Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Best Genealogy Find This Year

Elizabeth O'Neal of My Descendants' Ancestors suggested writing about your best genealogy find during the year for her December Genealogy Blog Party.  I've had a rather unsettled year, what with selling my house in Oakland, moving 600 miles to a different state, and still being surrounded by far too many moving boxes.  So I haven't had a lot of time to work on my own family research.  But this summer I did manage to connect with a cousin on my paternal grandmother's side of the family.

Surprisingly (for me), I was looking at my DNA matches on Ancestry.com and found a close match with a family tree with names I recognized.  According to the tree, the woman appeared to be a daughter of my grandmother's sister, but the ages didn't seem to match up right based on the records I was able to find easily.  I sent a message anyway, and it turns out she's actually my grand-aunt's granddaughter, not daughter.  She shared more information about her side of the family, and I discovered that a lot of what I had been told previously wasn't quite accurate.  Based on what she sent I was able to find a lot more records and add substantially to my database.  And I even found several photographs of cousins on that side!

I'm looking forward to sharing my discoveries with my newfound cousin (when she answers my e-mail message!).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Have You Visited an Ancestral Town?

In this week's installment of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver asks us to comment on some of our genealogical travels.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) Have you ever visited one of your ancestral towns?  If so, tell us the town, where it is, when you went, and who your ancestors are from that town.

(2) Share your experience with us in a blog post of your own, a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this post to lead us to your story.

I have visited more than one of my ancestral towns, but the one I spent the most time exploring is Mt. Holly (and surrounding area), New Jersey.  It is in Burlington County, not far from Philadelphia.

I went there in 2005 on a side trip to the Bahamas (long story).  My paternal grandfather was born in Mount Holly in 1903, and my paternal grandmother was born nearby in 1893.  Both of their families had long-established roots in the area dating back decades, if not centuries.

One of the main reasons I visited Mount Holly was to try to find my great-grandfather's grave and see if he had a tombstone.  My grandfather's sister Betty wanted to know if her father had a stone, and if not we were going to get one for him.

I learned from Elmer's death certificate that he was buried in Brotherhood Cemetery, which technically is not in Mount Holly proper.  It's that small red circle just to the west of the Mount Holly city line in the map above.

When I visited the cemetery, I discovered it was fairly small, so I thought it wouldn't be difficult to find the grave.  Boy, was I wrong.  I walked up and down every row at least three times and couldn't find him.  I knew from having spoken to the cemetery sexton before leaving for my trip that he was unavailable during the day, so I tried to figure out who else might be able to help me.

The only place I could think of that might have knowledge of the layout of the cemetery was the funeral home which had taken care of Elmer's burial in 1918 and which was still in business (at the time it was the second-oldest family-owned funeral home in the state, although I don't know if that is still true today).  So I called the Perinchief Funeral Home and explained my predicament.  I was totally surprised when the owner and his son (both Perinchiefs, of course) offered to come out to the cemetery to help me look!

And that they did.  The three of us walked through the cemetery, up and down and across, and none of could find Elmer.  I thanked them very much for making the effort and waited until that evening to call Mr. Szelc, the sexton.  I explained the two searches undertaken that day and our singular lack of success.  He told me to go back to the cemetery in the morning and that he would mark Elmer's grave with a small orange flag.

The next morning I dutifully returned to Brotherhood and walked up and down the rows yet again.  Even with Mr. Szelc's instructions, I almost missed the (very) small orange flag he had placed.  Once I found it, I realized why even the three of us searching the day before had missed the stone.  It was a very small half-circle made of marble, and it had heavily eroded in the intervening almost 90 years.  Even with the flag next to it, I could barely discern the name "SELLERS" on the stone.

So the good news was that I could tell my grand-aunt that yes, her father did have a tombstone.  When she heard about the condition, she wanted to have a replacement made.  I thought that would be easy to accomplish, as Mr. Szelc, along with being the cemetery sexton, was also a stonecutter (nice cross-over business).  Surprisingly, I could never get Mr. Szelc to return my calls after that, and we were unable to have a new stone made before my aunt passed away (and in fact I still haven't had the stone replaced).

