Day 1 at IBGS in Ft. Wayne

It’s been a hectic day here in Ft. Wayne. I planned to blog from the AfriGeneas booth but the steady stream of visitors didn’t allow much free time. Anyway, it’s 3:00 in the morning and what better thing to do than to bring y’all up to date on a day that went exceptionally well but ended on a bizarre note.

In case you didn’t know, this is AfriGeneas’ first time ever exhibiting. Our members have represented at various conferences and conclaves but we have never set up as an entity. One of the advantages of “being there” is that we finally got to meet all the folks whose names (at least their screen names) we know by heart but whom we’ve never seen in person. Here are a few:

I plan to take in a few of the sessions tomorrow (er, I mean later today) while AfriGeneas volunteers man the booth. Can’t miss Bennett Greenspan of Family Tree DNA who’s speaking in the Session I and David Paterson in Session II. I haven’t planned beyond that but will look over the schedule in the morning.

The evening wrapped up with a banquet. Dorothy Spruill Redford, author of Somerset Homecoming, was the keynoter and, folks, if you’ve never heard her speak, she was excellent. She spoke about her journey to make Somerset Place a reality. She described the trials and tribulations of dealing with the entrenched bureaucracy (something we all can identify with) sprinkled with a lot of humor and a bit of irreverence. She also congratulated the organizers of IBGS who took a leap of faith and the participants for turning out in large numbers and being the “wind beneath their wings.”

Unfortunately, the banquet ended rather abruptly during Algurie Wilson’s acknowledgements of the volunteers and sponsors. A warning forced us to “leave the building immediately, do not take the elevators”, etc. so we all filed out of the convention center into the night. Will try to find out the scoop tomorrow (er, today) about what happened.