Episode 206 - Fisher Visits With Tuskegee Airman / Tom Talks Wet Photo Rescue

podcast episode Sep 17, 2017

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  Fisher opens the show talking about another family history related 19th century eBay find and the amazing place it came from. David then shares a story about an article that mourns the loss of old, hand me down recipes in Hurricane Harvey. There’s a new “oldest man in the world!” David will tell you who is he, where he lives, and just how old this man is! Then, in India a woman has broken new legal ground by being granted a divorce for the most (at least here!) unusual reason. Hear what it is.  A 2,500 year old Iron Age fort is being refurbished and you can eventually visit it. Find out all about from David.

Then, Fisher begins his two part visit with a 91-year-old man who is part of history. Lt. Col. Enoch Woodhouse is a vet of World War II and a former Tuskegee Airman. Col. Woodhouse shares some of his stories from the beginning of his lengthy military career. He describes life as a black soldier, his time with the Airmen, and his later years as a JAG attorney for the Air Force. Col. Woodhouse also talks about his family history and its impact on his life.

Then, Tom Perry calls in from Utah on his Preservation Tour. Tom answers another listener question about the best kind of thumb drives, as well as protecting your photos in a disaster such as Hurricane Harvey or Irma, and how to potentially rescue photos that get wet.

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 206

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 206

Fisher: You have found us! It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Well, welcome aboard, nice to have you. What a guest I’ve got lined up for today, very excited to be talking to Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse. He’s a World War II Vet. He was a Tuskegee Airman. I had the privilege of meeting him in Boston, Massachusetts back in August and what a delight and what great stories he’s got for you. We’re going to do a two part visit with him starting in about nine minutes. And I’m also excited to announce the creation of our Extreme Genes Patrons Club. You can go to ExtremeGenes.com and click on the Patrons Club. It will link you to a site called Patreon.com and this is a place where people can be patrons for the show. And we give you all kinds of great rewards in exchange for it for as little as a dollar a month. And it can include acknowledgement on the show and on the website. It can include early access to our podcast, special bonus podcast for members-only a couple of times a month and our secret members-only Facebook Live sessions with David Allen Lambert and other great guests. So sign up now at ExtremeGenes.com on the Patrons Club page or just go to Patreon.com/Extreme Genes. And speaking of David Allen Lambert, the Chief is in the house! The Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you David?

David: Hey, I’m back in Beantown after having a great week in Pittsburgh with Tom Perry and all of our listeners that dropped by both Tom’s booth and the NEHGS’s booth at the FGS, Federation of Genealogical Society’s conference.

Fisher: Well, it sounded like a great time for a lot of genies gathering there. And while you were gone I was busy collecting more family history for myself. I couldn’t believe this. You know I talk about this all the time because it’s so much fun finding things relating to your family on eBay. And you have to put in search terms and then hopefully once in a while something will come up. And maybe once or twice a year I find something I go, “Wait a minute, I’ve got to have that.” And in this case it was a handwritten invoice on the letterhead of my great grandfather’s New York City firm from 1881. I couldn’t believe it!

David: You’re kidding me?

Fisher: No, isn’t that amazing? And here’s the kicker to this thing. I was trying to figure out, all right when is this going to show up in my mailbox? And so I looked to see where the seller was located... Houston, Texas.

David: No way!

Fisher: Oh yeah, right in the middle of all this, so I had an email exchange with this guy and he said, “Oh yeah, our neighborhood somehow stayed high and dry despite the fact we’re surrounded by two bayous that are running like the Mississippi River.”

David: Wow!

Fisher: And so remember last week we were talking about all the family history stuff that was lost in the Houston area? And you know the photo albums and all the memories that went with it and what a tragedy that in itself is yet alone the lost homes and all the property. But it never would have occurred to me perhaps some of my own family history could have been lost in something like that, or anybody’s anywhere in the country, maybe even in the world. Think of like family Bible records, right? It could apply to anybody anywhere.

David: Well, you know this is a good point and this leads me to my first story for Family Histoire News. Thinking about what we lost, a great article in the Houston Chronicle called “Washed Away Family Recipe Cards” really touches upon that. If you lose early family recipes, how can you resurrect them again other than memory?