The other important thing I did while visiting around Mount Holly was find the house in which my grandmother was born, in Masonville.  My father had visited some years earlier while traveling with my stepmother and told other family members about the sign over the door noting the date of the home's original deed, but somehow (!) he had neglected to take a photograph of the house for the rest of us (even though he's spent most of his life taking photos).  I made sure to take care of that omission on my trip.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Season of Giving: Cairo Genizah, Dachau Survivors, Polish Films, and More

I've come across several more genealogically oriented projects that are looking for assistance.  While you consider which seasonal toy drive you might want to contribute to, also think about how you can help with your time, knowledge, or family items.

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is a project to sort, transcribe, and translate the fragments of documents discovered in the Cairo Genizah.  During phase I of the project, volunteers will sort fragments into different categories based on their script types, which offers clues to the type of text a fragment contains.  Having this information for the entire collection will allow the fragments to be sorted into workflows for transcription in phase II (launching in Spring 2018).

The results from Scribes of the Cairo Geniza have the potential to rewrite the history of the premodern Middle East, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade, and the Jewish diaspora.  Until now, most of the information has remained locked away in undeciphered manuscript fragments; less than one third of the 350,000 items have been catalogued in the years that the cache has been known to exist.  Virtually all scholars who have studied these texts have come away with a transformed sense of the history of the region and the long ties of intimacy among its people.  Students and the general public will have the opportunity to benefit from encountering these fragments online and from learning how to sort and eventually transcribe them as members of a citizen scientist community.  This project is a way for people with shared interests and different skill levels from around the world to meet in a common endeavor and unlock this storage chamber of ancient fragments.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

If you or a relative spent any time in Kitchener Camp, a Jewish refugee camp in Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom, immediately before or during World War II, the organizers of a site are seeking photos, memories, etc.  The intention is to establish the site and then find an institution to maintain it as a memorial.  More information can be found on the Web site, http://www.kitchenercamp.co.uk/.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Marching Soldiers, 1916
The Port Hope Archives ((Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) is asking for help in identifying soldiers and civilians iin its collection of photographs relating to World War I and World War II.  The primary focus was in connction with this year's Remembrance Day (Veterans Day here in the United States), but the archives continues to receive photos and welcomes any efforts to name the people in them.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Judith Ellen Elam is in charge of bringing an exhibit titled "The German Roots of Zionism" to Maui, Hawaii.  It will be on display for three months at the local Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, probably starting in August 2018.  Her group is trying to tie the exhibit in with a Hawaiian-Japanese theme as well.  The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was activated February 1, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  The unit was composed of both mainland and Hawaiian Japanese-Americans.  It is best known for liberating some of the Dachau subcamps.

Judith would like to make contact with anyone who has personal information (documents, photos, testimonials, etc.) about Jews liberated from Dachau subcamps by the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion.  The group would like to showcase the personal items in a display for the duration of the exhibit.  Please contact Judith at elamj@hawaii.rr.com if you can assist her.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Columbus (Ohio) Jewish Historical Society is collecting the names of Jewish central Ohio World War I veterans who served in the United States armed forces, as well as those who served in other countries but had a link to central Ohio.  If your family had Jewish WWI veterans with a link to central Ohio, please contact Toby Brief at tbrief@hotmail.com or history@tcjf.org.  The society has collected more than 230 names so far and knows that there are more to be added.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Australian soldiers in France, 1917
In another focused memorial effort relating to World War I, Flinders University in South Australia is seeking contributions toward a public event planned for February 23 and 24, 2018 in Adelaide.  "South Australians in France" will bring together people with heirlooms and specialists of various types to discuss the stories behind those objects.  The project has a Facebook page where photos can be posted leading up to next year's event.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Arizona State University has received a grant that will permit it to hold workshops over the next three years to teach state residents how to care for their fragile family heirlooms and artifacts.  People will be able to digitize documents and will help build the state's community archive in the process.  A specific effort is being made to reach out to the Latino, Asian, black, and LGBTQ communities to make sure their stories are saved.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews in Istanbul is planning an exhibition on Jewish life in Trakya/Thrace.  It will attempt to include all the localities, from Edirne to Gelibolu, including Tekirdag, Tchorlu, Silivri, Kirklareli (Kirk Kilise), Canakkale, Luleburgaz, etc.  It will range from ancient days to the present time.  The museum is asking for digital photos of people and artifacts, and stories for the exhibition.  If you have something that might be of interest, contact Metin Delevi at metindelevi@gmail.com.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

