Friday, May 27, 2011

A New Opportunity

In April 2011, I was elected librarian for the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (Florida). Originally, I asked my wife to become the librarian but she did not meet the length of membership requirement to run for the position. I never thought of librarian as being an elected position, but for our society it is. Fortunately, my wife has agreed to volunteer at the library and to do the real library work while I help patrons with their research. However, since I am the librarian and I know next to nothing about being a librarian (although I have spent a lot of time in libraries), I have been thinking about taking an online course from Simons College called Genealogical Information Services. The course description says “Students will acquire a practical knowledge of genealogical users and resources and explore related topics including reference, cataloging, collection development, outreach, and professional development.” It sounds like just what I need.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brothers at War

A couple of weeks ago my wife was gathering material for a presentation I would give to the Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County (Florida). All of GSPBC’s meetings in the 2010 – 2011 season are based upon Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s book “Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History.” The book is a companion to the NBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” That particular presentation was based upon chapter five of the book: “Marching Orders: Did Your Ancestors Serve?”

One of the things my wife found was a photograph of my father (James Ralph Vick) and his brother (Robert Edward Vick, Sr.) at the memorial to war correspondent Ernie Pyle. The memorial is on the tiny island of Ie Shima which is off the western coast of Okinawa, Japan. The photograph was taken at the end of World War II when my father and his brother crossed paths on Okinawa and went out to Ie Shima. My father had been on Okinawa since the invasion of the island. His brother had come up from the Philippines after heroic action there that resulted in him receiving the Silver Star.

My dad and uncle were a long way from home in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, USA. Fortunately, they would return safely in a few months.