All around us, every day, history streams by in a fascinating whirl of old people, older buildings, or even the person sitting next to us on the bus. And we ignore it. We rush in and out of the old post office, slip past the doddery lady on the sidewalk, and even forget to ask our family elders about their past until it’s too late. For the most part we don’t care. Until we lose someone and experience that fleeting moment when we think to ourselves, “Oh, I have to ask Mom about that first house we lived in.” Before the thought is even completed, we realize we can’t as Mom is gone.
Last June I got the chance not to forget, and I even had my camera along to make a video of my 90-year-old aunt, Helen Lumb, speaking to the last ever graduating class of Beachville Public School. My nephew, Noah, was in that class, and my Aunt Helen had spent her first two years of school there, 85 years before, a fitting link between them and the school.
Helen Lumb grew up in the Beachville area, was a stellar scholar at school, almost went overseas in World War II but didn’t because of her mother’s sudden serious illness, and became a public school teacher, studying at nights to earn her Bachelor’s Degree. My family prizes her for her wit and wisdom and loves her just for being herself. She agreed to speak at Noah’s graduation and I got to video tape it. There really was nothing I wanted to edit out so I have left in a couple of places where the sound is not perfect. Please bear with me, as they are minor, and you will be entranced by this woman’s thoughts.
Please click here for the video or in the sidebar.
Have you had one of those “I’ve got to ask…” moments? What interesting tidbits have you learned about your own family history? Consider leaving a comment below.