My father was a Patriarch in a large extended family until he died when I was 57 years old. When things were going poorly in the family, my job as eldest son was to identify culprits and savagely critique Patriarchal performance. When things were going well, my task was to stir up trouble with merciless teasing and outrageous pranks aimed at putting other family members on edge. My age now makes me a default Patriarch, at least in my Clan of Thirteen descendants and spouses. I now view my former role as a self appointed Consigliere from a perspective dripping with poetic justice. I wonder why my Dad did not disinherit me.


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