannibals.

I've never tried to kid myself about my ancestry- my elders weren't exactly signing the Constitution or discovering the cure for polio.  It's far more likely that they were weaving the cotton for fancypants men's pantaloons or milking the cows to make butter for the White House post-Constitution-signing dinner/kegger.  I'm fine with this, and in fact, I kind of think that it's awesome that I come from a long line of hardworking folks who were intimately familiar with callouses and tired feet. 

Well, I found out this weekend exactly how hard the work was for one of my relatives, in particular.  I was at a family wedding (for my cousin) and one of my uncles filled me in on a rather colorful piece of VonPartypants history:  Turns out, my great-grandmother (Or great-great?  I think it was just one "great") was...


...a madam.  At a brothel located over a bar in West Duluth. 

A madam!

I am waaayyy more pumped about this than a normal person would/should be.  I have hooker blood in me!!
Wait- that sounded morbid and serial killer-ish.  You know what I mean. 

I'm guessing that most people wouldn't be finding this quite as awesome as I do.  BUT  I DO!  Madam!!!

I'm guessing that the reality of the job and what it entailed wasn't quite as glamorous as I have it pictured in my head, and the callouses involved weren't located on her hands (or, maybe...).  But in my rodent-infested noggin I'm thinking of something sexy and classy, or sexy and sassy- something along the lines of "Belle du Jour" with Catherine Deneuve or "Irma la Douce" with Shirley MacLaine, but I'm guessing a more accurate scenario would involve sweaty factory workers, someone that looked like Patty the daytime hooker from "My Name is Earl", dirty sheets and a few shots of cheap whiskey.

 OH!!  THAT REMINDS ME!!!

I almost forgot- my other great Grandma specialized in trafficking homemade hooch to and from the Iron Range (you MN people will get this) during prohibition.  

DID YOU HEAR THAT???   HOOKERS AND BATHTUB GIN SPECIALISTS!!!  THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!!

I couldn't have received better news this week even if I had found out I was giving birth to twin spider monkeys.  I feel vindicated for both my slutty years in my early 20's, as well as my deep, soulful love of cocktails.  It's in my DNA, dammit! 

Now, I need to find pictures of these women just to satisfy my curiosity.  Will they look used hard and put away wet like the saggy, middle-aged, bleached hair, missing teeth hookers you see on "Cops"?  Or will they have a quiet elegance about them, wise beyond their years but still turning heads left and right?

Yeah.  I know what you're thinking.  Maybe it is best to leave that question unanswered and keep living in my imaginary hooker-hooch world.  Until I hear otherwise, I'm telling people that I'm descended from a Faye Dunaway-esque line of "bad"women (a la "Bonnie and Clyde").  This should explain it enough for most people. 

I'll let everyone else decide on their own what vice I'm going to decide to be an expert in, because I'm not telling once I do. 
Right now?  Right now I'm just weighing my options. 

A girl should ruin her reputation just the right way- this isn't a decision I take lightly, you know...

30 comments:

Jen said...

Okay, that is AWESOME. And I think I'm a little jealous. My relatives, hard working volga Germans who escaped the Russians and settled in Kansas. Not nearly as exciting. Now, on my dad's side...maybe I'll get that lucky. :D

Keith said...

I am so damn happy for you! I know that this makes you so proud.

My great grandmother also ran a hooker house in the mountains of Tennessee.

I somehow knew that we were similar.

SkylersDad said...

I have English hard rock mining blood in my veins. My ancestors migrated to the mountains of Colorado when they struck gold there. The family history doesn't go back very far because none could write.

True story.

enc said...

Watch where you dig, you might unearth some bodies!

I find it fascinating that your relatives had such colorful pasts. My family would never tell me anything. All I know is that someone owned a flour mill.

If you are indication of the looks in your family, I bet your relatives look far, far better than the "COPS" hookers; I never understood why anybody would want those haggard women anyway.

Anastasia said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you.

diatribes and dish said...

My great grandpa went to jail for hawking hooch on the Iron Range during the prohibition. Yup, it appears we both come by our appreciation for liquor honestly.

John said...

You always ruin your reputation in precisely the right way. It's what makes you so awesome.

kirby said...

It's definitely better when there are a few generations between you and the colorful relatives. My mom's sister was a drug dealing whore, and there's no way to romanticize that.

Speaking of colorful relatives, we just found out Puddle's great cousin (is there such a term?) is a well known killer. Eewww.

Gwen said...

I'm actually more suprised that there is a West Duluth than I am to find your ancestry is colorful.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

White trash people rule!

Jim Wilferling said...

Sooo....
Which ancestor's got the eyebrows?
No, sorry, I couldn't resist.'
It IS now a confirmed fact that your lineage is rockin'...Your people go back to the early days of Duluth, and I'm not even originaly from Minnesota! Call the D.A.R.!

Today's Random said...

Yeah, is it wrong that I'm mildly jealous of you? :D

Stacey said...

None of this suprises me.

At.all.



XO

Lollie said...

Now I know why you look so good in hooker red lipstick...

Scope said...

So many blanks were just filled in around the internets, you cannot imagine.

Ricky Shambles said...

Nice! Reminds me I need to get on the stick and do some digging myself. My fam swears we're Irish, but I don't have the documentation and the wife makes fun of it. Often.

Have a good one!

Dr Zibbs said...

My ancestors in the late 1800s worked the coal mines in Scranton. The other group worked in a Woolen mill. Making the fabric for your fancy pants.

And we did find out about 3 years ago that a great great Uncle was...are you ready for this?...

A HOBO!!

My son was so excited when he heard this he almost jumped out a window.

gorillabuns said...

my dad is living the dream being a drug addicted, braveheart sword-welding schizophrenic.

for some reason, hookers and hooch sound more appealing to me.

excuse me... a Madam and a hooch maker.

I could totally be a Madam as I love to be in control!

gorillabuns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
domboy said...

You gotta love anyone who really lives during their lifetime. You ought to erect a statue for this woman.

John said...

I wonder if this sort of info can be found on ancestry.com; e.g., your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries! : )

Mojito said...

That explains so much! And I thought my family history was cool: One of my great grandpas had tickets on the Titanic, but sold them when it was delayed because he had to go earlier; and one of my great grandmas was murdered while residing in a mental institution...which explains a lot about me... natch.

Tobacco Brunette said...

No fair. My ancestors were signing the Constitution and curing polio - yours are way fucking cooler.

Hooker blood in you...heh.

feisty said...

wow. very interesting family tree/history. surprisingly cool...especially hooch trafficking from the iron range! i wonder if they used the railroad cars?

Tilly said...

You my lady, kick ass! It is nice to be introduced (via a friend) to another lady who can resist anything but temptation like myself! Great blog and love the way you write, keep it up! (Double Entendre intended)
Tilly

Mnmom said...

One of mine might have ridden with Jesse James. The rest were just content to overeat and smoke.

Lisa said...

Jealous, that's what I am. Jealousssss.

Mommy Lisa said...

I am - as Lisa - completely PEA GREEN, or Chartreuse, with envy.

Aunt Snow said...

Celebrate your heritage, girl!!!

My great-aunt was a church worker who ministered to bank robbers in Depression-era Texas - ooh, there are stories!

Kate Bee said...

Okay, A: HOLY SHIT HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS BLOG WAS BACK?

B: Dave's great grandma was also a woman-of-the-night! Granted, it was in her own home, servicing the boarders during Ely's early mining days, but I still commend her. Sister worked hard to pay that mortgage!

C: If you mixed your blood with my Salem Witch Trial blood, it would be super awesome.