"Palo Verde" is Spanish for "green stick" and is so named because the entire trunk & all the branches are a vivid light olivey-/limey green color. It is the Arizona state tree and they bloom this time of year with an abundance of tiny yellow flowers much like forsythia, for those of you in colder climes. I thought everyone could use a boost right now and these are very cheerful flowers we are seeing right now all over the Phoenix area.
This just in:
From Our Governor General:
Notice of the Cancellation of the 42nd Triennial Congress
As we all know, the Coronavirus Pandemic has affected meetings, gatherings, and sporting events around the world. Travelers and large groups are particularly influenced by this terrible contagion, and those who need to make plans months ahead are struggling to cope with unknown factors. GSMD, which includes so many at-risk vulnerable people, is no exception. Massachusetts is currently operating in a state of emergency, and it is really impossible to predict when that emergency will end or whether it may occur again later this year.
Your Executive Committee is carefully considering how to balance the health of our members with the needs of our Society. After considerable review, it has been decided that we must cancel the Congress scheduled for September 2020. The Emergency Orders from Massachusetts will allow us some extra flexibility in how we conduct activities, and over the next two months or so we will work with the General Board to determine how we can conduct the essential business of our organization.
You may be interested to know that there is a precedent for this action. During the Second World War, GSMD did not hold Congress in 1942, and the 1945 Congress was postponed until 1946.
We will try to reschedule the commemorative events that we planned for this year into the future, but those plans are all up in the air. Over the next two to three weeks we will refund all of the paid registration fees that our members and guests have made for 2020 – it will be a full refund. Please note: No action is required by Registrants at this time.
We are currently working through the mechanics of processing refunds to our members with our Registration Team. Full refunds will be processed without requesting them. If you paid for your reservations via credit card, you will receive a refund applied to your credit card. Once your refund is submitted for processing, you will receive an email notification from our Registration Team advising you of this processing: it will include an itemized receipt of the refund. If you placed reservations on separate days, you will receive multiple refunds, by reservation date. The refund process can take up to 10 business days once it is initiated. And because of timing differences, you may not see the credit until you receive your May credit card statement.
We have been in contact with our partners at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum regarding the Provincetown 400 events. At this time, they, too, are under a state of emergency. Their Board of Directors is considering options about their events, but no decision has been made at this time. Right now, their events are going forward as planned. When a decision is made, I will send additional communication to inform our members.
Please be sure to cancel any accommodation reservations you may have made on your own.
These are indeed extraordinary times. More than ever, the Society feels an enormous obligation to our members during this international crisis. But cancellation terms in our existing contracts must be met and paid for by GSMD, even though all the money to pay for these contracts is being refunded to our members. To help GSMD defray some of the significant costs for the cancellation of this event, won't you please consider donating back your registration fee or whatever you can afford? (Please send your donation via check, payable to GSMD.) We hope to plan commemorative events as soon as possible but will be unable to do so without restoring these depleted funds.
We all look forward to brighter days when we can bring our membership together and commemorate the 400th anniversary. We all will have much to be thankful for, when we are past this pandemic.
Governor General George P. Garmany, M.D.
April 20, 2020
That's a better-than-20% discount and worth every penny. I do not know how long the offer will last but if you have been thinking about joining - I highly recommend it for anyone researching that part of the US or Mayflower ancestors in the Northeastern US or Maritime Provinces - now is the time. You will not be deluged with email, junk mail, or people phoning to sell you something, so please don't let dread of that prevent you from joining "one more genealogical organization." This link was in their weekly electronic newsletter and I checked it out. It's for real, you will get the $20 discount when you check out.
If you are inspired to start sewing masks for hospitals in your area that are accepting homemade ones (CHECK FIRST at http://createtodonate.org/where-can-i-donate-face-masks/), this is a third option. That said, the two Phoenix-area hospitals listed accept only the rectangular sort. Also, some hospitals specify rectangular with a pocket into which they can insert a small filter. This rounded option is seen a lot online, and if it is the only kind your family member will wear, go for it. Remember, it is to protect others from YOU and can also help with the "don't touch your face" issue. (Pipe cleaner nose bridge optional.) I made this as an homage to Mammy helping Scarlett through a crisis in her day - cut up the old curtains! Added plus: because I had lined the curtains so long ago, I already had the two layers: white on the inside, floral on the outside. Being able to tell back from front is important to wearing masks correctly so some instructions call for contrasting material. One source for this pattern as a downloadable paper PDF is www.sweetredpoppy.com/how-to-sew-a-fitted-fabric-mask but a good video of how to make it can be found here on YouTube. (The demonstrator is not named so I can't give her credit, sorry.) This video is even good with the sound turned off. Key points in favor of this mask: 1. It uses the least amount of fabric 2.) The video shows a quick elastic earlobe technique that lets you readjust for the wearer. 3) It took just 45 minutes to make. (April 20th note: I made another one a few days ago and it took about 30 minutes.)
