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National Genealogical Society

March 2024

March 2024 President’s Letter
Here we are in March already and the weather here in Arizona is starting to get warmer and we have an early Easter this year on March 31. Recently, I’ve been having memory flashbacks as it would have been my mother’s 102nd birthday!
   How many of you have special memories of Easter when you were a child?  I grew up in a small suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called Swissvale.  We were the so-called nuclear family, mother, father, and four kids. Mother stayed home to raise the children. Father went off to work every day.  In the days/weeks leading up to Easter, my mother did her shopping for new special Easter outfits for her three girls and one boy. Although I don’t actually remember going shopping with my parents for these new clothes, I do remember getting new clothes as opposed to the hand-me-downs I usually got.  Since I was the third girl born in the family, I had two older sisters to inherit clothes from!  The new clothes were worn to our family church to attend Sunday School as well as the “adult” church service. This was unusual because we kids would normally only go to Sunday School each week.  And the proverbial jokes about walking miles uphill in the snow were true!  Our church was about 2 miles from our house, and we walked. Mom and Dad would drive to the church service, and we would meet up with them and then could ride home.
   Once we were home after church, the chocolates, jellybeans,  colored hard-boiled eggs, marshmallow bunnies and chicks were found in our Easter baskets. The Easter baskets were prepared by Mom while we were attending Sunday School. We each received our own basket with the appropriate amount of candy for our ages. Mom also made one giant basket for the family and guests. 
    As I got older and my singing talent matured, I sang in the church choir.    Those memories are also clear. I remember the names of our choir director and many of the people in the choir. The Easter Sunday services were held both at what was called a sunrise service and the regular service. The choir sang at both services. In between the two services, we volunteered to serve breakfast to church members who had attended the sunrise service.  Whew! Sunrise service was at 6AM!!! Singing at 6am!
   These are the kinds of stories we must document for future generations so we may ALL be remembered after we’re gone. Our ancestors deserve to be remembered as do we for the future when we will be the ancestors!
Katie Gertz