Fisher: No question and I’m sure there are a lot of people who are trying to write down what they remember from their great aunts and their grandmothers and their great grandmothers and these little boxes with these cards that have passed down. I mean, what a loss.

David: It really is. I hope that some people will share them more with family members. That way they’re distributed more amongst the family so less likelihood they’ll get destroyed again.

Fisher: Exactly.

David: Well, we now have a new “world’s oldest man.” Mr. Francisco Nunez Olivera. It is almost 113. In fact, he will be 113 in December, but he is living in Spain and he’s in relatively good health aside from having a kidney removed when he was 90, cataract operation at 98 and a  recent urinary infection when he was a mere 108 years old. And he has good genes Fish!

Fisher: Yes.

David: His brother’s 95 and his sister’s 93.

Fisher: That is unbelievable.  93? He’s almost old enough to be his sister’s father! [Laughs]

David: [Laughs] “On a next episode of Extreme Genes...” we’ll talk about that!

Fisher: [Laughs] Exactly. All right, and he’s in Spain by the way. And of course, the only way you get the title of “World’s Oldest Man” is for somebody else to pass away. So, congratulations! Enjoy the title while you’ve got it.

David: Well, here’s one for the genealogical research books. In India a court will now grant a woman divorce for lack of a home toilet.

Fisher: [Laughs] Now, what happened here?

David: Well, a lady had been married for five years and forced to well, find other places to go in her nearby field because she didn’t have a toilet at home. She petitioned in court for divorce and it was granted.

Fisher: And they say it was basic cruelty I would assume, right?

David: Um hmm. Unusual cruelty. Can you imagine in United States this being an issue? I mean, at least in the 1800s we had outhouses.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Good point.  And for many of these women they actually have to go out into a field and because of modesty issues they have to wait till night time.

David: Well, I tip my hat to these ladies and 100 years from now we’ll be reading these records in India and saying, “Really? Someone actually had to put up with that?”

Fisher: [Laughs] Right.

David: My next story takes us to East Devon, England where there is a castle known as Woodbury Castle dating back to 500 to 300BC. It’s an earthwork Iron Age fort. Fish, they’re restoring it so you can go and visit it and see it the way it was.

Fisher: Wow! All right, for people who are not aware David, when was the Iron Age?

David: This one dates from 2 500 years ago to 500 to 300BC.

Fisher: Unbelievable. Wow! Wouldn’t that be fun to see?

David: Who knows what ancestors were there?

Fisher: Exactly.

David: And don’t forget each week on AmericanAncestors.org you can check out our free guest member databases. In fact, we’ve made some recent updates to the Massachusetts Archdiocese of Boston Records 1789 to1900 where we’re constantly adding volumes to it digitally as well as preserving them for the Archdiocese himself. Well, that’s what I have for you this week from Beantown, Fish. Talk to you next week before I head off to the Maine Genealogical Society in North Port, Maine for their annual meeting.                                                                                                                           

Fisher: All right, so great to talk to you as always, David. Talk to you next week. And coming up next in three minutes, we’re going to stay in Boston. We’re going to talk to Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse. He’s a WorldWar II Vet, a Tuskegee Airman. He has lived so much history you’re going to want to hear his stories coming right up on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 206

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment of our show is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. And it was about a month ago, I was in Boston, Massachusetts taking a tour of the Old South Church there with the minister, Nancy Taylor, and she said, “Hey wait a minute, I got somebody you’re gonna wanna meet” And holding court by the back row of pews was a ninety-one-year-old gentleman who she introduced me to as Enoch Woodhouse, a Tuskegee Airman. And so many people just are gravitating to Colonel Woodhouse because of the fact that he’s got such a personality. Colonel Woodhouse, I don’t think you’ve ever met a stranger!

Colonel: No I haven’t. Everyone may be a stranger initially but after two or three minutes to me they are human beings until they prove otherwise.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: It was a pleasure meeting you. We’ve had wonderful conversations, so we can resume our interview.

