Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings always has such terrific Saturday night fun, and I finally have a chance to participate. He asked us to recall one of our favorite memories growing up.

I came of age in the 1980s, and I was shaped by the music and culture of that time. But one of my favorite memories–group of memories, really–are the times I shared with my childhood best friend Brandon growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland in a sprawling apartment complex on Branch Avenue. Brandon looms very large in my memory, because we were two highly adventurous children who were really artists in our hearts.

We spent most of our time dancing, drawing, acting, singing, making books, creating “shows” we would put on for our friends and parents, and generally inhabiting a play-world all our own. We had clubhouses in the woods. We climbed trees and roller-skated. We watched every episode of “Dynasty” and “Knots Landing”. We got in trouble together. We’d get teased for being best friends (as a boy & girl) but we didn’t care and thankfully neither did our parents. We were two little dreamers and the apartments where we lived served as the perfect backdrop for our escapades, with its large pool, rec center, and tennis courts. I’ll never forget all the good times we had from about the age of 9-10 until we graduated high school.

Brandon moved to New York where he later became a professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey School of Dance. We’re still great friends and often wonder how in the heck we got to be 40 years old. Recently on a visit, Brandon and I went back to that apartment complex of our childhood, and walked around with a video camera, reminiscing (oh the genealogist in me never quits;)). My childhood is the bright & shining color of yellow because of Brandon. In my mind’s eye, we’ll always be those two oddball kids, ready to take on the world.


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About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh