About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Who said it doesn't rain in California?

Hard to believe that I am in sunny Southern California this weekend . . . tropical storm? Really? Well, that's what we are experiencing, different wind & rain for different locations, of course. So far, it's been rather temperate here, but that may mean it's just the calm before the storm. It does remind me of my youth in suburban Chicago when the storms could be quite intense . . . we lived on the corner of a major street in our village and inevitably, the storm drains would clog up with debris - leaves and who knows what all. I don't think it was a rule, but there seemed to be an expectation that whoever lived on that corner was expected to clear out the drains so water could flow. I guess that could make sense: after all, if the water was backed up, it could conceivably flood our yard and, possibly, our house (not likely) so, regardless of the rainfall, Dad would don boots and his trench coat, get the rake and head out to the street while rain was still pouring down. There he would work until he was sure the water was running as it should. I remember watching him and wondering if all the other dads in houses on the other streets were doing the same thing. Never did find out, but that wouldn't have mattered to my father, who felt obligated to keep things running smoothly.

Rain songs? Got some? Yeah, I know . . . too many to count! I had a parakeet once that loved "Baby the Rain must Fall," by Elmer Bernstein and Ernie Sheldon as sung by Glenn Yarbrough, released in 1965.

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