Fisher: Absolutely. And I was honored that you would ask me to call you “Woody,” but I think you must do that with everybody after a day or two.

Colonel: No, not everyone!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: I want you to know that you are the select few.

Fisher: Oh, [Laughs] Well thank you, sir. When we talk about family history, we tend to think about people who are dead and gone, in the past, and I think most of us, most individuals tend to think, oh, our kids aren’t going to care much about what we did. In your case, I’m sure your kids, your grandkids, your great grandkids, are very interested in your history. Especially the way it started out as a Tuskegee Airman. How was it you wound up with that famous group?

Colonel: Back to December 7th1941, it was a Sunday morning when it was announced that the Japanese empire had launched an attack on Pearl Harbor. Now, can you imagine my mother, a black woman, was shocked but what she said to my brother and I, her two sons, all that she had in the world, was that, “Boys, we’re at war. I want you to do your duty to defend our country.” Can you imagine a woman of color saying to the two possessions she owned, that they must defend our country when black people were being lynched and segregated and still denied the right to vote?

Fisher: Unbelievable. And where were you living at that time Woody?

Colonel: We were living in public houses, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Fisher: Okay.

Colonel: People say, “Where are you from?” I was born in Boston but I always say Roxbury because that was the Harlem of Boston and I’m proud of it and I have my roots there. I consider myself a colored kid from Roxbury.

Fisher: Okay. So she wanted you to do your duty, wanted your brother to do his thing, what did you do at that point now? It’s almost 1942.

Colonel: Well, the first thing we both did was to complete high school. [Laughs]

Fisher: Okay.

Colonel: I graduated in 1944 and my brother graduated in 1945. I graduated in June of 1944 but in those times you could take out your enlistment papers in your senior year in high school, and many boys did just that. So, with three or four months in March or April of my senior year I was at the Army Recruiting getting the information. And in June I enlisted. I was sworn in.

Fisher: And they shipped you off to where?

Colonel: I may sound intuitive to you and to our audience, but the worst thing you can do is ask a trial lawyer a question! 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: You probably get everything perhaps but the answer.

Fisher: Right.

Colonel: The answer will be by the end but you have to get the background. So I’ll answer your question directly. My first duty assignment was in Texas, Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas. Now let me tell you what happened there. We got on the train, all of us young kids, patriotic with our new khaki uniforms, we go from South Station and we got to Chicago. We were still laughing and joking together, and from Chicago we got to St. Louis laughing and joking together. When we got to St. Louis, as we were pulling out we were going from St. Louis to Texas and that line at that time was called the “MKT” Missouri, Kansas, Texas line. Now, as we were pulling out, about to pull out, the conductor comes to the train, “Get off the train! Get off the train!” And we were all seventeen year old kids, you know? We were looking around thinking there was a spy on board the train. The conductor comes up and not too gently taps me on the shoulder and says, “Get off the train! You can’t ride this train!” And of course I was shocked, embarrassed in front of my classmates and friends whom I never saw again since. So I got off the train. Now, when I was on the platform I had to get my duffle bag, thirty or forty pounds. Here I’m sitting on the platform, the train pulls out and the black porter comes up and says, “Son, where are you from?” [Laughs] I said, “I’m from Boston, Massachusetts.” So he said, “Well, have you ever been South before?” I said “Well, I’ve been to New York a couple of times and that’s about it.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: He says, “Well you know, we can’t ride that train.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “There’s a train that’s coming along for us later on.” I said, “How soon?” He said, “Oh about eight or nine hours later.”

Fisher: Oh my goodness!

Colonel: I said, “What are you talking about eight or nine hours?” So he says, “Well, you can sit over in the colored section and I can bring you some food.” Now I was the only person on that platform. There was no other person of color that’s going to be at the train platform seven or eight hours before the train leaves.

Fisher: And this is your introduction now to life in the military and to different parts of the country than you’d ever been exposed to before?

Colonel: Well, it’s not different parts of the country, but this was still America. As I felt wearing the uniform to defend America from fascism and Nazism but that’s ahead of the story. But I want to put in this, before I left Boston, and this was the custom in the black community at that time, when any of our servicemen were leaving, the local community would give him or her a few dollars to go off. And I had perhaps fourteen dollars in my pocket which was given to me by my parents and other people that had slipped a few dollars before I left the country. So needless to say, I had to wait till the next train came, which is another story.

