Thursday, June 23, 2016

Back To Bala: A Rotary Recap

Me with President George Hatzfeld.
Another memory captured by Richard M. Trivane,
President Elect of the Rotary Club of Bala Cynwyd - Narberth. 
It is hard to believe that it has already been over a year since I was last at Aldar Bistro in Bala Cynwyd. It was a drive full of memories as I made my way into town and almost all of those excellent meetings rushed back as soon as I walked through the doors of the restaurant. Actually, many of those remembrances came to me when I was greeted in the parking lot by the restaurant manager who, somehow, still remembered me after all this time. It had been too long and it was great to reconnect with many of the people whom I used to see every week and also speak with a number of people whom I was meeting for the first time.

The purpose of my return has been long overdue and required some time to arrange my calendar. I was asked several months ago to come back as a speaker/presenter but given my schedule it has been difficult to find a Wednesday that worked. But, I was finally back at a meeting and, per a request from the club, ready to talk about a passion that has occupied much of my time over the past few years… genealogy.

While presentations are usually about 30 minutes in length, the minutes seemed like seconds as I gave an overview of my journey of discovering my Revolutionary War ancestor and my recent acceptance into the Sons of the American Revolution. I reviewed not just what is required regarding proof but also some of the challenges that I have faced along the way especially given the fact that Native American genealogy has its own set of challenges (particularly in the Commonwealth of Virginia). Not surprisingly, especially for those who know me, by the time I got around to answering questions nearly 45 minutes had passed.

Having been away from the podium for so long it was a great feeling when the presentation when so smoothly and I was able to keep the attention of those in attendance. And the questions that were posed afterward were both thoughtful and showed a deep interest of those in attendance of the work that it takes to prove ones lineage through the centuries. It is good to know that I still have some, albeit limited, ability to offer a compelling presentation.

Another pleasant surprise during this gathering was the fact that the incoming club president purchased 15 copies of my book about my experiences with Rotary. It seems as though both my presentation and my book struck a chord with him and the club. Now, I have to make a more concerted effort to return to the club in the near future and not allow my absence to grow so long. And, of course, I will have to figure out what my topic will be the next time around as well but I am sure that I will have some help with that from those I met yesterday.