EMPLOYMENT – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  October 24, 2011

My first job was babysitting!  I was in high school and I would get $10 or $15  for watching some neighbor kids for the evening.

The next jobs I remember having were fast-food jobs when I was in college.  I worked for Arby’s for one summer and part of the next year.  I was working at the Springdale Arby’s during the time that the store burned!  I wasn’t at work for the couple of days before that because my mother was in the hospital but I remember the stress I felt when I found out it had burned!  I then worked at the Fayetteville store for a few months after that.  I didn’t like working at the Fayetteville store and quit within a couple of months.

I also worked another summer and part of the school year at Harp’s Grocery store.  I made the donuts during the summer at the Springdale and then I worked in the bakery as a clerk for a few more months at the Harp’s store on Garland street in Fayetteville.

The first “real job” that I had was as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas.  I was a research assistant for a couple of years and for two semesters I was a graduate teaching assistant who taught the labs that accompanied the class the professor taught.

Week #30 – Employment

Week 30: Employment. Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, July 23, 2011 through Friday, July 29, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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HISTORICAL EVENTS – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  December 17, 2011

There were many historical events that have occurred in my lifetime.

I was born in 1969.  I don’t really remember and of the events of 1969 through the early 70s but they have played an important part in my life.  I have seen many of these events replayed many times through television coverage.  TV has made these events seem as if I was there even though they actually occurred before my birth or while I was a very small child.

1960s:
John F Kennedy Assassination
Robert Kennedy Assassination
Martin Luther King Assassination
The Manson Family Murders
The First Man Landed on the Moon
Senator Edward Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick Car Accident and following Scandal  
 
1970s:
Computer Floppy Disks Introduced
Kent State Shootings
VCRs Introduced
MASH Premiers on TV
Watergate Scandal
US President Nixon Resigns
Microsoft Founded
Elvis Dies
Roots Miniseries appears on TV
Jonestown Massacre
Iran takes American Hostages

I remember Elvis dying.  I have a distinct memory of watching his last concert on TV and then seeing the announcement by his father of his death.  I don’t think that I really believed he was dead for a long time.  It didn’t seem real that someone that famous should just die.

I remember the Roots miniseries on TV.  I found it fascinating the Alfred Hailey could find out the identities of his ancestors.  This might have been the first hints of my interest in genealogy.  It seemed that he had put together the pieces of a puzzle to identify his ancestors and I have always enjoyed puzzles.

I remember the Jonestown Massacre as well.  This event was scary to me.  This was the first time that I realized that people could be convinced to go against their own beliefs to do something so totally insane.  It was the first time that I realized that peoples minds could be deceived and manipulated to that extent.  I remember thinking that if all those people could be convinced to do those things then how did I know that I wasn’t being manipulated like that!

I remember the hostages being held in Iran and the yellow ribbons appearing everywhere in support of them.  I remember thinking that President Jimmy Carter wasn’t doing enough to get them back home!

1980s
John Lennon Assassinated
PacMan Released
Ted Turner Establishes CNN
Royal Wedding:  Charles and Diana
Reagan Assassination Attempt
Aids Identified
Personal Computers Introduced
Challenger Space Shuttle Explodes
DNA first used to convict killers
Berlin Wall Falls

The 1980s was the first decade that I can really remember completely.  I remember the coverage of John Lennon’s assassination.  I wasn’t a Beatles fan really but I knew who John Lennon was.

PacMan was my favorite video game as a kid and I was the family PacMan champion on our Atari Game system.

I don’t really remember clearly the day that CNN was established but I do remember that during this time news started being available all the time!  The news from around the world and across the country was now available 24 hours a day.   Now when there was a major event, you could turn to CNN and watch live coverage of the event!

I remember distinctly the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana.  I got up in the middle of the night and watched the wedding coverage.  I have always been a romantic and bought into the whole Fairy Tale Wedding of the Century.

I remember the assassination attempt on President Reagan.  I saw it over and over on TV.  I was very concerned that President Reagan was going to die and I was relieved when he recovered.  It seemed strange that a mentally ill man could almost end the life of a President.  It became a reality to me that nobody is completely safe in this world!

