Inspiration Can Come From the Most Unexpected Places

I'm a genealogist. I love to explore the past. I want to know about the people whose DNA became a part of me. I want to know about their lives, their interests, their triumphs, their struggles. I want to know how their lives affected my life today. Let's face it: dysfunctional families are more the norm than the exception all over the world. Although some people suffer because of that, others find inspiration in their less than perfect relatives.


The Finest Hat in the Whole World was inspired by two very special and compelling people in my family tree. They are people I never knew existed until I began my genealogical research. There was a mystery there, an unexplained upheaval in the family unit. Yet, the real-life story of the relationship between my grand uncle Gene and his niece (my newly discovered aunt Marge) was both touching and inspiring. The Finest Hat in the Whole World is not the real story of their lives, but a work of fiction they inspired.

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