The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

One Lovely Blog Award

Last week was very rough. I injured my neck, which made activity of any kind excruciating. After two trips to the chiropractor, some pharmaceutical help, and about 10 days of sheer misery, I am finally on the mend. On one of the crappier days, I got a spirit-lifting email from Jana Last over at Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog.

“You may or may not already know this, but I nominated your blog for the “One Lovely Blog Award.”


Let me tell you, People, it was just the shot in the arm, er neck, that I needed. Though it took me a few days to feel well enough to sit and type, I am finally able to pay it forward. The One Lovely Blog Award comes with the some strings attached; here’s Jana again:

“Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog (Check. Thanks again, Jana! You really cheered me up.)
  2. Share Seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)
  4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award”

Seven things about myself. Hmmmm. OK, here goes:

1. I am a giant nerd, in the Buzzy Jackson sense:

“Genealogy hobbyists are not just a bunch of well-adjusted funeral attendees, though; they’re also nerds. I love nerds. My definition of a nerd is someone who is extremely interested in … something. Anything. Whether experts on sports scores, Star Wars, or Michael Kors, they’re all nerds to me. These are people of passion, and the object of their fascination is less important than their zeal to know everything about it. With genealogy, there is a lot of “it” to know, from understanding the limits of mitochondrial DNA to locating the long-lost manifest of an ancient schooner, these people demonstrate that learn is the most active verb. My name is Buzzy Jackson and I, too, am a nerd.”

Word, Buzzy. Me too. My eccentric research habits are the butt of many a family joke. When the books in the living room reached a state of particularly advanced disarray, my husband christened my decorating style “Early Debauched English Major.”

2. And, speaking of my husband, I’ve been married to that awesome guy for 22 years. He’s a nerd too, and our interests often overlap. I made a business trip to Italy last year, but we decided to extend the trip a little into a second honeymoon. What do nerds on second honeymoon in Italy do? Why, nerd out over food, of course. Our younger daughter, a Harry Potter fan, dubbed the shot on the left “the Hall of Prophecies” (it’s Parmagiano Reggiano), and my film-crazy husband dubbed the one on the right “The Silence of the Hams” (it’s Prosciutto). Did you know that a needle made of the specially-carved lower leg bone of a horse must be used to judge the maturity and condition of prosciutto? Well, now you do.

five (7) five (8)

3. My picture is in the April 1986 issue of National Geographic magazine. Let’s play “Where’s Pancho?” Look at the crease. Now look at the dark boat with the white stripe in the top row a little to the right of the crease. Now look at the dark speck behind the orange life preserver. That’s my head. Our 4-person cayuco was the “Mixed Emotions” and we were delighted to finish smack dab in the middle of the pack in the Ocean-to-ocean Cayuco Race of 1985. I had to join the Explorer Scouts to participate in the race, so technically I’m also a boy scout. The race is both a Panama Canal and a family tradition: my stepdad raced in his teens, and some of my little brothers did it many years after I did.

five (3)

4. Speaking of my little brothers, I was an only child when I came to the United States for college at age 18. Not long after, my mom and stepdad adopted three boys, my father and stepmother had two boys of their own, plus one from her previous marriage, so by the time I graduated from college four years later, I had six little brothers.

5. My older daughter, between the ages of 13 and 17, was a professional touring circus aerialist. As her Momager, I spent a lot of time dragging around oddly-shaped luggage and hanging around the dusty, musty wings of various venues on the West and East coasts. It was fun, but we are both kind of glad it’s over.

Chevron Family Theatre Festival, Walnut Creek, CA

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6. I’ve been best friends with the same person since I was five years old. We met on the school bus to kindergarten in Coco Solo, Canal Zone, Panama, and we haven’t grown up very much.

five (1)five (4)

7. I am petrified of frogs and toads. It’s totally stupid, but there it is. You would think that a devotee of fairy tales would love all those princes in waiting, but nope. It worked out OK, though. See #2.

With my seven confessions out of the way, it’s on to my nominees. This was hard, because there are so many terrific blogs out there. I settled on “blogs that inspire me” as my theme for choosing, and because inspiration comes in many forms, I didn’t limit the field to genealogy blogs. My 15 favorites are listed in alphabetical order, not preference. Please check them out — they’re all inspiring.

(I realize that not all bloggers will want to add this award to their blogs. That’s okay. I’m nominating you because the purpose of these awards is not only to recognize the bloggers we admire, but also to share their work with others.  So accept it or not, as you please. There are no obligations, and no hard feelings either way. Thank you very heartily for inspiring me in my own blogging adventures.)

