Category Archives: AMC

History Pivots on Small Events

As I am searching daily through the vast collection of fascinating nooks and crannies of recorded history waiting to be explored (and leaving a well-marked digital trail to the discoveries found there), I often pause to reflect on this thought-proving truth.

What if this or that seemingly insignificant deed, action, accident, mistake, introduction, meeting, serendipitous discovery or observation, suggestion, encouragement, timely smile, act of kindness, etc. had never happened? What if ……?

Recently I was reminded of this truth in my own life, when this photograph arrived in my email.


There is famous Hollywood actor John Travolta. How many hours over the years have we enjoyed watching and re-watching his movies? How many people around the globe instantly recognize him?

Then there is famous NASA space pioneer and American hero Buzz Aldrin, an inspiration to so many people over the decades, and now an active advocate for America’s future greatness.

Then there is my dear old friend Tom Nocera, the youngest member of the launch crew for Apollo 11, celebrating the 46th anniversary of the historic event with our cousin Buzz and John Travolta.

While he was there, he informed Buzz Aldrin that Buzz is a single-digit cousin of the first American woman in space, Sally Ride. Tom presented him with a Family Forest® relationship chart laying out the exact connection.

Just a couple of weeks earlier Tom gave Mrs. David Crosby a Family Forest® relationship chart. It showed David’s generation-by-generation family ties to one of David’s favorite authors, Mark Twain.

Even though it was a very small event over four decades ago, it’s still a vivid memory. My fiancee and I were on a pier on Clearwater Beach on a picture postcard perfect Florida evening, taking pictures with her Dad’s camera.

I accidently dropped the lens cap, and watched helplessly as it rolled seemingly in slow motion to the edge of the pier, then fell silently for about six feet before it went kerplunk! (lens caps were metal in those days) into Clearwater Bay.

Tom Nocera, the owner of the camera store where we bought a replacement lens cap the next day, became a great and lifelong friend.

If that one tiny event had not happened, if I had not accidentally dropped that lens cap 44 years ago, this photograph would not have arrived in my email box. But impossible to imagine, the whole timeline in between would have been altered in incalculable ways, including probably, me meeting Kristine.

Almost equally as important to Kristine and me today, Tom would not have become the leading champion of our Family Forest® Project, and one of its most enthusiastic supporters.

Thank you Tom for being there in Clearwater that day, for your encouragement and assistance to keep us Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and for introducing the Family Forest® to so many of the millions of people who are destined to be delighted and enriched by it!

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Filed under Buzz Aldrin, Cousins, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, history, Hollywood, NASA

Family Forest® Family Ties of AMC’s TURN

I am very excitedly looking forward to the return of AMC’s TURN, and almost two decades of strategically growing the Forest Family® has been fueling my excitement.

One of the central characters is someone I wrote about more than a decade ago in a Captain’s Log (a blog before there were blogs).

Attached is a chart showing actual blood relationships (not just some kind of Kevin Bacon type six degrees of separation social connections) between a number of the TURN characters, plus a couple of living people, according to ancestral history already assembled in the Forest Family®.

Warning: it could be paradigm-shifting to think about what you are seeing on this chart. Every person there shares ancestors, according to fully-sourced recorded history, with every other person there.

There are 100 boxes filled in on this chart, and all of these calculations took just 39 minutes and 30 seconds to calculate from the Forest Family® National Treasure II preview.

With just a few minutes more, I could use the Forest Family® National Treasure II preview to calculate similar relationships from all ten of these people to politicians like President Obama or John Kerry or Hillary Clinton, media personalities like Mike Huckabee or Anderson Cooper or Garrison Keillor, business moguls like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, Hollywood icons like Errol Flynn or Katharine Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart, current Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks or Amy Adams or Matt Damon, etc., etc.

Enjoy the return of the TURN series, and please stay tuned for an upcoming Forest Family® blog about the secrecy genes from America’s first spy ring arriving in Jekyll Island in 1910.

Just click on the Forest Family® TURN chart below to enlarge. Enjoy.

FF Turn chart


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Filed under 1st American spy ring, AMC, America's first spy ring, American Revolution, American soldiers, Ancestry, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project,, television, TURN