Thursday, October 3, 2013
Thankful Thursday/Surprise Volunteer
This Thursday I'm thankful for the volunteers at my local historical society who scurry back and forth fetching microfilm for researchers. This particular society doesn't allow you to retrieve your own films so it's up to the volunteers. I don't get there very often since I started working because unfortunately their hours seem to coincide with mine, but once in awhile I find an opportunity.
Last week I walked in, eager to look through some early issues of the Shortsville Enterprise. Seating myself at a reader, I began looking through the film catalog. Almost immediately a lady asked if she could help me, looking up I saw...Mrs. Martin! My 10th grade history teacher. I should tell you before going any further, teachers intimidate the devil out of me. When our kids were in school I was known to make my husband do the parent/teacher conference thing, or at least accompany me. I know, it's weird. I will snarl at anyone who tries to keep genealogical records out of my hands, but teachers cause my delusions of competence to fly right out the window. These people have Master's Degrees!
Hello, I said, accidentally dropping the catalog while introducing myself as a former student. Mrs. Martin smiled politely but noncommittally, no doubt thinking,"what a shame, after all these years she's still not applying herself." Actually, I don't think she had a clue who I was. The whole experience was bizarre in the extreme, she was supposed to be ordering me around, not vice versa; I wanted to get the films myself and then go to the office and mimeograph some tests for her. Remember those? The ink was purplish and never quite dry and the fumes coming off them could have killed a water buffalo.
While I found the whole situation time warpy, (I think somewhere in the background I heard Kool and the Gang singing, "Jungle Boogie"), Mrs. Martin happily brought me the needed microfilm, chatted about genealogy, and even pretended to remember me. What more could one ask of a volunteer? So this Thursday's thanks very much, goes out to all the Mrs. Martins out there, where would we be without you?