Monday, December 20, 2010

I Was The Only Son of an Only Son -

I was the only son of an only son and with no son the end of a line of ranchers, homesteaders, settlers and colonists or so I’ve always thought.

Studying family history and patterns has relieved the twinge of wistfulness I’ve always felt at being the last in that Bowman line to ranch or farm. Lengthening the lens beyond just this past 130 years or so, my ancestors weren’t even involved in ranching and farming for that long.spyglass

They were really in the business of start-ups. They settled several communities in both Utah and Arizona before a branch homesteaded in the nook of eastern Idaho, bordered by Montana and Wyoming.

In each place they started sawmills, built dams to bring water to meadows and livestock, improvised to fight off plagues of locusts, translated dictionaries and more. Not that different from destination marketing, really, especially the part about locusts (wink.)

This penchant for start-ups goes back hundreds of years further than my Mormon pioneer ancestors, one of whom was first in that group to cross the Mississippi into Iowa, 10 months before it was granted statehood and three of whom were on the first wagon train into the western territories.

These ancestors were preceded by those who helped settle, Delaware, California, Illinois, Iowa, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina and many other states, even Canada.

Even they were relative short-timers compared to ancestors like Jan Franse van Hoesen, a Dutch sailor (from an area now part of Germany) who immigrated in 1639 and eventually helped settle Albany, New York or French Huguenot Pierre Chamois, who immigrated to America in 1660 to help settle New England.

Maybe my genetic code just led me to pursue a different approach to start-ups. People often asked what intrigued me about being in on the ground-floor and early development of community marketing organizations in three different places, culminating with Durham, North Carolina.

Destination marketing is intense and demanding anyway but for me there is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than launching and/or growing these organizations to a point where they can over time fully develop their potential.

So if we each look back in time, maybe we all elect to further some part of our genetically coded predispositions.

I always thought my nearly 40 year career in and love for community marketing including the start up and evolution of community marketing organizations, was something I backed into by accident…but from here I can now see it fits nicely.

1 comment:

Nita said...

I loved reading this, Reyn....another glimpse into your roots and understanding who you are - for yourself and the world!

Keep on sharing!