One of my most fun memories growing up was of watching my father line up with his siblings to have their photo taken. They’d line up by age, which in their family meant that the group was bookended by women, turn to either the right or left and have a profile photo taken. It was fondly known in my family as “The Naylor Nose photo.” My father and his four siblings were all endowed with fairly regal, even aquiline, noses. Some more resplendent than others. They were proud of this bit of their heritage from their own dad. Though I don’t remember that my grandfather’s nose was anything in particular. It was simply a way that the next generation had of reminding themselves of who they were.
That generation is aging now. The eldest among them turned 90 August 6, 2009. And as of last August they will no longer all be together on this earthly plane anymore. My oldest uncle passed away after a long battle with emphysema. He was 87 and retired from a career as a pilot in the Air Force among other things. He flew in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. When he got out, he built seawalls in Florida. He took my brothers on a two month long camping trip across country to Alaska one summer. And he taught my children how to do “smooth five” so they could give a high five to the elderly without breaking an arm or spraining a wrist.
My aunts and uncles are members of the “Greatest Generation,” my parents are members of the Silent Generation, my cousins are Boomers, my brothers & I and my cousins children are all Gen X-ers. My children are Millenials and I’m not sure what generation my cousins’ grandchildren belong to; maybe it doesn’t have a name yet. We are a microcosm of trendy generations.