My husband’s grandfather, Andrew Carl Schulenberg was an interesting character. Born on March 12, 1906, to Max Heinrich Johann Carl Schulenberg and Julia Marie Doll. His dad was born in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, and in those days, children were often given multiple middle names. I have always found that to be of interest, as I used to think that pretty much only royal children were given multiple middle names. It actually isn’t all that uncommon and many children today have multiple middle names. Max had immigrated to America by the time he met Julia, and they were married in Blair, Nebraska. Their oldest son, Andrew was born in Herman, Nebraska, as were his sisters Anna and Claudine. The rest of Andrew’s eight siblings were born in Forsyth, Montana.
After a hunting accident took his right leg, Andy had a true peg leg for the rest of his life. Maybe it was the fact that he was only in his teens when it happened, or maybe it was just his own determined personality, but Andy did not let a “little thing” like an amputated leg turn him into an invalid. He went forward with his life…after about a year in the hospital, that is. And while he really didn’t like guns much after that, he was still capable of using one if needed. And actually, went on to become the sheriff of Rosebud County, Montana, and did it without a gun. I suppose it might have seemed a little bit like Sheriff Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show, but I can’t say that Forsyth, or Rosebud County, was a tame as Mayberry was. Andy took it all in stride, worked with multiple agencies over his years as sheriff, and handled the Indian nation with mutual respect and grace. That was the reason they worked so well with him.
I first met Andy at a family reunion when my girls were about 6 and 5 years old. He was, of course their great grandfather. And he seemed bigger than life. He was a tall…very tall man, but then I’m short, and maybe not a good judge of height. Still, I would guess 6 foot 3 inches, at last. His son, Uncle Butch Schulenberg could probably tell me for sure. Nevertheless, as big as he was, he took the time to build two small chairs for my girls, chairs they still love to this day. He was excited to meet them, and they were excited to meet him. I will always be glad we had that time with him. Today is the 117th anniversary of Grandpa Andy Schulenberg’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandpa. We love and miss you very much.
They say that children learn what they live, and we all know that is true in many ways. What I find interesting is that when there is a family that has political ties, often they extend way back. Of course, with new people being introduced into the family with marriages and births, things can change, and move away from the ties that had been there before, but often they continue on for generations. That is the case in the Knox family, which is one of the families my husband, Bob comes from. His mom and grandparents were very much not political, but in generations past, there were several presidents in his family, with the one most well known to us being James Knox Polk, who is Bob’s 2nd cousin 5 times removed. I know that is pretty distant, but then, he lived from 1795 to 1849, so it would have to be.
There are also, the presidents who are a little more distant, but still come from the Knox family. Presidents like Andrew Jackson, George HW Bush, and George W Bush. The connections are a little harder to find, because they involve the in-laws and their marriages, but they are nevertheless a familial connection. I suppose that if we go far enough back, we will find a president or some royalty in pretty much every family. It stands to reason when you consider the various family connections. As marriages and births occur, and family connections are formed, it becomes more and more a real possibility. For some of us, like Bob’s family’s political ties, and my family’s tie to Princess Diana and the British Royal Family, the connections are well known to us from the time we are children. For others, those connections are not discovered until much later on, and some never know that a connection exists. To me that is sad, because I have thoroughly enjoyed finding out who I am related to…and I have been very surprised too. Both Bob and I are related to Princess Diana and her children, so the birth of Prince George was particularly exciting to me. Even though the royal family is not exactly a political tie in the normal sense of the word, they are still the ruling family in England, and so political in that way.
I suppose that things can come full circle too, from a very political family to one that is not so political, and back to very political again. And in that way, I would certainly be one of the latter…and possibly the most politically inclined member of the current family…at least for the Knox/Schulenberg side. I doubt if anyone would dispute that. I have no intentions of running for political office. I might be considered more of an activist, in that I have very specific ideas of right and wrong, and I certainly don’t mind voicing my opinions on matters, as my friends can fully attest. What can I say, except that it takes all kinds of people to make this world what it is.
Most people think of Prince Harry as a playboy, and to a degree I suppose they are right, but there is a side of him that most people never see. Prince Harry has a heart for the children who, sadly, have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Lesotho. He has visited the small African nation several times since 2006 when he set up Sentebale with the help of his good friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, who is the younger brother of the king of the small African nation of Lesotho. I had the opportunity to watch a segment a while back about the prince and his charity, and I was very impressed with the love he had for those children…and the love they had for him. He was not aloof with them at all, which is what most of us would expect from royalty, or any politician. His interactions with these children was honest, open, and sincere, unlike so many who lightly shake the hand of their admirers, or politely kiss their babies. No, he showed a love and respect for them that was so obviously real, and in turn, they came out in droves to see the person they loved back. I was very moved by that segment, and I’m quite sure I’m not really doing my feelings justice, because it was so amazing.
Prince Harry walked through their villages, and gathered information on what they needed an how they were doing. He took the time to speak to the children…to find out what their interests were…and what they needed, worried about, and indeed, feared. These children had no parents, and those caring for them, while loving people, are often stretched to their limits in time to spend with each individual child, so to have a Prince from England come and take the time to spend with them…personally…well, it must have seemed surreal to them, and yet, here he was, and it wasn’t the first time. He named is charity Sentebale for a reason. Sentebale means “forget-me-not” in the language of the Lesotho people. It is the word they use when bidding farewell, so that they will remember those who have left their presence for a time. He wanted them to know that he was not going to forget about them. And he has not.
Prince Harry is my 19th cousin on my dad’s side of the family, so what he does interests me, whether it interests other people or not, but even those who aren’t particularly interested in the Royals, must admit, that Prince Harry’s work on this charity and the others he is also a part of with his brother and sister-in-law, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, make him more than many people thought him to be. And to top it off…he’s an uncle now, to little Prince George. Today is my cousin, Prince Harry’s birthday. Happy birthday Prince Harry!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!