Friday, February 10, 2012

Who's calling?

Thanks to Google Maps (which is an extraordinary device for a virtual globetrotter), I can wander leisurely through the narrow streets of the Dorset village of Shroton where my ancestors lived. Each morning, when they left their humble abode (in fact, the old village workhouse) to work in the fields as agricultural laborers, they would have walked past this elegant 18th-century farmhouse, on the other side of Main Street:


Maybe they even worked for the farmer Tom Crouch, who employed half-a-dozen laborers on his 120-acre property out behind the old white house with a thatched roof.

From time to time, when I get carried away by my genealogical research, my imagination soars into crazy realms. I find myself thinking that, if only I knew the number associated with that red telephone box, maybe I could put through a call, using my iPhone, on the off-chance that my great-great-great-great-grandfather John Skivington, or one of his lusty offspring, might be strolling by…

"Who's calling?" What, indeed, would I reply?

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