Yesterday, I wrote about judging different levels of the 4-H Genealogy Project. It reminded me of a little story that I would like to share. One of the 4-H young ladies was in her ninth year of 4-H Club work (they can only be in for 10 years or when they reach the age limit for members). One of the more outstanding 4-H'ers had been taking the Genealogy Project from her first year when it was called the “Family Tree Project.” Her name was Kendra Maasberg, her mother Cynthia was an active TSGS member and once served as TSGS Recording Secretary. Kendra did a thorough job of gathering all of the documents photocopied for her exhibit notebooks. She had birth, marriage applications, military records, death and obituaries. She had a photo of when someone was young, about the time of marriage and sometimes an later in life photo and a picture of their tombstone. She had deeds, census records, wills, education and church records for each person going back 8 generations. There were Generation Charts, Family Group Sheets, Additional Information Sheets, an essay for each year. Everything was placed in plastic protector sheets. As you can imagine this filled up several 4 inch loose-leaf notebooks – she had four that ninth year. When it was time to enter the exhibits, I was at the fair grounds to sign in the exhibits as the Genealogy Project Superintendent. Here comes Kendra using a cart to haul her notebooks in. After nine years, we knew each other fairly well and seeing that cart, I decided to kid her about it. I told her that there was a rule on weight limits for the project – no more than 50 pounds per 4-H'er. She laughed assuring me it did not weigh that much at all.
In Kendra's tenth year (her last), she comes in with five of those big notebooks and quickly asks what that weight limit was for the projects. She stated she looked through everything and could not find that rule. At first, I did not know what she was talking about (I had forgotten about my little joke). She said didn't you say that the total weight had to be under 50 pounds? I remembered and said yes that is correct. She smiled really big and proudly stated the total weight of her five notebooks was 49.7 pounds! The joke was on me that year. - Submitted by John G. West