Back row-James Harrison Coombs, Sarah Frances VanSciver Coombs, Mabel VanSciver Coombs Sever, Newton Stockton Sever, Middle row-Susanna Fenimore, Caroline Drinker Fenimore Sayre, Elizabeth Fowler Coombs, unknown man, Front row-Helen Fowler Coombs Browne

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ralston Laird at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania!



It has been a week since the opening of the exhibit honoring my ancestor, Ralston Laird, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I have deliberately waited to write about about this evening. How do you do justice to describing one of the most amazing nights of your life?
It is every genealogist's dream to have their ancestors recognized and remembered. The artist, Duke Riley, created the most amazing pieces of art honoring my great great grandfather's brother. He was also so gracious to me and generous in stating that he could not have done this project without my research. It has been such an honor for me to meet Duke and work with him. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and seeing the work he has produced over the years. He is an incredibly talented artist who also brings humor to his work. His dedication and daring are so inspiring.
To my great surprise, I was asked to talk about my research at the opening. I am a shy person who does not enjoy being the center of attention and I had nothing prepared. Somehow, I was able to make my way to the podium and speak to the crowd. Amazingly, I was not nervous and was able to talk about Ralston and his family. The crowd was so kind and seemed truly interested in what I had to say. Several people had questions and HSP would like me to write an article for their interactive website.
If you live in the Philadelphia area, I would strongly encourage you to visit HSP and see this wonderful project. I would like to thank Duke for his interest in Ralston and his family and for his kindness to me. I would also like to acknowledge a fellow researcher, Lynn Jefferies, who died several years ago. Lynn felt very strongly that I should publish an article on Ralston Laird. Through her volunteer work at the Camden County Historical Society, she would find various little tidbits about Ralston and Petty's Island and send them to me. I wish that she was here to share this wonderful moment with me.
Here is a link to my photographs from opening night.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=189205&id=778298272&l=cb87dbdfee

My husband's blog on the evening:

A blogger's account of the evening:

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
http://www.hsp.org

Links to other articles and for Duke Riley's website can be found on my previous post about Ralston Laird.

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