An Honor to be Shared

….and a meeting with an astronaut!
            This past week, I was truly surprised to receive the Heritage Reward from the Historic Preservation Commission in Bay St. Louis. It is certainly an honor to be recognized by this group, which is dedicated to maintaining our city as “a place apart.”
            To be honest, I was floored! I am not a builder, or a renovator, or a city planner. I am just a researcher. I try to uncover the history of people and places in our wonderful Hancock County. And, I must say, such an endeavor is fun, enjoyable in a way difficult to describe.
            One who is awarded for doing something for which the doing is its own reward is a fortunate person.
            In my brief acceptance speech, I compared research to a mystery book which has a lot of blank pages. To fill in those empty spaces cannot be done without help, and in that regard I must recognize many people, but in particular, Charles Gray of the Hancock County Historical Society and Marco Giardino, my friend and a NASA archaeologist.
            An addition to the moment came in the person of astronaut Fred Haise, of Apollo 13 fame. It was he who presented me with the award, adding a veritable thrill to this aging being. Even at this late stage, I am reminded there are men like him who are pioneers in ways that I have not even dreamed.
            And I know there is more to come.