I don’t really remember the personal computer being specifically released!  But the release of the personal computer has completely changed my life!  I spend most of every day using a computer.  My cell phone now has more computing power than the “Mainframe” computers that were in the University when I was high school!

I remember seeing the space shuttle disaster on TV.  I was in high school at the time of the disaster.  I think that I must have seen it on the news after the actual event.  I always felt that it was horrible that so many of the family members were there to see the launch and instead witnessed the untimely death of their family member.  With the teacher on the shuttle, millions of small school children were watching the launch and saw the explosion.  That must have been completely terrifying to them!

I remember watching the fall of the Berlin Wall on TV.  I think that I saw it live!  It was a joyous day.

1990s
Waco Texas Raid
Internet comes of age
1993 Bombing of World Trade Center
OJ Simpson Trial
Oklahoma Center Bombing
Two Royal Divorces
Unabomber Arrested
Princess Diana Dies
President Clinton Impeached
Fear of the Y2K bug
John F Kennedy Jr Killed in Plane Crash
Killing Spree at Columbine High School

The Waco Texas Raid played out on the 24 hour cable news channels for days and ended with children dying in that horrible fire!

The internet has changed my life in many ways.  First, as a genealogist I can now access copies of records in seconds that would have take weeks (and a significant amount of money) to get before the internet.  Also, now news is available in seconds instead of days!

I vaguely remember the 1993 World Trade Center bombing but I don’t remember it really affecting my daily life.  It was a sad event that played out on TV but I didn’t know anybody really involved in the tragedy and so life just went on.

The OJ Simpson trial was a major event for me.  I loved to watch Court TV with the live coverage of Trials.  I was in college when the OJ Simpson trial occurred and I would come home every day from classes and watch the trial coverage.  The trial lasted for almost 9 months!  Johnny Cochran was a sight to see in that courtroom.  Whatever you believe about the verdict in the trial, if you watched the trial you would have to acknowledge that he was a great lawyer who ran that courtroom!

I vividly remember the Oklahoma Bombing.  I saw the immediate aftermath of the explosion on the TV.  I was shocked that someone could bomb a building like that in the middle of our country.  I remember thinking that it must a terrorist attack like the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  Then, it was discovered that it was a US Citizen who had killed all those people.  This was the first time that it really felt like anyone could be killed just going about their daily lives.

I remember being saddened by the divorces in the Royal Family.  Not because they were royalty but because they were people who were so obviously unhappy!

The unabomber being arrested was a strange time for me.  He was bombing technology related people and places.  I had seen the story of the unabomber on Unsolved Mysteries and I remember looking at packages suspiciously after watching that show.  It was a relief when he was arrested.  I watched much of the trial coverage and feeling sorry for the brother who had made the awful decision to turn in his brother.   That would have been a horrible decision to make!

The death of Princess Diana was a horribly sad time for me.  The end of an era. The end of a fairy tale.  As long as she was alive the story might have ended much differently.  I am a romantic and I always thought that maybe Charles and Diana would get back together but that wasn’t to be.  The funeral was sad.

Then, President Clinton was impeached.  This was also a sad time for me.  I was disappointed in someone whom I respected.   His behavior was inexcusable and I felt incredibly sorry for Hillary Clinton at her public humiliation at the hands of her husband.

I vividly remember the fear of the Y2K bug.  It was feared that since early computers were programmed with only two digit years and that many of the calculations for activities were calculated as if 00 was 1900 instead of 2000 that many computers would not work correctly!  There were fears of massive power outages, plane crashes, and massive business failures and problems.  Not discussed as much but a present fear was the fear of terrorist attacks on the New Year’s celebrations that year.

The John F Kennedy Jr death in a plane crash was sad.  He was a young man with so much potential and then he was dead!  It also ended the dreams of Camelot and another Kennedy Presidency!  We will never know if he would have become a president but the potential was there.

The Columbine Killing Spree was the beginning of the mass shootings in public places.  This was the first one that made the news across the country and the beginning of the school shootings.  Now, even children weren’t safe just being in school.  This event more than any other removed our feeling of security as we go about our daily lives.  We now know that anyone can die at any time.

