The Family Tree


Welcome to The Family Tree — third honey locust on the left, around by the tire pump air hose, behind the left rear corner of the Walmart. You can’t miss it. This is where I and the rest of the extended clan like to hang out each sunny summer weekend.

Just below me you might recognize those zany second cousins from Zanesville: Zippy, Zuma, Zoso, Zane, Zeke, Zooey, Zack, and Zopher. We’re not sure if the alliteration of their names derives from their birthplace, or from the fact of their 18 siblings combined with the determination of their mother, the enduring Emmaline Maridell, that these young chicks will comprise her final brood.

To my upper right are the clan’s elders, those spinsterly great-aunts Eulalie, Ariadne, and Aspidistra. (Don’t ever try to call any one of them by a nickname!).

Over on branch 17A left, you might recognize our long lost Mennonite relatives, just arrived from the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania. Patriarch Asa is seated beside his dutiful wife Bethel and their strapping sons, Millet and Moosejaw, and, of course, that cute little 4-year-old, Gingham. All the family members help run Asa’s Seed & Sedge — Gingham’s already learned how to count change! —which has become one of the largest roadside forage stands in all of Happy Valley.

Also visiting for the very first time are the ‘Hippie commune’ branch of the family, just arrived from Californ-I-A. Those aging ‘60s dropouts, Appaloosa and Thistle (he’s got the longer gray ponytail), are accompanied by their entire herb-smoking bongo-banging clutch: Sunrise, Awesome, Eden, Bong, Cerise and Choctaw.

And, before they drown me out, allow me to also introduce Aunt Nettie’s entire nest of nattering grandkids. Meet Potter, Greer, Bristol, Dex, Euphemia, Argos, Sibella, Shane, Weegee, Melvis, Oneida, Festa, Philomena, Unger, Dinky, Wolfgang, Wimple, Dottie, Dodie, Dilby and Deuteronomy! — Whew!

And let’s not forget our orthodox Ashkenazi relations. As it is near dusk on Shabbas Eve, they are now walking all the way from the synagogue at Picayune and Pigtail; you might just see them coming over the grassy rise. That’s Schmuel, with the regal array of silvered chin feathers, followed in rigid single file by the triplets, Maxie, Moxie and Maisie, then trailed at last by obedient mother Zelda. (Nephew Shlomo is moving in slo-mo, and thus trails them all by a hundred yards.)

If you are a movie-goer that happens to like low-brow comedies, then you are sure to recognize the Flockers and all of their little Flockers: Greg Flocker, Rozalin Flocker, Bernie Flocker, Pam Flocker, Henry Flocker, and Samantha Flocker. Those Flockers sure stick together!

Next, say hi to our avid Civil war enactors, Jeff, Abe, Uly and Mary Todd, before they scurry off to don costumes and pack muzzle-loaders. And let me not forget those golfing buddies over there in the laughable garb: Gordo, Blunt, Porkrind and Zit, nor aspiring trombonist Ellrod and his juggling ballerina grand-niece, Champale.

Last, and most certainly least, may I run through the roster of the entire rowdy crowd of our young male relations pledging this week for the State College fraternity of Eta Mu Pi? Take a bow, boys! Here’s Tom, Dick, Harry, Jeb, Jake, Jaron, Jules, Jesper, Jeromy, Judah, Jaxon, Jerde, Jace, Jamie, Jurgen, Jef-fro, Jumpstart, Jerkwad and Doosh!

Now, did I forget anyone?

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Comments 8 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

That's a really pretty tree. You are very talented.

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Thanks, MT! Hope you enjoy some of my other cartoons!

Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Hi Rick,

This was so entertaining! Sort of reminds me of my own family tree..hehe Your drawing is great! I love to illustrate as well. You are quite talented. I look forward to reading more...

Take care,


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Thanks, Sunnie! (I actually used a few names from my own family, but I dare you to guess which ones . . .)

Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Okay here goes...Appaloosa and Thistle ???? lol Actually we may be related..hehe

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Actually, Bethel (an elder farmer's wife from Nebraska), and Zane (a cousin's young nephew). But you were in the right ballpark. Within the past several years, our family has added Olive, Graeme, Isaac, and Adilynn.

btw — about being related: we surely are. If you want to find out how really connected EVERYONE is, google 'bacon number' and explore. It's a hoot.

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

That was a great read love your humor, love the names and branch 17A. awsome job. Voted up!

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Thanks, them thar kin are shore happy in Happy Valley.

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