The Road Not Taken

by Linda Okazaki

As both an avid gardener and a frenetic genealogist, I often find myself straddling two worlds. Do I focus on one path or the other? I love tending my roses, pumpkins and fruit trees.  And I adore cemetery runs, hiding out in libraries and courthouses, and otherwise searching for my ancestors. But I am caught between two worlds. How can I do both well? This week I had a wonderful experience merging the two.

On Wednesday June 6, Maureen Taylor gave a spectacular presentation called “A Day With The Photo Detective” at the Veterans Memorial Building in Lafayette. It was an all day event hosted by the California Genealogical Society, complete with book sales, coffee and buffet lunch. I learned a great deal about identifying and preserving my heirloom photos. Sitting in the front row with me were two vibrant women from Contra Costa. We hit it off within minutes. Soon I learned that Patty Click and Joy Cottril were not only CGS members, but also the President and Vice President of the Contra Costa Rose Society. What? Roses and Genealogy?

As Robert Frost so eloquently wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” Perhaps there aren’t many of us who have chosen this road, but it looks like my path will now be filled with both roses and genealogy.