Tag Archive for: FAN

The Friendship Gate

Over the holidays my neighbor Christina came over for coffee. She lives two doors down in our old St. Paul neighborhood, both our homes were built in 1941. As she was walking over she thought about the women who lived here over 70 years ago and wondered if they ever walked this same path to have coffee together. We smiled thinking about them in their crinoline, low heels, and lipstick with fancy china cups. Especially since we were in yoga pants, messy buns, and no makeup with our mugs that have funny sayings. I thought about how different a scene it would be, but how the conversations would probably be the same. We discussed the weather, the neighborhood, our families, and our plans for the holidays… just as I am sure they did all those years ago.  

I told this story to my grandpa and he said: “it’s just like Edison and Ford’s Friendship-gate”. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had winter estates next to each other in Fort Meyers, FL. They visited so often that they installed a gate as a shortcut to each other’s homes. It is now called the friendship gate and a stop on the tour of their estates. It is also said that when Edison was confined to a wheelchair later in life, Ford still perfectly able to walk, got one too so they could wheel around together. 

I love this story as it makes these historic figures real people. In Genealogy, we call it the FAN (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors). The people who are part of our story and influence our journey. Who are the people important to your story??

Whether in yoga pants or all dressed up I hope that you will take the time to enjoy the journey with them.