One of the foundation myths for my mother’s family was that they are descended from a first mate on one of Henry Morgan’s ships. On the way home from the Sack of Panama, they stopped off in a small island paradise, and he jumped ship. Being a Gentleman of Fortune, a Privateer ( I’ll use my bloody cutlass on any that say the word pirate…that clear mate?) He was probably athirst for a tot of Kill Devil rum and a nice spot to watch the ebb and flow of the tide. While some might see his having swallowed the anchor as being demoted from first mate, I’ll bet he saw it as a chance to steer away from those endless Captain’s Conferences – “So where shall we pillage next? Barbados? Naw, been there, done that! What! Round the horn to the Spice Islands? Please! Foods too spicey!”

This is my favorite foundation story in the family. On my father’s side, they were all law-abiding mariners – boring!

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