Did you read yesterday’s blog message titled National Do Something Nice Today? Below, read about my response to the challenge.
It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Stephen Paddock is my eighth cousin. I’d been crying for two days; I isolated myself from friends and neighbors. Intellectually, I knew this was unhealthy behavior but I couldn’t stop grieving for the families, the mother, the brother. The depression persisted as the tears flowed.
At 6:59 AM Thursday, October 5th, the TV-news anchorman advised the viewers it was “National Do Something Nice Today.” Okay, that meant getting out of the house. I showered, and put on an attractive dress; I drove into town and treated myself to coffee and pastry. Then I waited patiently for the library to open at ten o’clock.
Upstairs for the first time, I located the genealogy room. Waiting for others and/or instructor, I browsed their meager collection of books. Eventually the lady arrived to supervise and assist any visitor. “How can I help you?” I explained I hoped for suggestions about where to donate my genealogy websites so they would be available after my demise.
Two hours of engaging conversation followed; no researchers arrived. Most decidedly the “Frantz” subject came up when I searched the Internet for my websites (at her request). Prominent in the long list of references to Frantz Families–Kith & Kin, the name of Dore Manford Frantz. I told her this interesting (100% accurate) story.
Dore Manford Frantz did extensive research in the 1930’s, 1940’s. While doing my research (1980’s. 1990’s), I regularly found reference to “the Dore Frantz manuscript.” He lived in Springfield, Ohio; I was visiting Springfield, Ohio. I inquired at the library; I asked several individuals. A “cousin” suggested I call Ilo Fisher because “she volunteers at the genealogy society.” She could not answer my questions but suggested I call Jess Monteith. Fortunately his number was in the local phone directory but his succinct answer was “Call Dore.” I stammered “How can I call Dore? He’s dead.” The reply: “Dore Junior.” A little detective work revealed Dore Frantz Junior lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. My cousin and I prepared to drive there for a visit but “Junior” said he would meet us at his brother’s home in Springfield.
The Dore Frantz Manuscript was unique (sadly, I did not get a picture). Visualize a reasonably large cardboard box with smaller boxes neatly stacked inside. “The manuscript” was neatly typed pages, devoted to individual families, stored in slender “carbon paper” boxes. Remember when we used “carbon paper” and it came in “letter size” or “legal size” boxes? Never published but, gratefully, never destroyed. I begged to take it back to California so I could add the information to my Frantz-family computer database. When my request was denied, I suggested I’d pay if they took the material to a business in New Carlisle. That shop microfilmed, and microfiched, records for the hospital and law enforcement. Several months later, I received a package in the mail–a package about the size of a Reader’s Digest. Thirty-nine precious pieces of film with thousands of bits of valuable information (information that would be impossible to duplicate in 1990?!). Visualize “yours truly” in front of her desktop computer with a microfiche reader to her left. Quite possibly, complementary information books spread out on the right and on the floor. All details documented… and published in 1996.
It would be ideal if everyone lived their lives doing kind things on a daily basis and without thinking about it. Today serves as a reminder to us all, as it is easy to get caught up with hectic schedules (bold emphasis by Lorraine) and fast-paced lifestyles, to stop for a moment and do something nice.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Do something nice. The something can be anything from buying a cup of coffee for someone in line at the coffee shop to giving a compliment to the tired clerk. Maybe the day calls for sending flowers with a card that says “just because,” or asking the neighbors over for a barbecue in the backyard or mowing the lawn for someone.
I gave the genealogy-library-lady five books (expensive books) about the Civil War. They were in the back of my car; I’d been hauling them around with the intention to eventually donate. (Donate: “but where”; the local library had rejected them.) My new acquaintance–and her husband–are members of Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and “history buffs.”
For the record: Stephen Paddock is my eighth cousin through my mother’s lineage. Our common ancestor, Zachariah Paddock (1636-1727) was a devote Quaker. The mass-murderer is far-removed from my Frantz-family tree.
Find my Paddock ancestry in 1992 Coffin Family Reunion & Our Island Ancestors. Specifically, scroll to page 78 for Zachariah Paddock. Check page 99 for his son, my ancestor, Nathaniel Paddock.