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How reading family history will recharge your battery and TOTALLY change what you’re about to write — Part II

David Kimbell
2 min readJan 26, 2022


Outsiders might tout your achievements …

But it’s the quirky things that will endear you to your family.

Here are 5 things still told on the inside about my great-grandfather:

Soft spot for Chinese immigrants in town …

Working their tails off …

Turning the lemon they’ve been handed into lemonade. Well, he’d know all about that.

Made a point of giving them business.

But he could be hard …

Late in life, after decades of zero correspondence, his younger brother (back in England) writes asking for money to support their aged mother.

His response was swift, and probably accompanied by a middle-finger salute.

She took care of you, mate. She never took care of me.

Loved to spend on modern conveniences …

(Which my great-grandmother did not want!)

Hee, hee, hee. Just waited until she was out, bought and installed it.

She came home to a fait accompli.

Quirky sense of humour …

My then-teenage dad runs in when it’s pelting rainballs. “Boy is it ever coming down!”

“Well did you expect it to go up?”

Which extended to the kitchen …

Particularly his use of cucumbers.

Carefully peeled, uniformly sliced, well seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley, elegantly arranged on a serving plate …

Then carried them to an open window and threw them as far as he could.

He HATED cucumbers.

The houses he lived in, he built himself …

The last two are still standing, a century later.

And the town remembered him …


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David Kimbell

Curiosity. Questions. Simplicity. Principles. Meaning. The Vital Few, not the Trivial Many. Be your own Chief Questions Officer.