by Kim Rogers
While filling in his family tree late Thursday night, local uncle Dan Polinski came dangerously close to unmasking a huge cover-up in his family history. Clicking through relatives on Ancestry.com, the amateur historian stumbled upon a discrepancy that could mean damaging consequences for the Polinski tribe.
“It’s hard to know how many Polinskis are in on it, but I think this goes all the way to the top,” said Polinski, taking off his glasses to push his hair out of his eyes. “Great Great Grandpa Bernard seems to be at the root of it all.”
Polinski spent the rest of the night poring through faded family albums and connecting names on his office cork board with twine, but by the time the sun rose he’d only begun to scratch the surface of the Polinski family conspiracy.
“Who is that on the swing set next to Uncle Patrick?” Polinski wondered, squinting at the water-stained face of a mysterious woman in a photo dated 1973. “Impossible. Great Aunt Gene would’ve still been behind bars at the Chisholm County Jail for her bounced check at Mac’s Tack Shack back then.”
Uncapping a pen and pressing the ink to his legal pad, Polinski struggled to add up the missing pieces. With a lit cigarette dangling from beneath his teeth, he knew he was at the edge of a cliff, and was ready to jump.
“If Geraldine and Frances were cousins, and Frances married Ricky Cruz in 1935, and Geraldine moved to Maine in 1941… No… It couldn’t be…” Polinski mumbled to himself, spreading birth certificates and family records out across his desk.
As smoke circled over head, Polinski desperately phoned extended family for anything that might take him below the tip of the iceberg, but with each call he was pushed further away.
“Leave the past in the past, son,” Grandpa Albert ordered Polinski over the phone early Friday morning. “Before somebody gets hurt.”
Ostracized by his own, Polinski had no choice but to lay the issue to rest. He was on the verge of logging out of his Ancestry.com account for good Friday afternoon, when he got a call from Great Aunt Ruby, the only source willing to speak on the record:
“Grandpa Bernard? Total Nazi.”