It’s a funny thing, the Internet. There is a negative side of the Internet, a side that would have you believe the world is full of nothing but hate. There is also a positive side of the Internet, a side that reminds us the world is still full of a lot of good. Undoubtedly, it’s because of the Internet, and how small the world has become as a result, that we are acutely aware of both the good and the bad in the world. Lucky for you, this a story of the good Internet and a story of personal growth because I have come to realize the Lauren who existed only a few short years ago is not the Lauren who exists today.
For some reason, nighttime for me is prime Interneting time. It’s a time when I do my writing, my researching, my Facebook
stalking perusing, my Instagraming, etc. I don’t know why this is but I think it stems from when the girls were really little and nighttime was the only time I had for quiet. Regardless, it’s a bad habit because sometimes I will read something that gets me really worked up and keeps me from falling asleep. Or, in this case, I read something and I get so excited I immediately email our Dovetail consultant because Marcus is asleep and even if he was awake he wouldn’t be excited because he shows the same amount of emotion awake as he does asleep.
Earlier this year I joined a group on Facebook called “You’re Probably From Fredericksburg If…” in an attempt to learn more about Sligo and the Cottage. I don’t really follow this particular group very closely and as a result it’s rare that a post will show-up on my news feed. But one night, right before bed, there was a post shared from the Shannon Airport Facebook page about a group of cousins who had gathered at the museum. These cousins were the grandchildren of a married couple who worked for the Shannon family. This caught my attention because the Shannon family owned Sligo for about 50 to 60 years in the early 20th century.
As if that weren’t interesting enough the cousins had shared pictures of their grandmother and grandfather. As I perused the old, sepia toned pictures I immediately recognized that the grandmother was standing just off the side steps of Sligo. I have spent many days now standing in almost that exact same spot and there was no mistaken the cut of the sidewalk or the little bit of hand rail that can be seen.
When I saw that picture I was so excited I immediately emailed our Dovetail consultant (as I stated earlier). She probably thought I was nuts because it was about 10:00 at night and it definitely could have waited until the next day. Regardless, we both agreed it matched previous descriptions and fire insurance maps of Sligo. It was at this point that I decided to do something so outside of my comfort zone that I surprised myself: I contacted the Shannon Airport Facebook page and asked if they would please pass my information on to the cousins in hopes that one of them would be willing to share what they knew about Sligo.
The old Lauren would have been terrified to put herself out there. I mean, the worst that could happen would be nobody would ever contact me
and I would cry myself to sleep wondering what I did wrong and life would continue as is. But, that’s not what happened. Within hours of my message exchange with Shannon Airport I received a call from Mr. White, one of the cousins. We had such a nice conversation and it turned out he had done some previous work on getting a church on the National Historic Registry so we had that in common. However, he had not spent much time (if any) at Sligo and so he gave me his cousin’s name and number and whom he had already communicated with and was expecting my call. All of a sudden I found myself in communication with perfect (lovely) strangers who didn’t know me at all but were willing to share their stories and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.