Monday, March 24, 2008

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

So last week I dropped in on the Ottawa County Genealogical Society for its March meeting at the Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton. Now, normally when I am about to do anything that might make me look stupid, I like to clue you, my faithful readers, in on it. In this case, I calculated the chances of making a fool out of myself were rather high, and therefore, I decided that while my discomfort might garner a laugh and a high five from any sadists who read my posts, my own sense of self-preservation warned me to say absolutely nothing about my little adventure.

As it turned out, I had a blast. I'm still not sure that my topic was well chosen — I think it was a case of me preaching to the choir, but those hearty souls who listened to me talk turned out be pretty good sports. They stayed attentive, laughed in all the right places (whooh - nothing worse then being unappreciatively funny), and asked questions at the end of the talk.

This was my first foray into public speaking, unless you count my brief career teaching tax classes a few years ago. It's one thing to sit safely behind my computer keyboard, pecking away madly, sometimes chuckling at my own odd turn of phrase, and quite another to stand defenseless, nary a thesaurus in sight, in front of strangers with only my mind and mouth for back up. YIKES!

I want to thank Mary Hamann who invited me to the meeting. Mary understood my “Nervous Nelly” tendencies and my control freak need to get to the meeting early to make sure my laptop and her projector would make friends and play well together. Thank goodness, they did, or I would have wasted a boatload of time on a useless PowerPoint presentation.

If any of you reading this have Ottawa County roots and have thought about attending one of Ottawa County Genealogical Society's meetings, I say, “Go for it!” They are a nice, informed group of people, who know how to make a stranger feel like a friend. Thanks OCGS — you were awesome! I enjoyed meeting all of you and you made the whole experience a very pleasant one.

For information about the Society and its meetings be sure and check out their Web site at

Until Next Time - Happy Ancestral Digging!

Note this post first published online, March 24, 2008, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online

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