David Sandler is working on a book about South African landsmanschaftn (sick and benefit societies) which will incorporate all brochures and booklets of societies he can obtain.  So far he has booklets from Keidan, Krakenowo, Ponevez and Malat and Districts.  Many associations were active in South Africa over the years, including ones related to Anykster, Birzer, Dwinsk, Keidan, Kelmer, Kovno, Krakinover, Kroze, Kupisker, Kurland and Riga, Lutzin, Minsk, Ponevez, Poswohl, Plungian, Rakishok, Schavlaner, Schawler, Shater, Tels, Utianer, Wilner, and Zagare.  The SAJBD archives at Beyachad are assisting David, but he is appealing to everyone for any publications from any of these South African societies.  You can contact him at sedsand@iinet.net.au.  Approximately 95% of the proceeds from David's books go to Arcadia (the JHB Chevra Kadisha) and the balance to Oranjia (CT) and the JDC.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Agata Zalewska is the Film Collection Manager for Filmoteka Narodowa, the Polish National Film Archives in Warsaw.  As a state cultural institution, Filmoteka Narodowa is charged with protecting national cultural heritage in cinematography and dissemination of film culture.  Since its inception in 1955, the archives has been collecting and restoring films made in Poland, with the hope of finding copies of all films.  It has an almost complete collection of films made from 1946 onward.  Of course, more early silent films are missing than later films.

Filmoteka Narodowa has restored 75% of Polish feature films made between 1930 and 1939.  Besides films, it has extensive collections of promotional materials, books, posters, stills, and other materials related to films.  It makes its items available in its library; though movie showings, festivals, and lending; and though the production of print and digital media.  For example, it has published a DVD containing six restored shorts and an introduction about the early days of World War II for Poland, especially Warsaw; the DVD includes an English version with subtitles.

Agata’s primary interest at Filmoteka Narodowa is in finding missing Polish films.  Although it has become harder and harder to find films, and in many ways it is a race against time, Filmoteka Narodowa keeps turning up a gem here and there.  There is no telling where a film — full-length, documentary, or short — may be found.  For instance, in the late 1990's, a 1929 film was found in the Royal Archives in Brussels, and in 2003 a 1914 film was purchased from Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.  Others have been found in private collections stored away in attics and forgotten.

If you have any materials that would be of interest to Filmoteka Narodowa or know where any are or might be, please contact Abbey H. Brewer or Agata Zalewska.

Abbey H. Brewer
1422 E. Brooklake Drive
Houston, Texas 77077
(713) 882-7229

Agata Zalewska
Filmoteka Narodowa
ul. Puławska 61
00-975 Warszawa

(This information appeared in Gen Dobry! Volume XVIII, Number 5, May 2017.)

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

A Jewish Reform synagogue in London is looking for help in deciphering an amulet in its possession.  The amulet was "dumped anonymously in the shul."  While most of the Hebrew has been translated, the central letters are still a mystery.  Anyone who has an idea as to the meaning is invited to contact the synagogue.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Drive Down Memory Lane: Family Cars

For this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun exercise, Randy Seaver has chosen a great topic, although I'm not sure I will be able to do it justice:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music) is to:

(1)  Drive down Memory Lane:  What were your family cars?  From childhood to now, year, model, color, features.  Can you remember?

(2)  Share your memories with us in your own blog post, in a Facebook post, or a comment on this post.  Please comment on this post if you write somewhere else.

My father is the person who will know exactly what cars we had when I was a kid, but first I'll see what I can remember and then ask him to supplement my comments.  I remember more from when I was older, of course.

• The first vehicle I remember any stories about was not a car but a motorcycle (and more of them will appear in my timeline later).  The story is that my father took my mother motorcycle riding to Death Valley while she was pregnant with my sister.  I don't know what kind of bike that was, although my guess is Indian or Harley-Davidson.

• My father sent me a scan of a photograph of me sitting on an Indian motorcycle which I believe belonged to him.  The photo is from 1967, so I was 5, but I don't know what year the motorcycle is.  The photo was taken in Southern California, probably in La Puente?