Fisher: Wow. And so you wound up where, to start your career with the Tuskegee Airmen?

Colonel: Well, that Tuskegee Airmen was two years later because I served as an enlisted man in an all black segregated squadron of the United States Army Air Corps in what is called Squadron F.  Now, the US Army Air Corps at that time would designate by letters the function admission of that squadron. You’d have A for administration. These were all people that were administrators, you had the initials for flying and maintenance, but all black personal at the United States Army Air Installation the squadron was designated F. And F’s function admission was as follows: Housekeeping, which means you clean the streets.

Fisher: Right.

Colonel: Drove the trucks. You served as truck drivers in the motor pool. You served as fuel attendants for the refuelling missions for the bombers that came in at air fields. And you served sometimes in the two best jobs that a black serviceman could have, which was a waiter in a white jacket at the officer’s club, which meant you ate good food. You didn’t have to eat horse meat.

Fisher: Right.

Colonel: The other was where you could have your class A uniform and be a driver for the motor pools. You’d drive the officers from the flag lines back to the BOQ or you drive them over from air fields to Fort Douglas, or over to Salt Lake.

Fisher: So you were stationed in Utah late in World War II?

Colonel: Yes. And often Utah had the unique distinction of being a stockade for German POWs.

Fisher: Yes.

Colonel: And the German POWs, sad to say, ate better food than we black enlisted men for the United States Army Air Corps. And the other incident was the German POWs could sit anywhere within their group in the theatre, but the black GIs we had to sit in the last rows of the same theater.

Fisher: You’ve got to be kidding me. So the German prisoners actually got better seating in the theater than you did?

Colonel: Yes. They sat in a group where they wanted. If they wanted to sit in front they could sit, if they wanted to sit in the middle they could, we blacks sat at the back as on the bus.

Fisher: All right, we’re going to take a break right now. I’m talking to Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse. He is a former member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He is in Boston Massachusetts. He’s 91-years-old and it’s a great visit. We’re going to get to more coming up next on three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show 

Segment 3 Episode 206

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse

Fisher: And we are back. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And I’m continuing my conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse of Boston, Massachusetts. Woody is a former Tuskegee Airman and he’s been sharing with us some of his memories of his time in the service late in World War II in Utah, and then it was on to the Tuskegee Airmen. I mean you had a long career. How long were you in the military, Woody?

Colonel: I was in the military active for six years, and approximately twenty two years as a reserve as a JAG officer. That’s Judge Advocate General. That is the legal department for the military.

Fisher: Yeah. So you were an attorney, and when did you become an attorney?

Colonel: In 1956.

Fisher: 1956.

Colonel: I like to pride myself on being the only living lawyer that when he was sworn in before the United States Supreme Court, he was welcomed by Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter. And he welcomed me and said he hope he’d see me again before him. And needless to say I didn’t make it because my clients couldn’t afford it.

Fisher: Yes, I would imagine that’s true. So before you became a JAG, you were in the Airmen. When did that start and how did that come about?

Colonel: Well, the thing about being designated, what they call DOTA, Documented, the Original Tuskegee Airman. All black officers in the United States Army Air Corps. Later to become the United States Air Force. If you were black and you were an officer or enlisted in the air arms, you were put into one unit. That one unit was commanded by, at that time Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Fisher: Yes.

Colonel: 332nd Fighter Wing. Being black, being in that all unit we were all designated Tuskegee Airmen because all aviators, all pilots, all ground crews were trained in one installation. That was at Moton Field, Tuskegee, Alabama. Hence, we were designated as Tuskegee Airmen.

Fisher: So you had a lot of experience obviously with many of these men who dealt with an awful lot of combat missions. What was that like? What was the culture there? Obviously a lot of pride I would assume after so much was accomplished at the end of World War II.

