Dear Sir John Harrington,
I know this may seem a bit odd, although, I know you have resolved to live with unique labels yourself, but I am writing to you from the future. About 400 years beyond your life. I know, the chances of your grasping this information is about as far a the chances of you actually reading this letter. But I digress.
Let me first affirm your devoted place in history. Beyond being the godson of Queen Elizabeth I, your legacy has bestowed on you two important things. First, your love of poetry, and that of composing such to rile your fellow royals. Secondly, your invention of the privy. The mindfulness to construct the water closet, “always clean and free from stink” was brilliant. While, you may have been discouraged that your unique invention did not catch on, beyond your own residence and that of the Queen’s, rest assured, that 250 years after your death, it was brought back to life. In fact, much of the world appreciates your initial invention that has been refined over the years and resides in houses world wide. I for one am grateful. Even your words, penned to the dedicated ladies-in-waiting on “their perfumed privy in Richmond” made history books.*
As being caught up on the impact you’ve had on world history, now let me now introduce myself. I am one of your relations, 400 years of family trees reveal you are a great-great-grandfather to me. You may be surprised to find out your very own son, John went to the New World in 1630 along with his wife and 4 children aboard the ship Prosperous, and settled in the Americas. Eventually these settlers rebelled against the Crown (shocking, I know). But since your poetry revealed a bit of a naughty rebellious streak, I thought you may understand, and this New World became a country of its own in 1776 called the United States of America.
Your descendants settled in this new land that was established as the United States. That is were you find me, 400 years later, residing in the United States, but a half a world away from England in a place called Alaska. It’s a place with rugged beauty and long dark winters; this is where your great-great-granddaughter on down the line, along with her husband and family settled, and so I remain.
Our family is rather amused with history, my brother in particular. He devours history books and can quote trivia as if it could save his life. He also, attained some witty poetry skills from a very amusing Sir John, I assume. I get a poem every single year for my birthday, clearly, your blood relative. It is with this love, I found a little table at a thrift store; I’m sure you don’t know what that is. In simple terms, it is a glorified dump, where people buy other people’s junk to use again. This is not a particularly new thing, apparently my Great Grandfather Francis Harrington bought antiques and what his daughter clarified as other “junk” and sold them at a little shop called the Wharton Valley Variety Shop. Perhaps shopping for junk runs in the family? I confess, I shop at these thrift stores regularly, to find good deals, but even more so, to make ugly things beautiful.
That is where you come in. In America, we don’t formally abide by class systems or identify with coat of arms any longer. You may find it horrifying, but we just have names and everyone is friends with everyone else on this place called Facebook. Nonetheless, we are still intrigued by our relatives, and a class system way before us, so your Harrington Coat of Arms I painted on an ugly discarded table. I repainted this table with a special paint called Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Trophy and some acrylic paints and sealed it all up with MMS Tough Coat. It is now quite charming, and your history-loving, silly poetry writing great-grandson was quite amused with it as a gift for Christmas.
With that, I conclude my offer of thanks for the contributions you made to history. I hope you have found the findings of your legacy amusing.
*The Life and Times of Elizabeth by Massimo Rossara