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“From the mountains…”

It is such a joy to be in Denver today, guest of the Colorado Genealogical Society.

logoIn part, it’s because there’s very little The Legal Genealogist likes better than getting together and swapping stories with groups of genealogists. The questions that came flying fast and furious after last night’s talk on using court records were a wonderful challenge for a speaker.

And I know today — a full day of talks at the Denver Public Library (have you seen its genealogical collection and archives? wow…) — will be more of the same.

That’s a big part of why it’s such a joy to be here.

And in part, it’s because I’m absolutely convinced that, like baby animals imprint on those who care for them (explaining how, for example, a puppy can grow up acting like a cat), we humans imprint on the places where our lives begin.

Places that speak to us deep in our souls.

Places we may not call home today — but that say home to us whenever we’re there.

Places like Denver for me.

This is where I was born.

This is where I spent the first few years of my life.

These are the mountains I saw every day as a very little girl.

This is the air that I breathed as I took my first steps.

And every time I’m here, it feels like home.

But there is one more part of today’s equation. One more reason why it is such a joy to be in Denver today.

Warren1His name is Warren.

It isn’t his birthday and — thank heavens! — he is very much alive, so I’m not choosing to write about him because of any major milestone in life.

He is my little brother.

The little brother who always told everyone he and our youngest brother were twins. And they usually looked like twins — but were 16 months apart.

The little brother who reduced my older sister and me to tears the first Christmas we were away from home when, on a tape our parents sent us of all the little kids’ Christmas greetings, we heard his plaintive wail: “Di? Judy? When you coming back to the home?”

The little brother who decided to help the Easter Bunny about a week after Easter one year when he found our home delivery of eggs from the egg man out on the back porch. We were still finding those hidden eggs — often by smell alone — weeks later.

The little brother who came to stay with me one Thanksgiving many years ago — and didn’t leave for three years.

The little brother whose hug yesterday afternoon was about the best thing I’d felt in a month of Sundays.

The little brother who actually came to my talk last night, who stayed awake, and whose eyes didn’t glaze over.

The little brother born in New Jersey, who lives here in Denver, while I — born in Denver — live in New Jersey.

Oh yes… it is such a joy to be in Denver today, guest of the Colorado Genealogical Society.

Because of the Colorado Genealogical Society, to whom I am most grateful.

Because these mountains, this air, being here speaks of home.

And because of Warren.

It’s such a joy to be in Denver today.

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