• The first car I remember my family having was a Plymouth Barracuda, which because my family liked to play around with words we called a Baccaruda.  No clue as to year, color, or whatever.  I remember it was a two-door and the three of us kids had to cram into the back seat.  I think we had it when we lived in Southern California, so my guess is sometime between 1969 and 1971.

• In Australia the only car I can recall is a Mini Cooper, which was awesome!  Even though my dad is 6'1" and we three kids were growing, it had plenty of room inside for everyone.  Again I don't remember year, color, or other details.  I know we had it while we lived in Pagewood, which was toward the end of the time we were in Australia, so definitely during the beginning of 1973, maybe extending back to the end of 1972?

• After we returned to the States and moved to Niceville, Florida (yes, that's really the name), at some point we had a Mercedes that wasn't really a Mercedes.  It was one of those kit cars where the outside is just a facade and the car underneath is something else.  I remember no details about it.  We probably had it around 1973–1974.

• After we moved from Niceville to Villa Tasso (still in Florida), my father had a Chevrolet Chevelle that ended up being painted BFY, for Bright (expletive deleted) Yellow.  I have a vague recollection that the man who later became my stepfather, who worked with my father, painted it that color as some sort of revenge, or maybe it was a bet.  It quickly became an albatross — everyone in town knew that car was ours.  We were immediately recognizable everywhere.

• One day while I was walking around Villa Tasso, which probably had only about 200 residents, I found a Mini Cooper in someone's yard.  I ran back home to get my father to drag him to look at it, because I wanted it.  He bought it for $75; I don't know if the title was in my name, but it was supposed to be for me.  The interior was shot and the tires were all flat.  Because it was going to be my car, I had to help my father take each tire off one at a time, roll it back to our house, pump it up with a compressor (yes, we had one at the house), roll it back to the car, and put it back on.  We then rolled the car to our house.  My father was going to get it into running condition for me.  I wanted to have it painted purple and yellow and call it the Minnesota Mini.  Nothing ever happened with it, and I believe my father sold it for the $75 he paid for it.

• My first motorcycle was a 75CC Yamahauler in 1975 or so, which I think my father bought for me.  It was kind of a starter motorcycle for kids.  My father, however, liked to ride around on it, but it was so small his knees were up by his ears.  I don't remember what happened to the bike.

• My mother drove a Chevy Corvair for a while.  I think it was white.  I remember that it was really low to the ground, because when we had heavy rains and the unpaved roads in Villa Tasso flooded, we couldn't go out in the Corvair, because the water came up through the floorboards.  At least once the only way we managed to get to school was the parent of another student who lived in Villa Tasso came and picked us up.

• After my parents divorced and my mother had married my stepfather, the latter promised me a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang convertible (the only car I've ever really wanted) for my high school graduation present.  At one point he found a 1967 Mustang for me and started to fix it up.  While he was working on it he discovered that it was rusting out from the inside (the joys of unibody construction), so he slapped a quick paint job on it (I think it was light tan) and sold it to someone.  I never drove the car.

• I don't know when we got it, but in 1979 we had a Fiat 124.  It was a small, boxy yellow car.  My sister nicknamed it Turkey, after the character on Captain Kool and the Kongs.  In one of the few instances when I really got in trouble with my parents growing up, I drove the Fiat by myself in the summer of 1979 from Villa Tasso to Auburn, Alabama for a reunion of students who had participated in a math seminar the previous year.  It was a 200-mile trip in a torrential, driving Southern thunderstorm, and I had no idea that the car shouldn't have been able to make the trip.  It didn't give me any problems on the way.

• Sometime around 1980 or 1981 my parents moved to San Antonio, Texas.  No recollection as to when he found it, but my stepfather bought a 1964 1/2 Mustang that had been sitting on the back part of someone's property for many, many years.  It wasn't a convertible, and the tires, roof, and interior were shot, but the body was in decent shape.  Just like my Minnesota Mini, this was supposed to have been fixed up for me.  It never was, and in 1992 I had my parents sell the car so I could make a down payment on a house.  That was where I lived for 24 years in Oakland, California.  I used to tell people I was living in my Mustang.

