We don't see the Sugiura side very regularly, but I always look forward to learning more about the family tree from my aunts. I've done a bit of digging around on ancestry.com and with their help, I've been able to fill in many of the gaps. Last I heard, we can track part of the family back to Cornwall! They've recently been sharing photos from the past (I even received a framed photo of my grandfather and his siblings for Christmas!) and it's been really cool to record oral history too. Hearing those stories is beyond interesting and, as cheesy as it sounds, you can really see how your past creates who you are today.
In this last 'bout of story telling I learned that my grandfather and my grandmother grew up together (photo above: my grandmother, Elizabeth, is the child with the swim cap on sitting on the left side of the photo and my grandfather, Joseph, is the third one in on the right hand side whose squinting or making a funny face?). My grandmother's father forbid her from seeing my grandfather because he was Japanese. Obviously, that didn't stop them and they eventually were married.
I also learned that my great grandmother was a 'lady of the night.' She supported the family because my great grandfather was discriminated against in the workplace for being Japanese. They had six children together and in one family photo, you see three dark haired children and two very blond haired and blue eyed children - def not from the same father! Whoops. Luckily, my great grandfather accepted all of them as his own. More photos and stories to follow!