It was held in Zanesville, which is approximately 1 1/2 hours from my home. This time, I drove alone and relished in the beautiful pre-autumn countryside that surrounded me.
The first thing that caught my eye was a very old schoolhouse that I have passed many times before. Or, it might have even been a church house. I don't know. I do know that it was once a beautiful structure.
I wonder about the stories of this old building. How I would love to hear them now! And, I don't even know anyone who ever set foot in it.
When I arrived at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Zanesville, I was warmly greeted by those setting up for the banquet. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw displays. I had to get over to see them!
Soon, it was time for the banquet. I sat up front at the speaker's table, which always makes me feel awkward. I love being with all of the regular folks. I just don't feel that special. But, they made sure to put me there.
I nearly had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as two little girls, through the help of their parents and grandparents, were inducted. They were sisters, ages 11 and 8, and were so excited! The older one went happily skipping up to receive her certificate!!
Before the awards, I had made a really big deal about those little girls. Of all of the places they could have been on a Saturday evening, they were at a genealogy banquet listening to me speak about cemetery experiences. Everyone applauded for them!
But, when it was all over, they both came up to me to talk about genealogy. I gave them every bit of my attention, even allowing others to wait a little longer before I gave my attention to them.
Now, why do I even bring this up? Because I am a conference speaker.
I have spoken at some really big ones. And, I have spoken to as few as 3-4 people. And, I love them both. But, I have a special affection in my heart for the smaller gatherings where hard-working genealogists that may never get any accolades are quietly working their fingers to the bone on cemetery projects, histories, etc. God bless them in their efforts.
And now, I'm working on next year's schedule for 2016, and even have booked some into 2017!
I love what I do...