Monday, April 21, 2008

Do I Have to Wear a Trench Coat?

Sharon Tate Moody compares the interviewing techniques of two TV detectives:

The first is Sgt. Joe Friday. The stone-faced lead character of the "Dragnet" series never veered from his approach. "All we want are the facts, ma'am," he would say, not cracking a grin or blinking an eye.

Then there was Columbo. He was a fumbler interested in the quirkiest of things about unsuspecting persons of interest, sidestepping his way to what he really was after. I also think he was a closet genealogist. He was forever talking about his cousins and revealing things about his family - things such as his father having been a tail gunner on a beer truck during Prohibition and his grandfather being 40 years old when he began wearing dentures.

Columbo's approach might work well for you when interviewing reluctant relatives. [Link]

Miriam Robbins

Sometimes I feel like my family tree sleuthing is comparable to "Mission Impossible" (the impossible part, not the cool spy part, dang it!).


Columbo was always my favorite TV detective. No matter what the crime, he was always able to solve it. He would have made a fantastic professional genealogist. His attention to detail and tenacity are traits we all can apply to our family history.


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