What do Samoan Fire Dancers, long lunch lines, mountains, English research, Italian immigrants, berry and passionfruit sorbet, Boston University, and genetic genealogy all have in common? Together they form the tapestry that comprised the first 24 hours of my 2018 #SLIGExperience and together they serve as a metaphor for the passion and pitfalls we all encounter in our quests for ancestral illumination.
Before SLIG’s Sunday night Welcome Reception, I had a chance to meet up a fellow classmate from the freshly-completed OL25 group of the Boston University Genealogical Research Program. We continued our reunion at the reception, where we enjoyed the performances of some (seemingly incongruous for Salt Lake City) Samoan Fire Dancers, who were forced to dance sans fire because of city fire regulations; we wasted no time having our pictures taken with them afterwards. The next morning I awoke bright and early to prepare for my course in English research with the charming Paul Milner. Outside my hotel room window the streetlights were still glowing in the dim, pre-dawn light, punctuated brightly by strands of blue lights encircling the trees lining the streets. Off in the distance was an absolutely stunning view of snow-covered mountains soaring over the city’s skyline.
In class I met a gentleman who told me of a British Institute being offered by a historical society near my home. I later schlepped through long and slow-moving lunch lines, ending up in SLIG Central chatting about my recent DNA discoveries with members of the genetic genealogy class. Finally, in a weird moment of serendipity, I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant with my BU friend and her roommate, where we enjoyed a lovely fruit sorbet at the end of our meal before returning for an engaging presentation on tapestries by Rick Venezia.