Sunday, April 24, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Share Your Childhood Memories

Randy Seaver has a great Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post for us to do from his blog Genea-Musings.

1)  Judy Russell asked six questions in her Keynote address at RootsTech 2014 to determine if audience members knew certain family stories about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  She demonstrated very well that family stories are lost within three generations if they are not recorded and passed on to later generations.

2)  This week, I want you to answer Judy's six questions, but about YOUR own life story, not your ancestors.  Here are the questions:

a)  What was your first illness as a child?

b)  What was the first funeral you attended?

c)  What was your favorite book as a child?

d)  What was your favorite class in elementary school?

e)  What was your favorite toy as a child?

f)  Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn?

Here are my stories:

First Illness
The first illness I remember as a child is being sick with Scarlet Fever in 1960. The doctor came to our house and I hated the tongue depressor. I thought he was trying to stick it down my throat. As I check out the Wikipedia entry for scarlet fever, I see that diagnosis is confirmed with taking a throat culture. That was probably what he was trying to do. I was 5 years old and in Kindergarten. I think our family was quarantined but I’m not sure. I remember missing lots of school and had so much back-ordered milk that they tried to make me drink two a day. Gawk, I hated milk.

First Funeral
The first funeral I attended was my grandfather, Tom Johnston’s funeral in 1973. The four oldest children attended but my mother didn’t let the youngest two go.  The service was at Oak Park Hills Chapel and although my grandmother didn’t want an open casket, it was anyway. He looked so serene in the casket. We then rode in a limousine to the Oakmont Memorial Park where the burial service was held. I sat on one of those small jump seats. The get-together afterwards was at my grandmother’s house. It was weird meeting all of these cousins of my mother’s whom we’d never seen before. Wished I’d been a genealogist then.

My Favorite Book
As a young child, my favorite book was Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack. I loved the story of the mischievous dog and the illustrations were wonderful. My husband found out I liked the books when we were first married and ordered them for me.  The second favorite was Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss.  I’m thinking now that these were favorites because our family had copies of the books and I could read them over and over. Most of the books I read as a child came from the public library.

Favorite Class in School
Spelling was my best subject because I figured out a way to score high on the Friday tests. I would write the words over and over again, especially on Friday morning. This never guaranteed that I remembered to spell them later, but getting 100s on papers was rewarding. It also taught me that writing out what I’m trying to learn was helpful to me.

Not my first but one like it
Favorite Toy
My favorite toy was a Troll that I bought myself in the 5th grade. I still have that troll and others I have collected over the years. I was never much with dolls but the troll was small and we made little houses for them out of cardboard boxes.

Learning to Swim

I was so afraid of the water that I didn’t learn to swim until 6th grade. But boy did I learn fast. My mother signed us up for lesson at the high school and I got put into a class of beginners which was full of 6-7 year olds. Through sheer embarrassment I put my fears to the side and learned to swim well enough to get put into an older aged group. I can swim most strokes but the free-style. I don’t like putting my face in the water and blowing out the air, so my strokes cheat a bit.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I cheat on my swim strokes also for the same reason! I still don't like putting my face in the water.

    1. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I don't think my mother liked it either, but I think she worried about how her hair looked. I never cared about that!

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  2. These are great questions.I'm going to share them with my husband. Thanks!


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