Since I had only a little time to visit with loved ones who now call the city home and even less time to see the sights, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon absorbing San Francisco as a native would. It was too early to check into the hotel so I left my luggage with the concierge, hailed a cab and asked to be delivered to Mission Dolores, the oldest intact building in the city, founded in 1776 by Father Junipero Serra, My young taxi driver had no clue where I wanted to go. I shared with him my printed mapquest as originally, I planned to walk from the hotel but upon arriving later than anticipated, I didn't want to waste time. (I still print direction cause I always have cell issues!)
In 3rd grade I had read about Father Serra although the story is now fuzzy in my brain. Of course, there are two sides to every story and the childhood version of events that I read was not the whole truth. As a parochial school student I would have read the Roman Catholic version of events. As a genealogist, I like to look at stories from different perspectives.
After visiting Mission Dolores I took a bus to Golden Gate Park. I drove through time - seeing the retro Haight-Asbury, Castro and Presidio districts. Strangely, I sat next to an actor who 30 years ago lived in the same place I did and I had seen him perform.
|Haight-Ashbury - 48 years after the Summer of Love|
These trees remind me that often records are silently left to be interpreted. A forester can determine the tree's age and weather conditions it experienced by looking at the tree's rings. Genealogists uncover an old document that may shed light on an ancestor's experiences without directly mentioning the individual by name. Droughts and floods, recessions and bull markets, along with so many other factors, effect families and influence their choices and decisions. My trip reminded me I need to keep events experienced by my ancestors in mind to better understand them and to remember I'm peering through my current world view and not that of my forebearers.