Well this was our second Women’s History Month in a pandemic but at least Mollie’s War was prepared for it. March 2020 the world shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). We did one in-person presentation in Savanna, Illinois on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2020). It was a wonderful time and such a beautiful setting. Little did we know the changes on the horizon. After March 12, all of our presentations were canceled/postponed. We didn’t have another presentation until April 2020 when organizations started using Zoom to deliver content to audiences. We have continued to use Zoom since then. One positive note is the fact that people can join from all over the country! But the biggest negative is not having the audience reactions and interactions–and not getting to meet people in person. When it is safe to do so, we are hoping to travel the state to meet some of the people that we have seen on Zoom. It is difficult to assess reactions when everyone is muted and in little video boxes–and sometimes when a webinar is being used, you don’t even see the video boxes.
We met many interesting people during March 2021. We spoke in DeKalb at Elwood House, Lansing Library on International Women’s Day, Champaign Genealogy Society, Sycamore Library and Arlington Heights Library. It was so nice meeting people who were genuinely interested in history and were delighted that my mother and her family saved all of her “stuff.” If they had not saved this information, there would not have been an accurate story. I’ve enjoyed discovering this new audience of people interested in what the women did in WWII, a story that is not told often.
One of my favorite times from this month was when our grandchildren stayed over during spring break and I had a presentation. Our seven year old granddaughter, Hava, wanted to see my practice session. So she joined me–she told me that I had a lot of information. As I was talking and showing the slides, she asked many questions. What usual takes 45 minutes took almost an hour and a half. She was very interested. One of her questions occurred when I was showing the slide of children being evacuated from London to safer places during the buzz bombing. She wanted to know if the children ever saw their parents again—what a question but so appropriate for a child of the 2020s.