Chuck Zumbrun

Tales from Skunk Hill

Another Mom Story

[ Another Mom story I didn’t publish back in 2019. ]

I was helping Mom get on her MyChart account to check for a doctor’s appointment. She’d forgotten her password so we going through the security question rigmarole. “Ok,” I said, “it’s asking for your favorite person from history.” [1]

Mom answered, without hesitating, “Eleanor Roosevelt.” I typed that in and we went on.

But I was thinking, “Eleanor Roosevelt? Really?” I tried remember what I knew about Eleanor Roosevelt that would make someone use them as the answer to their security question.

I realized I knew next to nothing about Eleanor Roosevelt. Was she Franklin’s distant cousin? [2] That was the best I could come up with.

I started reading about Eleanor [4] , how she used her position as First Lady to speak up for African-American rights, for the unemployed, for women’s rights, for the United Nations. She was the first to use her position as First Lady to champion causes like these.

My Mom would’ve been a teenager during those days. What a role model to have at that age. I can see why you’d use her as a reminder, 70 years gone by.


1. “Favorite person from history?” I want to slap you dummies at Epic Systems (Epic is the software company that is the MyChart app) upside the head.

2. They were 5th cousins, once removed. [3]

3. Fun fact, Teddy Roosevelt and I are 7th cousins! (twice removed) And since Eleanor was Teddy’s niece that makes her my mom’s 8th cousin.

Cousin Teddy

4. Always the teacher, Mom, by a casual reference, got me to read up on a topic I would have never looked up otherwise.

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