Sunday, October 10, 2010

Family History Expo CA with my Dad.

Heading home through the Sierras singing to the Carpenters with my Dad. "The best love songs are written with a broken *arm*" and my favorite, "It's a new day for those good old dreams."

We just had the best time in the Bay Area. Holly's Family History Expo was outstanding as usual. Pleasanton had the best crowd I think we've ever had. I so appreciated the nods of agreement while I was teaching and the excitement for the topics. It was so easy to lecture there because the people were so personable and eager to hear what we had to say. I so appreciated that. And it was great to tell people about Generation Maps and have them get all excited. After explaining to one woman what we could do for her, she exclaimed, "I'm so excited, I just have to give you a hug." :-)

And of course I always love to hang out with my blogger friends. I actually got to spend a little time in the blogger's lounge this time. A little anyway. It is a good thing I get to talk to these people online and read what is going on with them, because otherwise I'd hardly ever get to talk to them :-) L to R Kathryn Doyle, Elizabeth O'Neal, Denise Levenick, Amy Coffin, Your's Truly, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo, Holly Hansen, A.C. Ivory. These are such fantastic assets to the genealogy community. I don't know how they all do it, but I always learn so much about genealogy--and about life--from them. A special thanks to Amy Coffin, who helped me straighten out my Twitter account so that I can talk to everybody better.

And a very special thanks to Lisa Louise Cooke for the wonderful geneabloggers party Saturday night. I've found the person I aspire to be. What a sweet wonderful lady she is. And what a wonderful hostess. I'm so glad she let her hostess abilities shine for us. Look at the cake! And her beautiful home was a veritable museum of her family's history. We had a wonderful time. My Dad got to spend some time talking to her daughter and her husband and was so impressed with the whole family. Thank you so much Lisa.

My Mom and my daughter were supposed to come with me but after the wedding Mom decided she needed some rest and Dad needed a break. He grew up in the bay area, so it was really, really fun to bring him to this expo. He was a great help at the booth (My Mom and Dad have always been my best assets), but the best part was visiting where he grew up in El Cerrito. Here he is in front of 7708 Ricardo Court, where he lived when he was going to high school and when he married my Mom. My Grandfather, Alvin G Carpenter taught at UC Berkeley and they lived there for most of that time. It was nice to see the home was kept up and looked nice (even though the people who lived there had forgotten to close their garage. LOL)
Grandma and Grandpa also bought the house next door, later after my parents got married. The summer after I was born, they actually came home for the summer and I spent the summer living in this house next door. I wish I'd been old enough to enjoy the view. Both homes had an incredible view of the bay area, with views of both the bay bridge and the golden gate bridge. They were beautiful homes. I don't remember either house at all though because my grandparents followed my parents to Utah about the time I was 3 years old.
Dad had to go up and knock on the door, but even though the garage door was open and there were two cars there, no one came to the door. Dad was disappointed not to be able to meet the people who lived there now. It would have been nice to be able to thank them for taking good care of the house. Its funny how attached you can be to a house. It's sentimental to see it, and even though Dad doesn't have an attachment to it now, I kind of do. It's part of our history. I feel the same about the house I grew up in.

Then we went past Dad's high school. Dad was an El Cerrito Gaucho. In fact, he was student body president 50 years ago next year. The high school was actually rebuilt about 5 years ago. Dad was glad to see such a beautiful new building. We were there about the time that school let out and it was good to see so many nice, responsible looking kids. Dad ran in to the office, and bought a sweatshirt and blanket they had. "I was student body president here 50 years ago, do you have a sweatshirt I can buy? :-)" He's going to send one to his best friend from high school. It was good to see him having so much fun and to have so much with him. Dad reminisced alot about friends he had, and where everybody lived, and I got to listen to all sorts of stories. It is amazing to me how much different Dad's life, and thus my life could have been had small choices been different. Really makes you wonder about the grand scheme of things.

Best of all, I have a great new family history story/picture for the kids. Grandpa had to walk up some really steep hills to get home from school. Up high on the hillside in El Cerrito with great views, makes for some strenuous walks. Too bad it was only up hill one way. Up hill both ways would have gone better with the family legends.


Amy Coffin said...

It was great seeing you again, Janet!

Denise Levenick said...

What a great adventure you two enjoyed. Those memories are the BEST.

It was great to see you last weekend, Janet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janet - I enjoyed the pictures of our old home in El Cerrito --it really hasn't changed much in all these years. best wishes, Paul

Janet Hovorka said...

Amy and Denise,
It was so good to see you both again. I just so enjoy getting together with you all. Lots of love to you both.

I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. It was really fun to see everything as an adult myself. Lots of love.