Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tip # 20...Join a local historical society

I love Saturdays, as you may have noticed from my previous joyful posts about weekends. If you remember Tip # 11, I also advocated attendance at an annual Oktoberfest. Today was my Oktoberfest day. Today was my wonderful Saturday.

So, how does that tie into joining a local historical society? Well, the main connection is my favorite local historical society, the Arizona Sun Chapter of Germans from Russia, who celebrated Oktoberfest at Leisure World.

The scent of sauerkraut and brats permeated the air. The supporting cast of beans, noodle dishes, pickles, and an entire table of desserts rounded out the buffet. Herb and Esther Babitzke worked for weeks to prepare for this event. Herb and his cousin, Ed Babitzke, cooked the brats with precision timing. Ed and Doris Bischoff supported every effort. Larry and Eleanor Haas advised and helped in so many ways. And everyone participated by their presence. German Russians always assist each other to ensure all tasks are streamlined and completed efficiently from set-up to take down.

Besides outstanding food, the guest speaker, Cindy Hoff, charmed everyone in the audience. Cindy is a magnificent soprano who is married to German Russian Wade Hoff. Her presentation combining song and slides moved us to tears. She shared photographs of her 16 day trip to the Ukraine. Cindy inspired me to start my plan today to return to the homeland of my grandparents.

That is why joining a local historical society is so important no matter where you are in your genealogical journey. My historical society friends encourage and motivate me in ways I hadn't considered possible.

If you are not lucky enough to be a German from Russia, don't fret. There are many societies who welcome new members every day. With a bit of research, you can find a group which matches your interest. In Arizona, check out the following organizations:

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