One of my favorite weekend pastimes is reading genealogy blogs. They give me an entirely new perspective on tracing my family’s roots, not to mention ideas for postings on my own blog site! Take, for example, Jana Last. I absolutely love her award-winning blog (click here), especially the “My Ancestors’ Signatures” and “The Traveling Dentist” tabs.
I recently read with great interest one of her postings on RootsTech 2014, a conference for genealogists held annually in Salt Lake City. But more specifically, the keynote address given by lecturer and certified genealogist Judy Russell.
Russell gave a very convincing speech and demonstrated about how family stories are lost within three generations. That’s why it’s important to record them so they can be passed onto later generations. San Diego genealogist Randall Seaver (www.geneamusings.com) took Russell’s presentation a step further.
Rather than trying to answer questions about our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, Seaver put out the challenge to share some of our own childhood memories by answering Russell’s six questions. He calls it, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Great idea!
Here are the questions:
1. What was your first illness as a child?
2. What was the first funeral you attended?
3. What was your favorite book as a child?
4. What was your favorite class in elementary school?
5. What was your favorite toy as a child?
6. Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn?
My answers to these questions:
1. I was fortunate; I never got sick as a kid. I was more injury-prone than anything because I like to play rough.
My mom was constantly driving me to the doctor’s office for stitches.
2. I attended a Catholic grade school where the nuns were strict, the curriculum very regimented and appearance was taken seriously. Failure to wear navy blue slacks and a white collared shirt, both neatly pressed, and a tie would get you sent home. The school prepared students quite early for death. I attended my first funeral with my entire second grade class; it was for an elderly parishioner. And how could I ever forget that day. One of my classmates (Jeannie Luther) had a seizure right in the middle of the funeral service. At the time, I thought it was way cooler than seeing a dead person for the first time.
3. My favorite book as a child was “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” which I still have a copy of. But once I discovered The Hardy Boys, the Motorcycle-riding mouse became a thing of the past. I have a wonderful mom who always took me to the library.
4. Since I excelled in all subjects, I really didn’t have a so-called favorite subject or class. After my parents yanked me from Catholic elementary school, the principal at my new school hand-picked six students to form a harmonica group. I happened to be one of the chosen ones; it was pretty darn cool.
5. Material things never appealed to me as a child so I never really had a favorite toy per se. We had more fun creating our own games. For example, I would have my friends sit at our kitchen counter while I would pull out grocery products. Whoever came closest to the real price won. But my all-time favorite was the “The Note Game.” It works something like this: you write down clues on small pieces of paper and hide them throughout the house (i.e. under a sofa cushion, inside the microwave, under a bed). Well, you get the picture. Participants start off with one note that leads them to the other hidden notes one by one. Sometimes there may be a prize waiting for you at the end; or someone might be waiting to scare you if the last clue leads you to a closet or dark room!
6. Yes, I can swim and to this day it amazes me the number of adults who can’t. Fortunately, my older sisters worked as lifeguards and I had several friends with swimming pools. I never took formal swimming lessons. Instead, I pretty much taught myself how to swim similar to the way I taught myself to drive a car with a manual transmission. They both were something I was certain I could do — and I was right! I was actually a pretty darn good swimmer. One of my favorite things to do with friends was dive into the deep end at the public pool and see who could tread water the longest. I always won! In high school I dove on the swim team, earned my lifesaving and for three summers worked as a lifeguard, and was a member of an intramural swim team. Water and swimming have always been a big part of my life.
I realize most of you don’t have blog sites so I encourage you to share your answers to these six questions right here on my site, I would love to hear your childhood memories.
Oh, and I encourage you to check out Randall’s blog (click here) to see how others answered these same questions. They are fun!!
Until next time…