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Suh, no affront to ma family honor will go unanswered!

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My family, especially on my dad’s side, has always placed a lot of import on familial respect — respect for the family, defending the family name and other family members, etc. In the past, when this has been challenged or undercut in some way, there have been many unreported and, often, violent repercussions.

As one story goes, my grandfather, in his late teens or early twenties, was going through old Civil War uniforms, weapons, memorabilia, etc. with the local dentist’s son. At some point, the dentist’s son made a slight against my great-grandma which my grandfather found particularly offensive. Among the Civil War relics was a sword which my grandpa happened to have been holding at this precise moment; within a matter of seconds, my grandfather had stabbed through the boy’s thick leather cowboy boots, through his foot, and deep enough into the floorboard that the sword couldn’t be removed easily. After the sword had been removed and it was time for my grandpa to be reprimanded, the dentist simply told his son (not my grandfather) that he shouldn’t have been playing so roughly with the Civil War relics.

When my grandpa tells the story, he always chuckles when he gets to the actual stabbing part; every time, he mentions that back then cowboy boots were made from very thick cowhide leather — not like today — so it’s super impressive that he was able to stab not only through the boot, but also so deep into the floor that it was hard to remove.

-Heather Harris

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