Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Funerals and Missed Opportunities

I attended a funeral for a lady I'd never met the other day. It's not that I didn't try to meet her. But I never managed to convince her to talk to me. Her father was a step-brother to my great-grandmother, so we were two generations removed from each other. And I really, REALLY wanted to talk to her about my great-great-grandfather--the person I've spent 20+ years researching. Sadly, she was probably the last person alive who might have known R. H. Collins. If I could just have talked to her.
This past weekend's SGS conference focused on Oral History. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to ask this lady questions. And since I was busy teaching during the seminar, I didn't get to attend any of the sessions that would have made me a better interviewer/listener. Maybe next time.
The SGS Seminar Committee had a de-briefing session this evening. The speaker evaluations were overwhelmingly positive, with several speakers receiving the maximum possible scores. It's a shame more people didn't come to hear them. Hopefully those that did attend won't let their relatives become missed opportunities like I did. The lady I never met sounded like a really interesting and wonderful person.

1 comment:

  1. A speaker in Chicago mentioned to an audience that most of us would die leaving our files to people who would not know what to do with them or, even worse, would not care.His suggestion was to begin writing books about our family histories and distribute them to our extended families as well as places like Salt Lake.I'm following his advice and have found it very rewarding.