That Which We Call A Rose, By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

by Linda Okazaki

On Saturday July 7 I had the good fortune of attending my first ever “Rose” event. I was invited by the president of the Contra Costa Rose Society to attend their annual Ice Cream Social. I became friendly with fellow genealogists, Patty Click and Joy Cottril at a recent California Genealogical Society event. They were great fun and encouraged me to attend the social. I didn’t know anyone else but felt immediately at home among the rose enthusiasts, whose ages ranged from mid-twenties to late eighties or early nineties, not at all unlike CGS. The generational mix was quite to my liking. I met the soon-to-be-inducted president of the National Rose Society, along with others just as new as me, plus those of every skill level in between. As I shared my passion for both genealogy and roses with one of the younger but very experienced guests, she encouraged me to grow more old roses. She had a point. The old roses, with their hardy canes and delicate petals were the perfect metaphor for family history. I only have one old rose right now, but it is my current favorite, Graham Thomas, a beautiful buttery yellow blossom with double petals that don’t last long, especially in the wind. Technically it isn’t an old rose, but an English rose with the shape of an old rose and a heavenly fragrance. Yes, it’s time to choose some old roses as a compliment to my family research.