Shamrock earrings are optional. This style, sewn from scraps of a leprechaun outfit I made for my assistant webmaster years ago, is the same rectangular shape with pleats as the Mayflower pink mask (below) but with three major differences. 1) A pipe cleaner inserted along the top edge allow the wearer to crimp it closer to the nose, preventing sliding and glasses-fogging. 2) The double-tie system for attaching it to the wearer works well for people with hair clips or other "up" styles by preventing the top tie from drooping. 3.) It is 2 layers thick, not 4. Otherwise it is the rectangular pattern with pleats BUT not sewn inside out because of the seam-binding ties that run up the side. To make a rectangular mask, watch the Joann "How to Make a Face Mask" video if you are a "show me" learner, like I am AND/OR if you want their paper pattern with pleats marked. Then follow the written instructions (with photos) that Froedert [Hospital] & the Medical College of Wisconsin got from Mount Mary University (click on "Hand Sewn Mask Instructions") if you want follow the seam binding procedure. Various online tutorials demonstrate the pipe cleaner step, some better than others. I wound up just sewing a tiny seam, feeding in the pipe cleaner, but cutting it short at both ends so the wire didn't poke out. Disclaimer: These are for you to make for family members. They offer some protection to the people you wearer interacts with but not much for the wearer. This took an hour and 25 minutes to construct, about 75% of the time it took yesterday.
If you have a sewing machine and some 100% cotton fabric, you can make your own washable, reusable, cloth face mask. (This is to protect other people from YOU when you go out in public, with or without your Pilgrim garb.) Volunteers are also making these nationwide for distribution to front-line responders in certain situations to ease the disposable, medical-grade mask shortage. (See Joann.com for more information.) I made this in 2 hours, as an experienced seamstress interrupted by other things. Presumably the second, third, etc. would go faster. Instructions to make this style of mask were on the Joann web site ("How to Make a Face Mask") along with a helpful video and downloadable pattern for cutting. (You will see a second pattern for a "Shaped Denim Face Mask" on the right.) One piece of advice: Joann has you use fusable interfacing and their fabric, which involves a shopping trip. I used what I had on hand already and found the interfacing I had to be too thick to allow for normal breathing. I made my own muslin lining instead. The end result was somewhat loose but definitely Mayflower pink. It uses elastic looped over the ears to stay on and presumably you could cut the elastic to fit your wearer.
General Society of Mayflower Descendants supports Wampanoag tribe against federal "disestablishment"
You may have missed it among all the COVID-19 news but the U.S. Department of the Interior this week acted to "disestablish" the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's reservation (2 sets of acreage in southeastern MA.) This is a very complicated situation that has been underway for years with the tribe obviously wanting to keep their reservation land as such, and use it to the benefit of the tribe. Various components of the federal government are or have been acting against or in support of same based on interpretation of a 2009 Supreme Court decision, Carcieri v. Salazar, against the Narragansett Tribe in nearby RI. In its Pilgrim Press newsletter emailed to subscribers yesterday, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, more familiarly known as "The Mayflower Society" reiterated its support of the Wampanoag, whose ancestors taught the Pilgrims how to plant and otherwise survive in coastal New England. (Few if any had been farmers in England.) The article links to the GSMD's original December 2018 statement. The Mashpee tribal office is closed due to COVID-19 but they have a website and you can sign a petition in their favor, read their newsletter, etc. The Dept. of the Interior posted a statement that seems to be saying, "we just did what the court ordered." It is undoubtedly a very complicated situation but supporting the Mashpee Wampanoags right now helps buy them time while they try to get an emergency restraining order from the federal district court in Washington D.C. and until they can get the U.S. Congress to pass and the President to sign what is currently H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act. The larger issue is the legal rights of tribes given federal recognition after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. These are not the only two such tribes.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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