File this one under "why I love being a historian":
So I made contact with Mrs. Jackpot this afternoon. When I told her what I was doing my project on, she said in this really endearing, Queens sounding accent: "Why, I didn't know people did their studies on things like that." It was like all at once, she realized her own historicity, that what she had done really mattered to somebody. Her tone changed and she noted that she held her leadership position for twenty-three years, that my girl Phyllis spent the night at her house when she was in town, and that she even knew William Buckley and his brother and she would be so happy to tell me her story. It was like it suddenly occurred to her that she was part of the big picture.
It was the most beautiful little moment. It's so much fun to be in this position to bring to light the efforts of people that would have otherwise been forgotten-- in a way, to be their advocate with the future. Maybe that sounds like a really inflated, hyperbolic kind of a statement, but it's really awesome to feel like what I do has some long term, lasting value.
We should be interviewing by the end of the month! I am so excited.