My family has always been unknowns. We're not famous, we're not big shots. We spend our lives laboring in obscurity. I have been doing family genealogy research for many years now and as far back as I can track our heritage we have been farmers, shop keepers, laborers, etc. Our family tree is the epitome of lower/middle class America.
But that is not true anymore. Thanks to my first cousin, once removed, Milton Kirk Cordes, our family has finally achieved national recognition.
Yesterday, President Bush issued 14 pardons and commuted two prison sentences. One of those pardons was to Milton (Everyone in the family always called him just - Kirk).
On the latest pardon list were:
_Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.
Kirk is the son of my Grandfather's older brother John and his wife Hallie. Everyone called John - Slim. When younger I spent a lot of time at Slim and Hallie's place. That is where we did most of our antelope hunting. I don't remember much of Kirk. He was 18 years older than I was so he was seldom around. He was 6 years younger than my Dad (his first cousin) so to me he was just another grown-up.
Apparently a few years ago Kirk and some buddies were running a private hunting club in SD capitalizing on the out of state hunters who had too much money to spend, but not a place to hunt when they got to South Dakota. I don't know all the details, but apparently they weren't exactly running a completely honest operation. They got caught.
Now Kirk has finally brought out family into the national spotlight - he got a Presidential Pardon. Way to go Kirk!
Actually I'm glad for the guy. While I can't say I knew him personally, I really liked his Mom and Dad. How could I not like a lady who always made homemade creamcicles for me every time we came to visit?