Thursday, March 25, 2010

Follow Your Hunches, Attitude is Everything Hank Z Jones

Wednesday was a awesome day, the sun was shining and the world was just right on
track yesterday. I so looked forward to seeing Hank Jones again, and listen to his
talk about the many things that he so delightfully can convey.

Hank Jones having had many experiences in his moving through life can relate
so well, the many great events that touched him, in so many ways regarding life.
He talked about his past friends and how they helped him to move forward in new
endeavors after Hollywood.

The many serendipitous events brought many chuckles and nodding of heads. Many
in our audience had never thought about this format of research so it was a very
enlightening talk.

Hank mentioned how people would say, " I never told anyone this but," and then would
go on to share a unique story on an event that had helped them move along the way.

He talked about his friend John Ritter who was always going to write down his
story and one day he sat down on the couch and died. John never wrote his story.
Hank stressed write the story, as the author you can always change it. At least,
start the story, and add tidbits as you go along.

He talked of David Rencher and his desire to make the IGI a viable research tool.
He mentioned Christine Rose and the ROSE family name and it's endless lengths.

He mentioned the soldier that was barracked at what is today the Court House in St.
Louis, Missouri and the experience she had when she visited the Arch in St. Louis
by looking down and seeing the court house and not going to the ball game. Touring
the court house her experience got stronger and stronger and finally she left it,
in dismay over her feelings. She later learned it was the fort he had been held in
with the need of an amputation and he would not let them do it. Yes, he survived
and lived with a limp. Jefferson Barracks is today the court house in St. Louis. MO..
Missouri. It was one of her Ancestors, if I got the story right.

Hank mentions the man who had a book, that drew him into a room and to pick it up and
opened the page to the very data he had searched for a long time. He mentioned the
person who went to the cemetery and walked directly to the ancestors stone and had
never been to that cemetery before.

He shared an tombstone saying that was this. " I told you I was sick".

Hank mentions to us getting out of the box, to do research and to follow your
hunches and intuitive leads. The most uncanny may be the best thing for answers.

"It is as if they are calling us to be found, when we can not see them.", my(Susi)
description of some of the events Hank recalled to us.

These experiences are more normal than one realizes and occur often in our

I wrote a couple of quotes that he said he likes very much.


I believe that this method is very key to our research. We need to be open and
think outside the box. As creatures of habit, we miss clues we should be using.

One of the most poignant for me was the "Going Home" experience.

He mentioned when you go back to your ancestors home or place of residence or
community the feeling that envelopes a person and makes them feel calm and
comforted, a sort of at peace. My words for I have had this experience, it was
one of the most profound feelings I have ever encountered. I knew my ancestor knew
I was there. I even had him visit me in the early morning hours and share data
about the family with me. O yes, I was awake not asleep. I learned what he shared
was true, but was rather obscure so most were not aware of the situation. They,
other family members thought it was just a story. Ironic is he looks exactly like
his great grandson Franklin. I was telling Mom about my experience and as I described
this man Mom pulls out a picture of her Grandfather and it was like I was looking him
in the face all over again.

So as he said to us follow your Hunches and feelings, do not feel threatened by
going off the beaten path and researching a different way. The same method is not
going to work for each ancestor each was their own character and mind.

"Attitude is Everything," he says also. So if you need to be aggressive with
research some times follow that lead. Be for ever watchful for I truly think they
are watching.

Hank I want to say "Thank You from the bottom of my Heart", I could spend hours
sharing experiences with you. Some of us, I guess, are luckier with the development
or given talent of these experiences. Thank You, Thank You, we all really enjoyed
the experience.


  1. I've read two of his books and have experienced many of those "serendipitous" times. You were fortunate to hear him in person!

  2. You certainly did write a bit on several of his stories. And it is well that Becky added that Hank has written many books. Yes ,I agree many attendees were thrilled to have heard Hank speak in person. Such a very pleasant gentleman.