Very hard for me today to move on with Today’s Tips …. I have loved, truly loved, recounting the lessons I learned from my mentor and friend, Jim Hoiby.  But I also know that Jim would not have wanted me to stop on his account.  So here we go.
Today’s Tip:  Try to never, ever, burn a bridge in genealogy!
There are times in our efforts that we come across bores, snobs, unhelpful sorts, people who for no apparent reason simply refuse to help us.  Don’t burn the bridge to that person!  No matter how difficult it might be not to.  No matter how enticing the thought of a huge conflagration might be at the time of your anger, resentment, or hurt.  We might needs that person later on.  They might need us.  When the escalator of life reverses and those going up are going down, having that bridge there might be a life saver to someone who really needs it!
We need to do our very best to never get angry and burn a bridge that we might need back to those same folks sometime!  
I have burned a few bridges in my life.
And you know what?  
At some time or other, I have rued the day I did it with every single one! YEP!  Every single one!  Every bridge I ever burned, I came back to and wished, at some point in time and for some period of time, that it was still there for me to cross over.  Or I have learned that the person on the other side had at some time or other wished to be able to cross back over to me, but couldn’t due to the destruction I had brought to our bridge.
Bridges are two way structures, you know!  So when you burn one, it may also inhibit the other person from ever trying to cross back over to you, even if they want to.  Even if you want to.  
Certainly, I am not saying any of us should be Saints or perfect, but we should try and not destroy those avenues that might one day, later in our lives, be needed by us …. or by someone else …. in an effort to communicate, help, reach out, or assist.  This is true in genealogy and in our larger lives as well.
A few years back, one of my favorite rock and roll stars, Elton John, sang a Bernie Taupin song ‘The Bridge’.  In this song, Elton croons ‘Do you cross the bridge or do you fade away?’  
We must keep those bridges intact in our lives, so when we do approach them …. we can ask and answer Elton’s question.
Onward To Our Past,

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