Leslie Arthur Baskett is my great-grandfather and a prophetic word.
The nice thing about taking time off and away is that you create space for new things to come into your path.
One such relic is the history of my mom’s side of the family, dating back to their trek across the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s.
And it goes back even before that, to 1717 when my (believed to be) ancestor John Baskett of Oxford (who was alleged to have) printed a King James Bible full of errors. It became known as the “Vinegar Bible” because of the heading for St. Luke 20 which read “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of Vineyard.
Jump ahead 276 years to 1993 when we moved to Oregon to officially start Bradshaw Vineyards with Baskett roots and I look forward to having the time for this, a story for another time.
Another tale that I do want to share now because it is shining so brightly for me is the tale of my namesake: Leslie Arthur Baskett. I am gearing up to do some vineyard—not vinegar!—work in the rain with my dad, so I am making it brief.
In reading what my mom’s cousin Rebecca Ann Eastman Ward has compiled, I have come across an entry about my namesake, great grandpa Leslie Arthur Baskett. Leslie is in the back row, far right:
From Rebecca (Becky’s) research in the aforementioned book, I am sharing here the words dedicated to him in the 1960 Nezperce High School Warrior, the year after he had passed in 1959:
Seldom, indeed, does one find in the life of a single person both diversity and superiority in services to mankind — in professional, civic and religious fields. Add to such achievements an exemplary character — honest, just, moral, tolerant and understanding — and one has the essential ingredients of greatness.
Embodying all of those qualities, Leslie A. Baskett gave to Nezperce Public Schools two decades of the best years of his life in the outstanding instruction of music.
The memory of Leslie Baskett will ever be enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him. We the students of Nezperce High School, proudly and lovingly dedicate this book as our memorial to a distinguished teacher, a true friend and a dignified great man.
I am going to sit with these words about Leslie A. Baskett again and again. And I look forward to making the trip up to his hometown of Nezperce and his gravesite. I went to a family reunion in Nezperce in the mid-90s and got to learn more about where my mom spent a good part of her childhood. I look forward to returning before too long.
Prompts for the week:
What is the origin of your name?
Are there any prophecies or etymologies that have revealed themselves about your name?
Discernments for the week:
Is there anything about your name that you want to reexamine or change?
Is there anything about how others engage your name that you would like to course-correct or re-direct?
To bring it to a close so I can do my chores (I know, I know: I said I would be away! I am in many ways and in others, I am still here reading, journaling, meditating, and philosophizing) from my Medium blog:
Here’s to the etymologies and prophecies embedded in your name.
May they continue to call out your greatness and arc your path towards joy, abundance, and a just life filled with respect, reverence, and peace.
Forever and ever, amen.