You just never know.
For quite some time, my only contribution to the local historical society was a check for my annual dues. This was an embarrassingly poor showing on my part. I resolved to do better and get more involved.
I don’t act, so getting dressed up in period costume to partake in skits or demonstrations was out. I don’t bake pies, so I’m pretty useless when it comes time for the fall apple festival. But when Jeff, the Board secretary, and I discussed the Society’s newsletter, an idea struck. We thought that by publishing a short nostalgic piece in the local newspaper, we might interest others in sharing stories of bygone days with the Society. Jennifer Amato, editor of the Suburban Newspaper, liked the piece and offered to run a periodic column by the Society.
In the meantime, an opportunity came along to meet Lt. Helene Cattani, a WWII army nurse who served at the Battle of the Bulge. I was thrilled to chat with this wonderful war veteran and my enthusiasm came out in my writing. Although the article, with its magnificent photos taken by Jeff, was twice as long as the normal column, we pitched it to the newspaper anyway. Newspaper space was hard to come by, Jennifer explained, but she loved it so much she not only published it in the Suburban, but subsequently in a number of other weekly newspapers.
Volunteering to help others is its own reward. But sometimes it pays surprising dividends, like when you get to share those unexpected delightful little nuggets of history with others.