• Maybe around 1983, while I was living in Los Angeles, I had a red Ford Pinto.  I don't remember where or how I got it.  I do remember someone broke into it one day while it was parked in front of where I was living.  The only thing stolen was the registration.  I have no memory of what happened to it.

• Sometime after the Pinto I acquired a Pontiac Firebird, or one of the GM cars that had the same body.  I think it was white (I seem to have had a lot of white cars).  I had it in 1984, because I drove it to San Antonio while the Olympics were in town.  All nonessential staff at USC were told to take two weeks of vacation during the Olympics to get us off the campus.  I drove the car to San Antonio because my stepfather was going to give it a spiffy paint job for me (he was primarily a paint and body man).  I had my bicycle in the back seat, so he could paint that also.  When I arrived, however, Ric looked over the car and discovered the head was cracked, so he wouldn't let me have it back.  He did paint the bicycle a beautiful pearl flake (which he had left over in the shop), and I brought it back to L.A. with me on the plane trip I had to take because I no longer had the car.

• After knee surgery in 1985, I could no longer ride a bicycle, so I decided to buy a motorcycle, because it was less expensive than a car.  I got a Suzuki GS550.  I think it was red.  I had a custom plate that read "JANS GS."  I kept it for a few years until I upgraded to a larger bike.

• Sometime around 1986 or 1987 I got a 1964 Pontiac Catalina (I think) 9-passenger station wagon from my parents.  I think I had determined that as cool as it was to ride the motorcycle, occasionally I needed to move stuff around (although I have moved furniture and large musical instruments on a motorcycle).  I wanted my stepfather to paint it black, so it would look like a hearse, but that's when I learned that black is a very difficult color to do well.  The car ended up green, which was a color he had left over in the shop (again).  It came in really handy while I was in the USC Marching Band, because it was almost big enough to fit an entire 10-piece band (used for small gigs) and all their instruments.  In 1988 or 1989, someone broke one of the quarter panel windows, which would have cost about $300 to replace, to steal a $20 emergency car care kit.  Luckily, my stepfather had another station wagon in the shop that used the same windows, so he shipped me the replacement, and all I had to pay for was the installation.  When I moved from Los Angeles to Berkeley, I drove the Oldsmobile.  One of my new friends in the Bay Area nicknamed the car Space Cruiser Yamato because it was so huge.  When the transmission started to go, it was too expensive to have the work done locally, so I put the car on a car carrier to send back to my stepfather to work on.  Through a series of events painful to recall, the station wagon was never retrieved from the shipper, so it was claimed on a lien and lost to me forever.

• While I was still in Los Angeles, I decided that the Suzuki 550 was not big enough anymore, so I sold it and bought a Honda CB750K.  It was blue.  It was also a relatively unpopular model.  It was tall and had a very high center of gravity.  To take out the battery, you had to remove the covers from both sides of the bike.  The center stand was an absolute bear to maneuver; it always took two people to get it to work.  The one thing the bike really had going for it was the 5 1/2 gallon gas tank, because it was built for touring.  I drove that motorcycle up and down I-5 several times to go to Renaissance Faires in the Bay Area.  It was stolen one night while I was working at the USC Hillel (I was the kosher cook there), so between fall of 1988 and spring of 1989.  (I'm pretty sure I know who stole it, in a revenge scheme, but I was never able to prove it.)  I lasted about a week before I bought a replacement bike (see my next entry).  A couple of months after I bought the new bike, the Honda was found by the police on the side of a freeway, where it had been abandoned by someone running from the police.  I don't remember how I got it up to Berkeley when I moved there in September 1989, but I couldn't find a buyer.  I ended up giving it to my landlady's lover.  I think I had a personal license plate for this bike also.

• Because I couldn't stand not having a motorcycle after the Honda was stolen, I went out and found a new bike.  I went bigger again, this time buying a Yamaha XJ 920 Virago.  It was black.  It was a pretty cool bike.  I rode it up and down I-5 a bunch of times also, although I had to stop for gas more often, because it wasn't a touring bike and had only a 3 1/2 gallon tank.  I had a personal plate for it, but I don't remember what it was.  I had the Virago until the summer of 1994, when the third (expletive deleted) who drove through a red light totaled it.  I was very lucky and came out of the incident with only a broken toe.  Of course the idiot didn't have insurance.

