Monday, September 12, 2011

The last day - FGS 2011

I had an ambitious schedule laid out for the last day of the FGS conference - six classes before driving home to St. Louis. I got to three.

Part of the problem was the time it took to recover from spending Friday evening parked in the deep freeze masquerading as the northwest corner of the Springfield Hilton Ballroom. Never go there. The chandelier crystals were blowing horizontally over our heads. We complained. Repeatedly. Those of us staying at the Hilton ran to our rooms and brought down sweaters, hoodies, wraps and coats. Only my deep respect for FGS organizers stopped me from bringing down the bathrobes and blankets. I have never been colder. It took two hours huddled under blankets sipping hot water to recover. I slept in the next morning and missed the first class.

I did attend Jay Fonkert's class on midwestern geography Porkopolis to Bonanza Farms. The topic was a bit ambitious for one hour, but his bibliography recommendations and syllabus were superb. It would be great to hear this broken into two classes. His discussion on the rise and fall of the midwestern cities was marvelous. An aside - I've long wanted the National Geographic Society's Historical Atlas of the United States, but Fockert convinced me it's a must have.

Next, I went to Linda Woodward Geiger's Evidence: Guidelines for Evaluating Genealogical Sources. This was the one course I took that was a refresher course for me, but I'd been to two of her earlier classes and completely enjoyed them. As I did this one. Don't blame her if I talk about primary sources or derivative information. This is one of those areas I need a cheat sheet in front of me to keep the terminology straight.

After a quick lunch with Geneablogger buddy Margel I headed back for Dean Hunter's Locating American Scots-Irish Families in the Records of Ireland and Scotland. I've not crossed the pond with any of the colonial lines I research but if I do, Ireland and Scotland are where I will land. Hunter's overview (and again, bless the wonderful syllabus) was a peek into an area I've feared to tread. Completely new records to explore. Estate records there mean land, not what's passed on after death.

It was three o'clock when this class finished and whatever spongelike qualities I had when the conference began were long gone. I looked at the schedule, looked at the map, grabbed two candy bars,  a caffeine ladened soft drink and headed for home.

I don't think I moved for two hours once I got home. I wouldn't have moved then except the dog peed all over my suitcase still parked in the front hall. He missed me!

Photograph by future15pic


  1. What an awful ending to a great time. We don't need cold, that's for sure. Could you have moved to another place, or was this the final dinner? Candy bars and diet Pepsi keep me happy, but the peeing, I hope nothing inside got wet. Oh, Home Sweet Home, until the next conference.

  2. Great report. Funny how the fur kids ALWAYS get into the story/action/trouble! LOL

  3. I enjoyed your posts about FGS, wish I was there with you! Your description of the chilly banquet hall made me laugh out loud- why does it always happen in my corner of every hotel ballroom?

  4. LOL. At our house we call that a "happy pee." Don't ask...

    Glad you had a wonderful time. I always wonder what the deal is with some of these hotels and their ability (or inability) to regulate the HVAC systems. Anyway, it sounds like you have a lot to think about and digest once you defrost.

  5. Sorry, can't help but laugh over that welcome home gift from your dog! I'm thinking about making some Polar Bear badges for those of us who got frozen out at the banquet. Too bad it's too late to add them to our name tags...

    Thanks for the tip on the Historical Atlas--I'll have to check that out.

  6. Shelley - We'll plan reunions - tropical reunions ;-).

  7. Thanks for the great conference summaries! PS It's nice to know we are loved and missed even if our 4legged friends have a strange way of showing it!


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