This week's episode, called "Shipped to Timbuktu," is just one of those rabbit holes - yet one with profound meaning.
The show starts off with a practical joke. The target was the Girl Guides (in Canada) known in the United States as the Girl Scouts. The rabbit hole takes us to London to the Girl Guides archives where an obscure reference is found to China. Next we're listening to a Belgian who was in China during World War II. Next we're talking to 82-year-old Mary Previty from New Jersey who will knock your socks off. I can't be more specific because it will ruin the story. I've already told you too much. You'll have to hear the rest of the story from Mary.
This story was profound to me, and I'm hoping it will be to most genealogists, because of three points:
- Obscure history from the past (in this case World War II) may be forgotten but is never unimportant.
- Oral history is a critical source of memory. We should focus on recording our family, friends, neighbors and community members as part of our everyday activities as genealogists.
- The triumph of the human spirit is powerful.