“From the mountains…”

It is such a joy to be in Denver today, guest of the Colorado Genealogical Society.

logoIn part, it’s because there’s very little The Legal Genealogist likes better than getting together and swapping stories with groups of genealogists. The questions that came flying fast and furious after last night’s talk on using court records were a wonderful challenge for a speaker.

And I know today — a full day of talks at the Denver Public Library (have you seen its genealogical collection and archives? wow…) — will be more of the same.

That’s a big part of why it’s such a joy to be here.

And in part, it’s because I’m absolutely convinced that, like baby animals imprint on those who care for them (explaining how, for example, a puppy can grow up acting like a cat), we humans imprint on the places where our lives begin.

Places that speak to us deep in our souls.

Places we may not call home today — but that say home to us whenever we’re there.

Places like Denver for me.

This is where I was born.

This is where I spent the first few years of my life.

These are the mountains I saw every day as a very little girl.

This is the air that I breathed as I took my first steps.

And every time I’m here, it feels like home.

But there is one more part of today’s equation. One more reason why it is such a joy to be in Denver today.

Warren1His name is Warren.

It isn’t his birthday and — thank heavens! — he is very much alive, so I’m not choosing to write about him because of any major milestone in life.

He is my little brother.

The little brother who always told everyone he and our youngest brother were twins. And they usually looked like twins — but were 16 months apart.

The little brother who reduced my older sister and me to tears the first Christmas we were away from home when, on a tape our parents sent us of all the little kids’ Christmas greetings, we heard his plaintive wail: “Di? Judy? When you coming back to the home?”

The little brother who decided to help the Easter Bunny about a week after Easter one year when he found our home delivery of eggs from the egg man out on the back porch. We were still finding those hidden eggs — often by smell alone — weeks later.

The little brother who came to stay with me one Thanksgiving many years ago — and didn’t leave for three years.

The little brother whose hug yesterday afternoon was about the best thing I’d felt in a month of Sundays.

The little brother who actually came to my talk last night, who stayed awake, and whose eyes didn’t glaze over.

The little brother born in New Jersey, who lives here in Denver, while I — born in Denver — live in New Jersey.

Oh yes… it is such a joy to be in Denver today, guest of the Colorado Genealogical Society.

Because of the Colorado Genealogical Society, to whom I am most grateful.

Because these mountains, this air, being here speaks of home.

And because of Warren.

It’s such a joy to be in Denver today.

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12 Responses to Denver!

  1. Lee says:

    What lovely memories you’ve shared in this post, reminding me of the importance of recording such memories. Thank you!

  2. Bobbi King says:

    And such a pleasure to spend the day learning from such a humorous, learned, and talented instructor. Together with the opportunity to hang out with my favorite friends, this was a day that enthused me to get problem-solving again.

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Awww… thanks so much for the kind words, Bobbi! It was wonderful being able to put faces with names, and to spend a day with friends new and old.

  3. Trish Dukeman says:

    Well my “First Cousin” I am missing you by a few weeks. I’m going home for a short visit in May. I would have loved to have attended your lecture.

  4. You brought tears to my eyes Judy with this post! I spent 26 years in the Denver metro area (after moving from Monument Hill) and I miss it & Colorado so much. :( I miss my friends (especially my most dearest BFF), my genie buddies, the research facilities (especially DPL), my “home” genealogy society, and the sights & smells. It’s really difficult (emotionally) that I couldn’t be there this weekend. It’s a high – Rocky Mtn High – that you can never get anywhere else! {{{hugs}}} to Colorful Colorado! ;o) V.

  5. Raul Gonzales says:

    I’m so disappointed. I was at the library this afternoon, on the genealogy floor. I would love to have heard you speak. Oh so close!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Sorry to have missed you, Raul! There are announcements of upcoming talks that DPL puts out, so don’t miss the others coming up soon!

  6. Cecilia Sherry says:

    So glad you came to Denver! I attended your lecture at the DPL Saturday. WOW! Awesome! You kept it lively, humorous informative and interesting, all the ingredients that make for a great educator. I will make it a point to attend any future lectures in Denver that you may give.

    When you mentioned Burke County, North Carolina, where my elusive maternal side of the family came from, and my current genealogy focus, I was really surprised. So far I haven’t met anybody that had ever heard of Burke.

    Thank you for a very enjoyable presentation!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks so very much for the kind words, Cecilia! Much appreciated — and oh yeah… do I ever know about Burke County! I descend from Bakers, Davenports, Buchanans and Wisemans, all from Burke (then Yancey, then Mitchell).

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