On a day known as April Fool’s Day, I thought a brief examination of my mother’s maiden name was in order by way of considering her family roots in relation to McCarthy Creek inLakeCounty. Dawn, a guest author on our website, often refers to her childhood at Brookwood located right alongside McCarthy Creek. But my mother’s relationship with that creek’s name has no real bearing as she grew up inLibertyville,Illinois, for it was my father who spent some of his childhood at the family farm onBigBassLake.
My father ran away from the family farm at age twelve to work inDetroit. In our day that would have been unheard of as family services would be called in to correct that situation. My father had no love for the family farm so it is quite ironic that all our family vacations were at that farm and that my mother who only had a relationship with that area through marriage was made to endure all our times there. My father dropped us off there and returned to work in whatever city we lived in at that time.
So my mother endured outhouses before we had indoor plumbing at the farm and also came to know my Grandmother Noreika far better than my dad did and that was his mother. As for our last name being Norris, my father, and his brother and sisters, all changed their name from Noreika to Norris to better fit in with workingAmerica. That happened in the 1030’s and 40’s. My grandmother held the original name Noreika till her death in the 1980’s.
It is ironic that McCarthy Creek bears my mother’s maiden name but that is where the resemblance begins and ends. Anything else is just water under the bridge on this particular April Fool’s Day.