I’ve title this post “This and That” because it isn’t strictly a “Donna’s Picks” that highlights various other posts, but more of a little of “go see this” and my “comments on that”. Technically this should have been my second “Friday Five” post, in which I highlight five short things that aren’t extensive enough for a post of their own, but I am running a bit behind this week.
Rest in peace? First, many genea-bloggers have commented on a serious issue in Alabama first highlighted by Deep Fried Kudzu this past Friday. In Oxford, Alabama, developers are well on their way to destroying a 1,500 year old Native American mound to make way for a new Sam’s Club (like we all need another). We don’t know if this mound was a burial site or used for some other purposes, but the fact is that it is historical. I found it odd that even if they find remains buried there, it may not be enough to stop its destruction! Equally disturbing was news from Chicago of individuals uprooting graves to re-sell them! Aside from being completely disrespectful, I find practices like this to be immoral. To me, we all have a moral obligation to respect the dignity of human life in all forms – including the final resting places of those that have gone before us on earth. Besides, even if you lack respect for the dead, haven’t these people seen the Poltergeist films? Scared my silly as a teenager and affirmed the value of respecting the dead! What can we do? Get the word out about the building project in Alabama, and work hard to protect our local cemeteries.
Then and Now! For a while I’ve been thinking about shooting some “now” photos of either places in old photographs or of people in the same poses and places. I was planning on a photographic “then and now” series, but The Genealogue highlighted a site this week that did this to perfection in film! Visit Elliott’s home movie reconstructions to see his handywork. I especially love his “Dad Reconstruction” and “Mom Reconstruction” in which he filmed his parents doing things they did in the original home movies. Brilliant!
Irène Némirovsky – If you don’t know who this woman is, I encourage you to check out this piece on the “Woman of Letters” Exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. I first learned of Irene’s story through the publication of Suite Française. If she could write such a beautiful work in such circumstances, then I can only imagine the great works that were lost as a result of her death in a Nazi concentration camp. The survival of the manuscript itself is a fascinating story as well. The exhibit runs through 30 August, so if you are in New York City this summer be sure to take a look. The museum set up this site about Irene, her life and death, and her amazing works.
Genealogy Wise – I followed the crowd and joined GenealogyWise, the new “social network” for genealogists. My profile is here. While I like the concept, I still don’t quite see the point. While there are many more groups to join than on Facebook, it appears that most users are not starting new discussions in these groups, but leaving comments that amount to vague information about their surnames. Don’t we already have a multitude of surname boards that serve the same purpose? I’ll give it time – the site has not even officially debuted yet! But, take note of one thing I have discovered so far. On Facebook, I entered all of my surnames within my profile, so if you search for one of those names you’ll get me as well as people with that surname. On GenealogyWise, a basic search for a name only gives you users that bear that name – to search all of the surnames that people entered in their profile, you have to do an “Advanced Search”.
Laugh of the Week – when I sent a cousin some research on her branch of the family, her response was, “So, are you finished your genealogy now?” [insert long pause for raucous laughter from all of my fellow genealogists]
Stay Tuned – Coming Soon at What’s Past is Prologue – Some things I am working on include an entry for the 76th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy on summer vacation memories and another postcard for the 3rd Festival of Postcards on signs. My vacation story is a doozy, and I am still debating which of two postcards to illustrate signs – the more personal story, or a photo of a much bigger sign? Also, for the last few months I have been working on a post about my Miller ancestors and relatives. Every time I am about to post the series, I seem to find more information. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it keeps delaying it. I am actually quite tired of the Miller family by this point, so I hope to post “The Millers’ Tale” in the next two weeks! Thanks for reading…