Although hard to see in this photo, I'm in the far left wearing a tie with the McKenzie family's tartan on it. This photo was taken at a family reunion in Pittsburgh in 2001. My life has been different from that of most of the others in this photo in that it has been defined by internal migration. My great-great-grandparents moved from Ireland to Pittsburgh; the previous generation had moved from Scotland to Ireland. But after that initial migration, the family stayed in place in Pittsburgh. My great-great-grandfather worked as a police officer. My great-grandfather as a firefighter. My grandfather as a steelworker. In fact, he died in a house three blocks from where he was born, and never moved beyond those few blocks. Then us... My father worked as a television sportscaster, moving to Altoona, Pa., then Minneapolis (where he and my mother met), then West Palm Beach (where I was born), then we settled in San Antonio.
The tie that I wore to this family reunion was literally a tangible tie to the family in Pittsburgh. And at the time of this reunion photo, I was attending college in Pittsburgh, getting to know most of this large family for the first time. Even though I have since migrated again (back to San Antonio, to Peace Corps in El Salvador, back to San Antonio, and finally to the Washington area), I still keep and wear that tie as a reminder of my roots.
– David McKenzie