TSGS Cruiser Blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

“A Story About a Newspaper Story”

I recently reviewed a newspaper clipping of a story of one of TSGS former Presidents, Donald Counts. I remember when he got elected President the subject of this story. I first met Don at Central Library in Downtown Evansville. We were waiting at the locked area assigned to the DAR Genealogy Collection. It was only open one day a week for a few hours. One of the DAR ladies would come to unlock the room soon; and, we could do some research. I was really new to doing genealogical research; however, I had been collecting family data since I was about 10 or 11. Don introduced himself and we talked. He told me about this other library called Willard that had a much bigger collection than this DAR collection. He also mentioned this society that he belonged to, suggesting that I should join it. Whoa! What in the world would I want to be a member with a whole lot of old “high society” ladies? I did not have a positive image of societies. Don was a likable regular guy... not what I would call someone that normally would “hobnob” with some society. I finally went to Willard and was very much impressed with the size of the collection. I did not think about this society business again until one day I saw this article about Don in the Evansville Press. I was reading the paper at home and called for Becky to see the “library guy” I had told her about. Wow, he was elected President of the Tri-State Genealogical Society. The article told all about his journey finding his family roots. I decided that if he could get elected President of this group, they must not be too bad. I visited the very next meeting and everyone was so nice. I even knew several people there, so I joined. I soon learned that my notion of societies was biased and not based on any facts.
Don is a unique individual that is active in a lot of very important organizations. He is in Indianapolis today participating in the Governor's Planning Council for People With Disabilities Conference. He has been active with Marine and other veterans groups. Don later proved his ancestry back to Revolutionary War time and was able to join the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). He talked me into joining this organization, too. Don marches in parades and attends events as part of the SAR Color Guard. Don just completed two one-year terms as the President of the Ohio Valley SAR Chapter. He holds the office of State Chaplain of the Indiana Society SAR. In TSGS he currently serves on the Long Range Planning Committee.

See Don's news story in the Browning People Study online database:
http://local.evpl.org/views/viewimage.asp?ID=801239
- by John G. West
OVC SAR Volunteers

Photo taken at the SAR Informational table at this fall's TSGS Seminar. L-R: Becky West, Ken Gilkey, Peggy Gilkey, Don Counts, John G. West.

OVC SAR Compatriots

Taken in the church basement where the TSGS fall Seminar was held for 2008. The Ohio Valley SAR Chapter displayed a total of 12 flags (10 were Colonial flags). These three are (L-R): John G. West, Don Counts, Ken Gilkey.

1 comment:

Don Counts said...

John, thanks for writing a really nice intro to my story. If you notice the last picture, looks like Jesus is watching over us.