• Shortly before I moved to Berkeley, one of my housemates abruptly moved out and left her Honda Rebel 125 motorcycle behind.  I got a title for it purely so I could sell it, but that did make it mine for a while.  I think I rode it once or twice?

• I think it was after I bought the house in Oakland, therefore 1993 or later, that I got the 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88 convertible.  This was also from my parents.  I was told it was one of the three largest production convertibles ever made; it was an absolute boat.  I remember the first thing that my stepfather and his business partner both told me when I saw the car:  "Never lock the doors."  It is too easy with a ragtop to just slice the cover, so there's no use taking the risk.  This car, which was another white one, was fun to drive.  It had tons of room and turned on a dime.  But with a 455 engine, it got 10 miles to the gallon when it was fully tuned, going downhill, with the wind behind it.  In addition to that problem, I realized I was never putting the top down.  I eventually sold the car to my cousin.  I don't know what he did with it.

• After selling the convertible I needed a replacement vehicle.  This time my parents provided me with a 1983 Chevy G20 short van.  I flew to Florida (they had moved back from Texas by that time) to pick it up and drive it to California.  This was probably in early 1995.  I loved that van; it was a workhorse.  Oh, did I mention it was white?  I drove it up and down I-5 to multiple Ren Faires and game conventions.  I took it to Reno for a conference for work and then down to Vegas for a get-together of game industry people.  I even had the engine rebuilt when the car hit 150,000 miles.  Eventually it died at 255,000 miles, in 2010, and I gave it to a charity reseller.  The personal license plate was "DRD PIR8" (for Dread Pirate, from The Princess Bride).

• Probably about 2007 my surgeon said I had recovered enough from shoulder surgery that it was ok for me to ride a motorcycle again.  I looked up bikes on Craigslist and found someone selling a red crotch rocket.  I don't remember what make it was, but it was definitely Japanese, because all I've ever owned are rice burners.  It turned out that I wasn't actually recovered enough, because the shoulder had torn again, so I didn't have the bike for long before I sold it.

• I don't do well without my own transportation.  When my Chevy van died in 2010, it took me only four days from when my mechanic told me it was a goner to buying a replacement.  My father helped me find a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbo.  I transferred the DRD PIR8 license plate to it.  I was thinking I was finally going to have a vehicle with decent mileage, but my sister, who had owned a few Cruisers, warned me that the Turbo wasn't that great.  It was an improvement over the van, though:  I went from 15 to 20 miles per gallon.  The Putt Putt, as I fondly called it, was reasonably reliable.  It was black, which I discovered made the interior much warmer than I had expected.  After all those white cars, it was a huge difference.  The Cruiser and I got along fairly well, but it died on me in spectacular fashion this past June, conking out on Sepulveda Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley in rush-hour traffic.  My mechanic back home in Oakland wanted to check it out to make sure about the condition, so I had it towed the 400 miles back.  After performing last rites over it, it was time to move on.

• The vehicle I have now is a silver 2005 Toyota RAV4.  I think it took a couple of weeks after the Cruiser died to finalize this purchase, mostly because of being out of town when it happened.  This is kind of like having a van again, because it has a lot of room inside.  It was crammed totally full when I drove the 600 miles to Portland, Oregon on August 31.  I didn't transfer my personalized plates because the existing plates were still valid through November, and I already knew I was going to be moving to Oregon, so it made no sense to buy new California plates.  So I have some nondescript plates for the moment, but last week I registered the Toyota here in Portland, and my new custom plates are on the way.  Unfortunately, Oregon allows only six characters on a license plate, so I had to settle for DRD PR8.

Friday, November 24, 2017

National Day of Listening 2017

The Friday after Thanksgiving has been designated as the National Day of Listening since it was launched in 2008 by StoryCorps, a nonprofit oral history project.  Americans are encouraged to take the time to record the stories of family members, friends, and members of the community.  I'm posting a little later than I intended, but there is still time to participate!

StoryCorps has recommendations for equipment and resources if you want to conduct interviews today or even during the remainder of the holiday weekend.  Take some time to listen to a relative and record that person's memories.  Keep your family history alive by saving the stories and sharing them with other family members.