How fortunate we are to keep our old friends and to make new ones. Jerry and I enjoyed both these past two weeks. We were glad that it worked out for our RVing friends, Chuck and Jan Moore, to stop overnight as they traveled through Indiana. Their motorhome nestled perfectly on the street alongside our house as we all enjoyed an afternoon, evening and morning of talk, laughter, meals and libations. The four of us are Midwesterners, turned RV wanderers who met in the Southwest about six years ago. Somewhere along the road we discovered that not only did we have exploring in our RVs in common, but we were mutually involved in family history research. This visit included time reminiscing a little about RVing and getting caught up on family and friends. After all, we're still interested in who's on-the-road, who's got a new rig, where everyone's been boon docking, what the Boomers are up to and who's decided to buy some additional type of "home,"and where's the next stop.
That evening, after sharing a scrumptious chicken casserole that Krissy made as a surprise, complimented by Chuck's homemade sour dough bread and Jan's yummy carrot cake, we got our brains fired up on genealogy research. There are always stories to share of those ancestors that are tough to unlock and those that we've gotten to know better lately. And the latest news is that Chuck's getting closer to publishing a history for their grandchildren. So, Jerry and I were interested to see the draft of his ideas. But wait just a minute, now Chuck and Jan are getting deeper into ancestry.com. The discoveries of more censuses and marriages and all kinds of connections are growing. I'm sure the story will jell soon though. And it'll be the right time to publish. Meanwhile, it helps to brainstorm with friends on how to create a story that appeals to everyone in our families. Something they'll read beyond the introduction and the conclusion. You know….the story has to have some zing!
The time flew by. Since I was leaving the next morning for a family history conference in St. Charles, MO., the four of us made the most of our time. Of course, in the morning we enjoyed another chat over coffee and sour dough toast. The Moores headed to the Cincinnati area to explore a few family connections there and visit more friends. (They had a serendipity occurrence - Read it here.)
I took I-70 West toward Missouri, on a jaunt toward improving my research skills. My five days at the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference were interesting and fun, too. I still haven't sorted through all of my notes from the 16 programs I chose - a wide selection - from German Digital Libraries to What Is "Reasonably Exhaustive Research?" I'm now a little better at digging deeper and proving those family ties though. A valuable part of the conference for me were the 30-minute breaks between sessions. It seemed that these longer breaks sparked conversations as we waited for the speaker. Someone sitting next to me would comment about the last session they attended and we'd end up sharing a tip or two, or a website or discussing some research experience.
Another bonus for me was that I met some new friends who are willing to help and listen and laugh all the while. These historians came from every state, California to Iowa to Virginia to Tennessee and, of course, Indiana. One especially nice friend, Marsha, invited me to tag along with her for dinner and whatever. Three or four of us sampled restaurants and roamed in the historic old section of St. Charles, or relaxed in the hotel for happy hour and dinner. In the photo above I'm listening to Daniel Boone, a local favorite, during one of our explorations into St. Charles. (By the way, this sculpture is by Harry Weber - no relation to my Harry Webers, but isn't that ironic!). Lewis & Clark were abundantly celebrated here, of course, as it was an important stop on their Expedition. The park in their honor is on the Missouri River running through St. Charles. This little town was founded by Louis Blanchette, a French fur trader, in 1769 and the tiny house in the photo above is his. A local told me that this is the original house, with a few repairs. It's among many historic homes that line the cobblestone streets.
Well, my story here started with nice people in Indianapolis, taking time to share our latest experiences with Jan and Chuck. And I'll end it with a couple of newer friends, also sharing camaraderie. Here are Robert and Marsha, from Tennessee and Virginia. None of us knew each other before the NGS conference, but we hit it off right away and found commonalities in life that kept us engaged during our time in St. Charles.
Thanks for spending your time here at Hurley Travels.
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