[if the version of this page you are seeing lacks the navigation header, click here.]

"Not Without Mustard."
-- Shakespeare's family motto,
as parodied by Ben Jonson.

     You can't choose your relatives, and family pride, like other sorts, goeth before a fall. Witness Jonson's apt skewering of his social-climbing fellow playwright William Shakespeare, who with the proceeds of his then-disreputable theatrical career had bought his father a coat of arms and (perhaps) the motto that went with it:

non sans droit
("not without honor").

     Ideally, honor is what we bring to our families, not take from them, a point perhaps half felt by Shakespeare, since he purchased for his the honor in whose reflected glory he sought to bask. Yet, by an irony of history, it was his own supposedly sordid profession that brought him immortality, not his dubiously-acquired honorifics.
     Most of us live and strive within narrower bounds than Shakespeare, but it is as foolish for us as it was for him to look to family pride to fill the gap between us and our aspirations. If we would truly honor our families, it should be for their true selves, warts and all.
     This small effort at preserving its memory is my attempt to honor mine.

--Brian Kunde.

1st web edition posted 11/10/1997 (last updated 1/10/2005).
2nd web edition posted 1/24/2005 (last updated 8/31/2012).