Dinner time is story time in America. At least it used to be.
There was a time in our not-so-distant past that families would gather at the dinner table each night to share their experiences of the day while dining. While family dinners are far less common today, a 2005 study by Emory University showed that they’re no less important in developing valuable, strong family ties.
So, it should come as no surprise that the 41st Carnival of Genealogy that focused on family dinners drew a huge response. The carnival topic was: If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? Most of the bloggers who took part are well steeped in genealogical knowledge and it shows as their dream dinner often includes ancestors of far-flung and disparate branches of their family tree.
I didn’t participate, even though I thought it was a great topic. My guests would have been a bit closer to home – my grandparents. Although I have vivid memories of each, they are almost exclusively about my relationships with them. The questions I would ask today are much different from those I asked when I had the opportunity. One dinner would barely scratch the surface.
As you ponder who would be on your guest list, you might want to check out what Carnival participants said about their fantasy meals.
Have you seen the PBS program “African American Lives 2” that’s currently airing? After catching the first two parts of this four-part series this week, I wonder how I missed the original show, which aired in 2006. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., researchers dig into the past of a dozen African Americans, including Chris Rock, Tina Turner and Morgan Freeman, and usually come up with some obscure, educational, entertaining facts about 19th century ancestors. It’s a generous contribution to Black History Month.
Thanks to Nicholas Osborn at the ever-fascinating Square America site you can view an eclectic collection of snapshots of the Africa-American experience. Just click on the “Current Exbibitions” photo. Warning: This site is highly addictive!
For those among us who are old enough to remember the manipulative campaign that Dick Clark foisted upon America’s teenagers a half century go involving a 15-year-old “singer” who was known by a single name, please note that Fabian Forte turned 65 this week. Sigh!