Friday, October 25, 2019

Vamp 'til Ready

My dad was a professional musician in New York City in the heyday of the big band era. One phrase familiar to any stage musician playing for live performances was "vamp 'til ready." In other words, keep playing the same riff until the soloist has made it on stage and is ready to perform.

I may not be on stage, and I'm certainly not about to perform a solo, but that is how I feel at this research juncture: cue the music, but...I'm not ready just now to burst onto the scene with my next performance. Pardon my late entry.

Pondering my quandary, I've mused over making another rescue mission, up in those Gold Rush hills to the east. We lose sight of how history surrounds us—until we reach out and grab seemingly anything from a previous era and look for ways in which it connects with our current day. Then, stories come flooding out from every angle, it seems.

It's been a while since I went hunting for more antique photographs. While that is a tempting possibility, I am also looking at the intertwining web of relationships in my own county's history, as I research some possible candidates for our own local genealogical society's First Families program. There, I'm surrounded by stories, as well.

Of course, as I plug along on the lines of the four families I'm already researching, I'll inevitably hit a point in the course of the expected "exhaustive research" where a story will leak out—this time, with supporting documentation!—and then I'll be down another rabbit trail. It's just that, as I drill away in the background before striking that gold, I'm afraid those other projects will run out before finding the next family story to feature.

And with that, we're off to enjoy that allegorical musical riff, while the weekend takes us to books and other thoughts about genealogy—and before the rhythm and melody wear a hole through our heads or transform into an inescapable ear worm. By Monday, there'll be a story found somewhere.


  1. I have the feeling you are never ever at a loss for a story. Your real problem is: so many stories, so little time.

    1. Oh, I can too be at a loss for stories, Lisa--well, at least for a hot second while I griped in that post. Moment's over :)


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