Postcard from the Internet

 

Dear __________,

If you are an allochthonous being, a rock or precarious tree rooted out from one soil and transplanted elsewhere, you cannot ever take genealogy for granted.

Where the others can trace down to the specific historical vehicle or bloodlinewho brought whom where, with whom, which way, and howyou will be left to sift through the occasional photograph, the odd homeland trip, or bit of family gossip, dimly searching for the fragments of a shadowy century (or two, at most three). There is no suitable ancestry dot com for the immigrant.

But as I was moving through life saddened by the truth of this scattered sedimentation and exclusion from the world of heritage discovery, the internet came through for me, because kneeling in the lower-right hand corner of this 66-year old photograph—discovered by chance in an article on national Iranian football teams—is my grandfather.

football

Caption: “Azad Football Team, 1949.” Image source: Akhbar-Rooz, “Iranian Football, Indebted to the Golden Land of Khuzestan,” 2015.