The greatest reward for writing these books and blogging about it has been meeting and communicating with people I would never have met before. In the last few months relatives of the men and women I write about have learned of me and have introduced themselves. I would never have known of their existence or how to contact them otherwise. Several have thanked me for making a permanent record of these people’s lives, but the pleasure is all mine.
Sometimes they know very little about their relative. Other times they know quite a bit and share information I was unaware of with me. Occasionally, make that frequently, they clarify something that was muddy for me. Often they provide information about a sibling of a person that I wrote about who also attended Carlisle.
The most unexpected thing that has happened is that, because of my books and/or blog, relatives that are unaware of the existence or location of other of their relatives utilize me as a conduit for making contact with each other. Family secrets have even been unwittingly uncovered as a result of putting people in contact with each other.
Lest someone be worried about their anonymity be divulged against their wishes, I have a policy to prevent that from happening. If I have contact information for Person A and Person B request that information, I send Person B’s contact information to Person A. That way, Person A can decide whether he or she desires to get in touch or not.
This coming Thursday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m., I am giving a talk about Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs at Whistlestop Bookshop which is located at 129 W. High Street in Carlisle, PA. Everyone is welcome. Surprise visitors show up at most of my talks. Could it be you?