Colonel: Well, these people ask me when I go around speaking, I always respond when asked, “How did it feel to be in segregated in an all black unit?” To me, segregation sucked big time, but to be with the most outstanding officers, black, white or Asian, who were all top in their own respected fields, to me was inspirational and enlightening. Example, our flight surgeon, Vance H. Mitch Banks Jr., we called him Shobu. He was the one that designed the space suit, and we’re trying to have him still recognized at NASA. We had Paul Byrd, meteorologist. We had PHDs from MIT. We had Lee Archer who shot down four and a half aircrafts, all outstanding men. And these are the men that I served with, and the reason people ask me, well, how did you know X, Y and Z? I said, they knew me because I was the paymaster!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: The paymasters at that time paid you in US currency. No checks, no online accounts, no eBay, nothing.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: You got paid in US currency. So if your pay was $322.15, you were paid that in US currency down to the last dime. How I got to know Colonel Davis, on an intimate basis, as his junior officer, my duty was to pay him personally in his office, standing at attention, and you know the base commander was not going to wait in the officer’s pay line to get paid.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs] All right, so let’s talk about your family history a little bit here, Woody. You go back to Boston. You mentioned you’re from Roxbury, but you’ve told me some things off air about some of your ancestors. Share some of those stories with us, and then I want to hear what your thoughts are on what they might think about all you’ve accomplished in your life.

Colonel: Well, I’d like to start with my father and grandfather. Now, the name Woodhouse was given as a result of rendering of service for one of the first governors of the Virginia Plantation. Sir Robert Woodhouse, one of the first governors of the Virginia Plantation, before North Carolina, South Carolina, were states. This was the Plantation.

Fisher: So this goes way back.

Colonel: Oh yeah. So, we pride ourselves, the Woodhouses, on getting our freedom the American way. We earned it. Lincoln didn’t free us. As a matter of fact, Lincoln only freed about 70 or 80% of blacks of that time. The majority of blacks were free, and some blacks had slaves themselves, but that’s another story.

Fisher: Yes.

Colonel: Now, my father was an A.M.E.’s high minister and he gave me the insight to do good, to do the unthinkable, to do the unspeakable. One of his good friends was a Rabbi in the Jewish community, which was part black at that time. And the other priest he started out with was Richard Cushing. My father, this is the way he thought and this is the way I was raised in sort of a faith based way of living.

Fisher: You attend two churches now, don’t you?

Colonel: Well, sometimes three. You missed the third Catholic Church. As I tell a lot of my friends, that I go to more Catholic masses than they do.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Colonel: And also, LDS. Not services, but at some of their meetings that they do in the ecumenical fashion. But, on my father’s side, my grandfather did an unusual thing, and this is germane to the gene part of it. My paternal grandmother was an Indian Tuscarora, from North Carolina. Now, she did the unusual thing of marrying up. She married a black man, my grandfather, who was free and a landowner. Now, their marriage was a pox on both their houses. The blacks didn’t want her because they think my grandfather, a black property owner, and free, should marry a black woman, but he married an Indian and they called her an Indian “squaw.” Now, when she married him, both groups shunned them both. The blacks because of her marriage, and of course the tribes did the usual thing, they kicked her out of the tribe.

Fisher: Right.

Colonel: So, with that, they were married in Elizabeth City, but for some reason they couldn’t survive together as a marital unit, so my grandmother did the unthinkable thing. She came north to Boston, with my father and two other children. And incidentally, we all have Biblical names. I’m Enoch, my father’s Enoch, his father was Daniel, and of course, my two aunts, what other names could you have but Ruth and Naomi!

Fisher: Yes, of course. [Laughs] He’s Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Woodhouse, from Boston, Massachusetts, a former Tuskegee Airman and just an amazing gentleman. Thank you so much, Woody, for coming on. And, it’s been an honor and pleasure to talk with you, and thanks for sharing your history, your family’s history with us. 91 years young. Still standing tall and erect, sharp as a tack and getting out, and living life.

Colonel: Thank you. God bless America.

Fisher: Thank you, Colonel Woodhouse. What an honor. Tom Perry comes up next to talk preservation in three minutes.