  1. Advanced Style – I love this blog because it actually makes me look forward to aging. These women have sass.
  2. Ancestral Paths – A fellow genealogy traveler from whom I glean all sorts of useful information.
  3. Bernfeld Family of Galicia and More – Wonderful family stories and pictures, sprinkled with excellent tips.
  4. Book of Days – I love marking the circle of the year, and this blog helps me do it.
  5. Brain Pickings – This blog is the most wonderful source of things to ponder.
  6. Brotmanblog: a Family Journey – Beautifully told family stories, and a wealth of Jewish Genealogy tips.
  7. The Eluceydator – The “illuminated” theme of this blog is so perfect. Great photographs, too.
  8. Enjoying the Small Things – Exactly what it says. This blog is required reading for human beings.
  9. The Genealogy Girl – Another beautifully done trove of family stories and pictures.
  10. Maybe Someone Should Write That Down – Family stories told with great wit.
  11. Myth and Moor – I’m a mythology and fairy tale nut. This blog makes me happy every time I visit.
  12. Pacificparatrooper – A trove of information about WWII in the Pacific, lovingly and respectfully told.
  13. Persephone Post – Books and Britain, with a focus on women writers. Feel free to send me a care package from Persephone books any time.
  14. Shaking the Tree – Marvelous family stories and photographs, the inspiring work of an artist and fellow traveller.
  15. Silver People Heritage Foundation – The Panama Canal could not have happened without the back-breaking labor of West Indian people who were unjustly paid the “silver” wage (as opposed to whites, who were paid the “gold” wage). This blog pays tribute to their stories and history.

Thanks for hanging in there, People. Now, go on, you have some blog reading to do. I’m going to go rest my neck.

14 comments on “One Lovely Blog Award

  1. rar12
    September 24, 2014

    Yeah, well you’re awesome, too.


  2. Amy
    September 25, 2014

    Wow! What a thing to wake up to!! First, thank you. I have a few questions so can you email me?? I feel so honored to have made your list!!

    Second, congratulations!! Well-deserved. I am so happy to have found your blog!

    And third, I am so sorry about your neck. I hope you are feeling better. Awards are wonderful, but good health is more important. So take good care of yourself.

    Thank you so much!!!


  3. Fran
    September 25, 2014

    Oh, Pancho, get better! So sorry to hear about the neck. This blog read was nothing short of amazing, just like you! Loved, loved it. And your old Auntie learned a few things about you — which I thoroughtly enjoyed. Your passions have always showed-right-up-front, your entire life. Love that, and much more about you!


    • Pancho
      September 25, 2014

      Aww. Thanks, Fran! I love you too, and fear not–the pharmaceuticals are working and I’m definitely on the mend.


  4. thegenealogygirl
    September 25, 2014

    So sorry to hear about your bad week! Thank you for including me in this great list. You brightened my day. 🙂


  5. Jana Last
    September 25, 2014

    It was so fun reading your “seven things about me” list! Yes! Nerds rule! And your daughter was a circus aerialist? Amazing! I also love the word “Momager.”

    I’m so sorry you injured your neck. That is so NOT fun. I hope you’re feeling better and are on the mend. Take care of yourself. 🙂


    • Pancho
      September 25, 2014

      Thanks, Jana. I’m definitely on the mend! Thanks for stopping by.


  6. bernfeldfamily
    September 27, 2014

    Thank you Pancho. I’ve had a couple of nominations so far this week but decided not to participate. However, I love reading others : ).


    • Pancho
      September 28, 2014

      Totally understandable and perfectly fine. You deserve the recognition, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheryl
    October 9, 2014

    I enjoyed learning more about you via the seven things list. I think that I could pick you out on the National Geographic photo. 🙂 What fun!


    • Pancho
      October 10, 2014

      Such a distinctive black dot am I. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! I’m eager to see where you take your blog next.


  8. Theresa Herring
    October 18, 2014

    Oh Panch, I’m so far behind in reading your blog but I’ve finally clicked the “notify me of new posts” box so I’ll stay up with you now. The poem! WOW! I’m so in awe of people that write poetry (your mom!) and now I see where it perhaps was inherited. Lovely post. THANK YOU for this labor of love that we ALL get to enjoy. Congrats on your award, well deserved. Love you so much.


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