“Country roads, take me home, to the place, I belong…!”
My father would sing that familiar refrain, as he would direct our family Thunderbird off the 216 and onto “our” gravel road… signalling that we were almost home.
That John Denver ballad was a song I grew up with… I believe it was also on rotation on CHSM Radio 1250, which was on 24/7 in our home.
But I had no idea that John Denver was actually my dad’s distant cousin!
One day I was checking out the Facebook comments on a Daily Bonnet article, and someone noted, “John Denver was a Koop!”
Wait wait wait wait wait.
I’M a Koop.
Um… am I related to John Denver?
Andrew and I hurried on over to Grandma Online (you know, our new BFF). Sure enough. Grandma Online revealed John Denver to be my 5th cousin, twice removed.
I would’ve never guessed that, when as a girl I heard songs such as Sunshine On My Shoulders and Take Me Home, Country Roads, that that voice was any sort of relative of mine, even distant.
Furthermore, when I was reading the Koop section of the MMHS’s book entitled Settlers of the East Reserve, I see that Delbert F. Plett wrote at the bottom of page 277: “It is from son Pauel Koop (b. 1790) in Munsterberg, that the famous American folk singer John Denver is descended.” The footnote references an article Robert Loewen wrote for Preservings issue No.8, entitled “John Denver: A Kleine Gemeinder?” (I will have to get my hands on this issue. Time to order back copies!)