GRIP: Registration Day Recap

Phew – what a day, and the thing hasn’t even started yet. After a quick stop at Walmart for supplies, I picked up fellow genealogist and friend, Jean Hoffman, and off we went on the 2.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh. Funny how time flies when genealogists get yakking about dead people we’ve known and researched, isn’t it?

We were still chatting away at the first toll booth in PA, waiting in line to pay the toll, when a wild burst of horn-beeping broke out. I looked around to see what was the matter (like the “Night Before Christmas” reference? See what I did there?). And what to my wondering eyes should appear but Dr. Debbie Abbott waving and smiling in the next lane over. I knew this was gonna be fun.

Registration was smooth and trouble-free, and we had an hour or so to find old friends and make new ones before dinner. I met Becky Wiseman, who is an occasional commenter on this blog. I met a few other facebook friends for the first time in real life, like Patti Hobbs and Cathi Desmarais (who is a Ruffner cousin by marriage). Of course, I got to catch up with all the Great Lakes APG regulars and even ran into John Humphrey, who will be speaking in Cleveland this fall.

The cafeteria was the next stop. I like these – especially when they have ice cream. Also, I did eat the broccoli so the wife would be happy. Although the place was a bit noisy, good conversations were had, and I finally got to meet my 4th cousin twice removed, Malissa Ruffner. You can bet we’ll be exchanging and comparing info over the course of the week.

After dinner, the ProGen alums met briefly to introduce ourselves and get our picture taken. There are a few folks I need to catch up with from that group over the week . Left to wander on my own, I got to chit-chat with a few other friends before retiring to my room to work on the homework some more and tell all of you about the fun. I’m not sure I’ve ever had this many conversations about genealogy in such a short time span. I can’t imagine what the rest of the week will hold.

A sincere congratulations and “atta-girls” to Elissa Powell, Deb Deal, and all who helped make this happen. Even though we haven’t officially started, it’s pretty clear I made the right choice to attend. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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