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Synopsis

Introduction All who wander are not lost. —J. R. R. Tolkien In case you have not heard, my elder brother (by sixteen months), Wales, celebrated his eightieth birthday on February 8, 2010, with a party hosted by Deborah Jean and Michael I. Price with the help of some of Wales’s progeny and other relatives. The party was well attended, successful, and a great deal of fun. So much so that I decided shortly thereafter to host a similar type of party for my eightieth. As that planning got underway, I decided to write and assemble a book for the occasion. I searched and found a publisher that could make the book become a reality. Then my free time went poof. Gardening, canoeing, golf, and bicycling—all became secondary as I hunched daily over the computer. My posture suffered, my physical therapy visits increased, and I wondered if I was up to the tasks required to get needed documents and pictures submitted to the publisher. The further I got involved in the process, the more I discovered what I wanted to include. The project grew and developed a life of its own. This book began from a partial collection of poems and stories. Each of which I wrote to thank friends and acquaintances for kindnesses to me during nearly forty years of practicing dentistry in a small town. I also selected for entry into the book several poems and stories I had written for friends and family members to accompany Christmas presents. Or, in many cases I wrote the stories, intending them as the gifts. Occasionally while reworking a story, I would remember a person or event that stimulated memories I felt were worthy of entry in the book. I thus increased the research and typing required to bring the book to, what I considered, a satisfying conclusion. I even decided to include in the book a few projects done by others, and they are each credited appropriately. My intent is to introduce you to a time, a place, and a family. The time is the early 1930s. The place is Michigan. The family is Martindale. It starts out this way, but soon expands in time, locale, and names. There is no attempt to present the book chapters in chronological order. I do realize that I considered my first twenty-four years as me, and then realized that from then on it was we. And I have always really liked that. The first-born son of a marriage historically inherited the family name, title, the land, the monarchy, castle, kingdom, or whatever. The second, or succeeding, son often was awarded a stipend (call it a bribe) to make himself scarce, and thereby survive. Many of the second sons became wanderers across the lands and seas to become discoverers, adventurers, inventors, writers, and painters of their generations. I have always felt a kinship with them. Of course, the first son might also inherit debt. Literature is filled with exciting examples: starting with the Bible and Shakespeare. Some countries and cultures included daughters in the inheritance hierarchy. A large number of interesting people and stories related to the Martindales are not included in this book. More time and effort for needed research would be required. Horse thieves, murderers, rumrunners, politicians (including a three-time Governor, and a Secretary of State), the co-inventor of talking pictures, war heroes, an actress, agricultural winners and losers, the instigator of the Welland Canal, and a land baron. Rogues, famous Martindale friends, a movie called The Mad Martindales, a book about silver and gold mining, family tragedies, and even a few family secrets best left unreported; All are waiting for someone to peruse the family archives and be stimulated to do some diligent research and embark upon a writing adventure of his/her own.

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