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Posts Tagged ‘history’

Today in History

I was on Cyndi’s List earlier this evening and clicked on Library of Congress. It lists several Library Highlights so I went to Today in History basically because it had a picture of Abraham Lincoln next to it! The link took me to “A League of His Own” referencing one of the “father’s” of bowling – Don Carter, who was born in St. Louis on this date in 1926.

There are several pictures of bowling alleys which made me think of (you were wondering when I’d get to the tie in with genealogy, weren’t you?) – how bowling seemed to be a focal point of our family’s life.  During my young childhood, Mom was in a bowling league, and I remember having to stay in the “play” (or nursery) area of the bowling alley at least one morning a week.  Luckily, one of the ladies my mom bowled with was our neighbor and her daughter became one of my closest friends for most of my childhood.  So I wasn’t entirely “bored” not being able to be out with the bowlers.

My parents bowled for recreation as well as for sport.  It seemed like no matter where we went, my mom always had her bowling bag with us.  On vacation.  To reunions.  I can’t seem to recall whether or not my dad had his own bowling ball or not.  But Mom’s was very prominent – probably because it seemed it was always on the floorboard of the backseat or in the trunk.

When we were in the Detroit area visiting my uncles, I could always count on spending at least one afternoon in the bowling alley.  I have vague memories of one rainy afternoon spent driving around looking for an open lane as there must have been a lot of league bowling at that time.

By the time I was in the 5th grade, Mom didn’t have the time to bowl in a league anymore.  However, there were plenty of times other family members joined us as we spent a lazy weekend afternoon or early evening bowling.  No matter how much I tried, I was never a very good bowler. 

Then after I met my husband we both joined our company’s bowling league.  He even went out and bought me a bowling ball, shoes, bowling glove, and a bowling bag.  Each Thursday night we’d drag the three kids to the bowling alley.  They were very good – just sitting at the table behind us coloring or playing quietly.  My husband was so patient with me and coached me until I was able to control my throw.  We’d spend early Sunday mornings practicing my swing and throw.

For two summers and two school seasons we bowled.  Our team was in first place one year so we all got our way paid to the big bowling tournament our company put on each summer.  I even received a trophy for most improved female bowler! 

Unfortunately, when our company started selling off divisions, the recreational part was the first to go.  Then my husband started traveling a lot and the kids had their own activities so we weren’t able to continue with league bowling.  Very rarely do we get to do it recreationally.  The “real” bowling alley in town is filled with leagues most days and times of the week and the other bowling alley is really a “game” center where no one respects the rules of the game (no one waits on the bowler next to them anymore!). 

So when I read the article about Don Carter, it brought back lots of memories.  I mean – I have bowled in a Don Carter Bowling Alley!

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Help Needed

I am in need of what books or articles to read that detail life in small Indiana towns in the early 1900s – specifically 1916-1921.  I have TONS of letters that my grandparents wrote each other while they were courting (Easter 1916 – December 1916) and then letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was stationed at Kelly Field in San Antonio in early 1918 through his service in WWI in France.  My goal is to incorporate their letters into a book about them.

To give a more rounded view of their lives outside of the letters, I really need to study up on what small town Indiana life was like at that time.

Have you read a book that provides enough historical and “mundane” daily life information that would help me in my quest?  Or know of some articles – online, in a book, whatever – that would be of help to me? 

Please leave your ideas in my comments or send me a link to your website that might have information for me! 

Thanks so much!

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I told you I’d give you tips on finding little known websites offering genealogy information!  Harold at http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com offers Midwestern Genealogy tips and sources.  Today his post is about Digitized Newspapers in Champaign County, Illinois.  If you are researching in that area, please go take a look at Harold’s post.

Once again, I thank all of you who are reading this blog – especially those who leave comments and leave a link to your genealogy site or blog. 

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If I haven’t mentioned it here before, then I will now. I’m an avid scrapbooker!  I even have my own custom designed scrapbook business (Nana’s Novelties).  I’d give your the url link but my site looks pretty pitiful & I really need to revamp it (which means finding the time!)  Anyway – one reason I decided to get into the scrap for hire business is to preserve history for generations.  That’s my tag line “Preservation for Generations”.  Anyway, as I have been working on a project (won’t say what just now – wait another month!) – I’ve realized that my mind just isn’t what it used to be.  Trying to remember details about certain activities and events is like trying to find a small piece of glass in a pile of mud.  Everything is murky and not quite clear.  I’ve even gone back through emails I sent to people looking for details I might have written about – not many. 

My idea has more to do with journaling history as it happens.  I don’t keep a “journal” or diary.  I suspect it’s because:

  1. I really don’t have the time
  2. I figure I say enough in emails to other people (I keep the sent copy)
  3. By the time I get to putting down the details, it’s already too late

So I thought, what about just listing major points in a word processing format?  Yesterday was my grandson’s birthday and I want to list details of the day, what happened when, what he said, what we ate for dinner, what type of cake, etc.  I want to do that when special holidays or events happen as well.  What we thought about it, where we went, etc.

What this boils down to in relation to genealogy is someday your descendents are going to research you!  They will find the vital information – where and when you were born, where and when you married, your children, probably where you lived and how you earned a living.  They won’t know how you felt on 9-11 or how depressed you were when someone you loved died.  They – just as we do now – will be left to guess about all of that. 

I’m hoping by scrapbooking not only the special moments of my family’s life – but the day to day (sometimes humdrum) life, not only will my descendents have a better picture of the whole person but someday when my memory really does fail me in big ways, then I can look at the pictures and read the stories and have all of those memories come back to life.

How do you journal for history?  Leave me a comment with your ideas – or blog about it and send me the link.

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