Earlier this year I was speaking with a friend who is black and from Selma Alabama. Since she has some elderly aunts, I suggested that she get them to record their memories both during and after segregation.
Yesterday, I asked her if she had done that, she said not yet, but a cousin had done some genealogical research and traced her family back to the days of slavery.
This surprised me and I told her that I can only trace my family back to my grandparents. I had tried looking at the logs of Ellis Island, but apparently the current records don't go back that far. All I know about my Grandma Wagner is that she emigrated from Germany when she was about 15 and worked as a domestic. I commented that she must have had a lot of courage to leave everything and come to a strange country.
Then it hit me. That's where I get my sense of adventure, and my willingness to pull up roots and move to a different town among strangers on my own. Now I know why I want to do things and go places.
I guess there is something to genetics.