Sunday, April 3, 2011

Barbara and Kathy's Excellent Adventure

As I mentioned in the previous post, my cousin, Barbara and I, traveled to Columbus for the Ohio Genealogical Society conference.  I knew before attending that I was going to be inducted into two lineage societies -- one for members of my direct line who lived in Ohio for at least 100 years and the other for ancestors who served in the Civil War.  I was hoping for (but did not get) an award for a submission to the O.G.S. Writing Contest.

The conference was wonderful!  Both of us learned so much that we worry about our ability to process it.  There were several national speakers including David Rencher of FamilySearch, Leslie Albrecht Huber, Shamele Jordon, and Lisa Louise Cooke.  All did not disappoint. The speakers were able to combine the best of technology with the best of original documents. I now have a much better idea of how to use the available microfilm from the Freedmen's Bureau that is housed in the Cincinnati Public Library.  This information will be very helpful as Jimmie Ellis and I continue to work on his family's history in Georgia.

As great a time as we had, however, Barbara apparently takes her life in her hands if she agrees to travel with me.  Last October we traveled together to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky to visit the home of our Probert ancestors.  The next day, we traveled to the Kentucky Archives in Frankfort.  A few miles out the sirens went off warning us of a possible tornado.  Police officers were speeding up and down the street with their sirens blaring and trying to get everyone off of the streets.  We tried to take refuge in a bank, but they had a sign on the door telling us that they had taken refuge and locked the doors.  We and several others took shelter in the covered drive-through.  I naively thought it wasn't that bad -- until Barbara sent me this photograph:

Tornado in Frankfort
That streak just to the left of the road is not a flaw in the picture.  It's a tornado!

Not wanting to subject my cousin to another frightening travel experience with me, I was happy that we had such an uneventful drive to the conference.  But I was happy too soon.  The Hyatt Capitol offered free valet parking to all conference attendees.  Sounds like a great plan, but how do a few valets get cars in a reasonable time frame for several hundred people all dismissed at the same time?  After waiting for over half an hour, Barbara approached one of the valets only to be told that our car had a dead battery, but no problem -- they were charging the battery and would have it up front in a few minutes.  (The valet took care to tell Barbara that it wasn't anything they had done).  After another 30 minutes went by, we were told that they got the car out of the garage and it died on the street.  No charge in the world was going to get it there.  They literally pushed the car to the front of the hotel.

Barbara, Kathy and the car
We considered our options and eventually called AAA.  Luckily, I had coverage that would allow them to tow the car up to 100 miles free of charge.  They will also take up to two passengers.  The wrecker driver was there in about 15 minutes.  He was the GREATEST GUY!  After a couple of stressful hours, we were on our way, packed into the front seat of the wrecker, legs straddling the radio equipment. 

My husband, Bill, met us at the Subaru dealer in Cincinnati, where we are now all convinced that the valet left the parking lights on.  When they hooked up the battery to a charger, the parking lights were on!  What's strange is that they couldn't be turned off.  We'll get the final diagnosis tomorrow.

Bill, Barbara and I went to Bravo's where dinner and a couple of drinks made everything right with the world once again.  I'm just hoping that Barbara will be willing to go places with me in the future.  One thing for sure -- our trips together have been unforgettable.


  1. that sounds like quite an adventure. thank goodness for AAA tow truck drivers. :)

  2. That was an adventure! Reminded me of some I've had with my research cousins/friends. Glad it had a happy endng.

  3. A great time was had by all. I believe in making memories and we do that well!!
    Can't wait for the next adventure !!

  4. It had to have been the valet's fault. Nothing could go wrong with a Subaru.

  5. It was the valet's fault. They accidentally flipped a switch for the parking lights that kept them on wearing down the battery.


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