Segment 4 Episode 206

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we're back, its America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. I am your congenial host. And this segment is brought to you by MyHeritage.com. And it’s time to check in with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, continuing his preservation tour. You're in Utah this week Tom.

Tom: Right. We have the big Utah State Fair that we're at right now, so if you're in town, come on down. We're having scanning parties, we're doing a special fundraiser to raise some money to go help the people in Houston to preserve some of the things that they've had damaged during the horrendous flooding.

Fisher: That's in Salt Lake City, right?

Tom: Right, that's in Salt Lake City, Utah. And this State Fair is huge! I mean, they get neighboring people that come in. It’s really, really a big fair, a lot of fun. Mention Extreme Genes and we'll give you a free ticket to come back another day, plus we'll do any scanning you have to do right there at the fair for half the price. And all that money will go to the Preservation Tour to get to Houston to help them try and recover some of their memories.

Fisher: Awesome! All right, we've got this email. We started on this last week, Tom. Jay Todd was asking you a bunch of questions because he's created six different family histories that he's trying to put on four different flash drives then make all these copies, and we covered some of that. And then he talked about this, he said, "I'd like what is on the DVD-R transferred to sixteen flash drives of fine quality, likely 8 or 16GB, because that's what they sell these days." He said, "I prefer flash drives with the slip on protective end over the open end of the flash drive unless you talk me out of it." Why would you talk him out of that?

Tom: Oh no, absolutely that's what he wants!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: In fact, I'm going to upgrade a little bit. The ones that we sell in our store, it’s actually silicone and it almost looks like, well it does, it looks like a wristband. And so you're not going to lose those end caps. You set them down, they fall off your desk, they fall into your garbage can and you lose them. What we use, it looks just like a wristband because it is a wristband. And then when you put it together, it’s actually a silicone cover over it. And we actually had a customer that actually said they lost their thumb drive, they couldn't find it and then they realized they had washed their pants.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: They went to their pants and it was still in the cycle and it was still hooked up and they were scared to death. And they went and plugged it in and it worked fine. But do not try this at home!

Fisher: Yeah!

Tom: I do not recommend it!

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, no kidding, huh.

Tom: But yeah, that's the best kind, because I mean, those snap on things, they're good. You know the ones that just pull out and stuff, they're so easy to get lint in them and all kinds of stuff that going to mess them up. And if you do run into a problem, what you want to do is, get a new toothbrush, one that's never had toothpaste on it and very gently kind of get the bristles in there and kind of move it back and forth and that will clean a lot of the dust and stuff out. So if you have a flash drive that's not working, that's a good recommendation that sometimes can get it to work. So try that if there's dirt and dust. That happens all the time, same thing with iPhones. I have people that say, "Hey, I've got an iPhone and it won't charge anymore." Well, it’s got so much crap in that little place where you put the plug in, just get a brand new toothbrush. It’s gotta be just be a dry toothbrush, because it can still have toothpaste in it.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: It’s going to be dry or its going to ruin it. So just get that brush in there and kind of clean it out very gently. Don't do it too hard. Just kind of do it, then pull it in and see if it works. And just do that a few times. And that will work on your iPhones. That will work on about anything. But they get dust from your pockets and all kinds of things. But I agree with you 100%, you want the kind that has a cover on them. And I prefer a silicone cover because it’s kind of flexible and it will actually fit tighter around it. We sell at 16GB, 32GB. They come in all different sizes. But get the one that looks just like a wristband and then just plugs into itself, so that way you'll never ever lose the cap. You can hook it on your purse strap, put it around your wrist, do just about anything you want with it and it’s a really good drive. But always back them up in the cloud. Never totally rely on USB drives or anything. Put it in the cloud. Put it on your hard drive. Put it on a disk.

Fisher: These thumb drives though, I mean, they've long been cheap, temporary solutions, right. But now they're getting so much better.

Tom: Oh they are. They're so much better. The last order we got of them, you can just see the quality's better. When they first came out, they were just a quirky thing. But I'm still a little bit apprehensive to use them as long term storage, only relying on it for long term storage.

