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WSI News - Sox Fans Sound Off!

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Reuniting -- Sox Family style

by Mary Boyd Swistara

WSI regulars; please be warned! This article does not involve wacky trade rumors. It contains no “inside info” that was picked up from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport baggage claim section. The Sox’s success in 2007 does not depend on it. But it is, I think, a pretty cool and amazing story in its own way, and as such, I wanted to share it with my WSI family. Besides, it’s the offseason, so what else do you have to read?

In the days following the 2005 World Series triumph, many of the WSI regulars proudly contributed to the “Dedicated To…” book, and I was one of them. In my dedication, I talked about my father, Rollo Boyd, and my grandma, Helen Boyd, both deceased, and about how much this World Series would have meant to them. In this, I was no different from the other contributors, but although I did not realize it at the time, this dedication would have some startling repercussions more than a year later.

A few weeks ago, when I signed on to WSI as usual, I found a private message waiting for me. It was from some guy I had never heard of who thought we might be related. Of course I was skeptical; figured it might be from some psycho Twins or Indians fan. But it wasn’t. The correspondent did indeed turn out to be a long-lost cousin, Patrick Boyd. And now he and I—along with our siblings—have begun to piece together a family history that spans more than 50 years and involves two brothers, their mother---and, as my newfound cousin put it, an “enduring love” for the Chicago White Sox!

BACKSTORY

My family’s backstory is fairly typical of South Side Sox fans. My paternal grandmother, Helen Morris Boyd, was a tough little South Side Irishwoman who worked hard her whole life, most frequently as a cleaning woman and nanny for wealthy Northwest Side families. She was also a lifelong, diehard Sox fan. Grandma Boyd instilled in her two sons, William Thomas (Bill) and Rollo Ulrick (Bob) a love for the team that, in her eyes, was the ONLY team that mattered. Bill Boyd, the older son, became a career military man and moved from Chicago to Vermont, where he married and raised a family of six--four boys and two girls. Bob Boyd, my dad, stayed in Chicago, married, and raised a daughter and son. Sadly, the two brothers, separated by geography, grew apart. Bob’s kids met their Uncle Bill only once—at Grandma Boyd’s funeral. This was once more than Bill’s kids met their Uncle Bob.

ACROSS THE MILES

Time passed. Fifty years went by quickly. Although each branch of the family was aware of the other branch’s existence, their paths did not cross. Bill’s kids grew up in Vermont while Bob’s kids grew up in Chicago. Although quite naturally we were curious about our cousins, none of us ever attempted to trace the others. We grew to adulthood and began our own lives and families.

FAST FORWARD

Then recently, Cousin Patrick’s daughter started to try to trace the family history, with help from her family members. They knew a few of the names and one day, while Googling “Rollo Boyd,” her Uncle Robert came across one of my WSI posts, the one that eventually turned into the dedication in the WSI book. Robert passed the info along to Patrick, who promptly joined WSI and private-messaged me. And the rest is history.

NOW

We are currently working on sending each other photos and vitals of the various family members. The Vermont branch’s genealogical research has unearthed many fascinating details about our family tree. But the main reason I’m telling this story is because of something my cousin Patrick mentioned in one of his e-mails to me. He said that his father—my Uncle Bill—brought with him to Vermont “an enduring love” for the Sox, which he passed along to his kids. In another e-mail he said, “Our family’s love for the White Sox is the common thread.” About this, of course, he is 100% correct. And hopefully, maybe many—or all—of us can meet in person one day. A Sox game—maybe even a patio party—would be a good place.


Hey Sox Fans!

Here's your chance to Sound Off about the Sox and be featured at White Sox Interactive. It's simple! Send us your own column at webmaster@whitesoxinteractive.com. Your column should be 400-500 words long. All submissions will be reviewed and replied to. At WSI we're totally biased, utterly petty, and completely unobjective! If you can meet these standards, we want to hear from you!

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