Fisher: All right, Tom. We've got to take a break. We're going to come back in three minutes. Let's talk about the hurricanes and what people can do to preserve and perhaps recover some of the materials they've lost in natural disasters. That's in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 206

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: It is our final segment of Extreme Genes for this week, America's Family History Show. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth talking preservation with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, on the road in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Utah State Fair. You're doing the scanning party out there and I also understand you're at, what, Weber State University, that's in Ogden, Utah this weekend as well?

Tom: Yeah, we're two timing. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] But there's no scanning going on in Ogden, right?

Tom: Right. Ogden, we're just there to talk to people, help people, give them ideas. I'm teaching a couple of classes of stories from Extreme Genes.

Fisher: Awesome! Well it sounds like a lot of fun. Now let's talk about this natural disaster situation. Last week we talked a little about what people need to do to preserve their photographs if they were, say, in the Houston area and they have pictures sticking together and how you can work to get those things dried out without damaging them so they can ultimately be scanned and those images recovered. But in Florida now, we have a whole different situation, people hunkering down right now. We should talk about preventative measures in a natural disaster like this. What are your thoughts on that Tom?

Tom: Yeah that's a good idea. You know, this is where the beautiful Ziploc bag comes into play. And they're so cheap you can go the dollar store where you can buy a pack of like twenty of them for a buck. And all you need to do is put your photos in there, seal them up, put them on a high shelf. If you can take them with you, fine. But it’s usually just too much stuff. And they come in all different sizes. And one thing, if you have whole bunch of them, especially like photos, we talk about afterwards doing the rice thing, they'll dry them out. But like you say, preventative maintenance is so important. Make sure those things are in Ziploc bag. You can double tape them, do all kinds of things. If you're in a high humidity place, you want to make sure these humidifiers, because if you go and seal them in the bag and then there's humidity in there, it can cause damage. Not as bad as any of the hurricane waters are going to cause or floodwaters, but you have to be very, very careful. And go back to one of our episodes where we teach you how to put the uncooked rice in a cheese cloth, wrapped. You need to take these preventative measures. But then, you know, that's great. If you missed this or some of them didn't work for you, then you need to make sure you do the right thing. You need to have your photographs when they're still wet, that's when you take them apart. Don't try taking them apart when they're dry, because you'll ruin them.

We talked a little bit about videotapes and audiotapes last week, and one thing we didn't get into is the size. You know, we talked about draining them. If you have any that have had any dirty water in them, or you’ve had mud or anything like that, that crept into them. What you want to do is you want to make some distilled water baths. So you want to get the tape in there, put it in the first one, then the second one, then put it in the second one, have about three or four baths until it’s pretty much clear, and you can use that over and over again. But when other ones start getting dirty toss it out and start with new, fresh distilled water because otherwise you’re going to get mold and things like that. You want to make sure you do all those kind of things to get rid of the mold. If you already got mold, we still have another way we can transfer them, but every step you miss is going to make it that much harder and that much more expensive to get your stuff recovered. So follow these different paths and make sure you get everything right. Same with your photos, if you have mud and stuff on them don’t try scraping them off, if they’re still wet get them in some distilled water, let them sit there and soak but be very, very careful, if you soak them too long you don’t want to touch the face of them because you wipe the emulsion right off, especially negatives.

Fisher: Ugh, I hate hearing things like that. This is such a trying time for so many people at the most fundamental levels you know, food and shelter. But then when the recovery comes, the hard part is when you’ve lost all your memories and this what we’re trying to help avoid for so many people along harm’s way right now. Tom thanks so much for your time! Good luck at the Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City, Utah. And have a lot of fun with the genies there.

Tom: Will do. My pleasure!

Fisher: Hey, that’s it for this week, thanks for joining us. And just a reminder, we have just launched our shiny, brand new Extreme Genes Patrons Club at Patreon.com/ExtremeGenes, or just click on Patrons Club at ExtremeGenes.com it will take you right there. It’s a great way to support the show by becoming a member and for anywhere from $1 to $8 a month you can take advantage of great benefits such as, early access to podcasts, free members-only bonus podcasts and “ask me anything” at live Facebook sessions with a lot of great experts, so check it out. Talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us, and remember as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!

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