2000’s
9/11 Attacks
Iraq War
Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster
IPod, IPhone, and IPad are released
Hurricane Katrina
Facebook and Twitter are launched
US Recession
Royal Wedding:  William and Kate
 

The 2000’s have seen amazing changes!  There was the beginning of the decade with the 9/11 attacks.  I woke up that morning and my mother and sister were watching the news.  The first plane had crashed into the tower.  A few minutes later we saw the second plane go into the second tower!  It wasn’t just a tragedy but almost certainly an attack on our country!  I felt uncertain about our future!  The planes were grounded and the president was in the air in Air Force One!  I spent the day watching the news and wondering about the future of our country and our safety.  The following days made our country more united!  We decided that we wouldn’t allow the terrorist to make us change our way of life!  We went back to our lives and didn’t allow our fears to change our lives.

There was the Iraq war beginning with such a feeling of patriotism and that it was necessary.  Now there are questions about the validity of the reasons we went to war.  Was it really necessary?  Whatever the answer to that question, our troops deserve our thanks for our freedom and our respect for their service to our country.

The Columbia space shuttle explodes on reentry!  Another tragedy for our country.

The horrible images of those people trapped after Hurrican Katrina are burned into my mind.  The response to that disaster was inexcusable!

The killing of Osama Bin Laden was a victory for our country.  He was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and responsible for many deaths in our country.

Facebook and Twitter have made many changes to our lives.  I have both a facebook and a twitter account and I update to them periodically.  Mostly I use them to stay in touch with my extended family and to share my genealogy findings.

The recession has made a major difference in all our lives.  Gas went from about a $1 in the early 2000s to almost $4 a gallon and all of the other costs have increased while many people are unemployed or at the very least haven’t had their incomes increase at the same pace as the prices have increased.

The Royal Wedding of William and Kate was an event that brought back the fairy tale feeling of his mother’s marriage in the 1980s.   But with this wedding you don’t get the feeling that she is going into the wedding without being aware of the problems she will face.  Maybe this will be wedding that lasts.

Week #49 – Historical Events

Week 49. Historical Events. Describe a memorable national historical event from your childhood. How old were you and how did you process this event? How did it affect your family?

This challenge runs from Saturday, December 3, 2011 through Friday, December 9, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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TEACHERS – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  October 25, 2011

I don’t remember my early teachers very well.  But I do remember that my Kindergarten teacher had this little reading circle where we would all gather on this carpet and she would read us stories.  I remember liking that!  I have always loved to read and I could read before I went to Kindergarten but I liked to be read to as well.

In  junior high, I had a teacher for English who made us all give speeches to the class.  I hated it at the time and I really resented that part of my grade was based on this speech.  However, when I graduated from College I wrote her a thank you note.  That speech was the beginning of me overcoming my paralyzing shyness!  That speech was the beginning of the changes to my life that allowed me several years later to stand in front of a classroom and be a graduate assistant teaching a lab (without passing out from anxiety)!!

I had many professors in college who I respected and who made impacts on my life.  One of them I still see occasionally and is a man I respect to this day for many reasons!  The other was a man who made a great impact on my life by offering me a graduate assistant position and who helped me learn to reach for what I want.  He taught several of my college classes and I remember every one of them as being incredibly difficult!  However, I learned a lot from him!  Unfortunately, he died several years ago, but his memory lives on in every student he challenged as well as in the hearts of his family.

Week #41 – Teachers

Week 41. Teachers. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up? What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?

This challenge runs from Saturday, October 8, 2011 through Friday, October 14, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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HOLIDAY EVENTS – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  December 17, 2011

When I was a kid, we would go to one grandparents house for Christmas lunch and to the other for Christmas dinner.  Then for many years it was just the five of us at Christmas dinner.

A little over ten years ago things began to change.  My sister got married and had her first child.  My brother met his wife and future daughter.  Suddenly, Christmas changed for us.  We now had little kids in the family again and the holiday joy of the little kids became a feature of our holidays once again.  Now, I am an aunt to my niece and four nephews.  From the preschooler to the teenager, our home is once again going to be full of children this Christmas.

There will be candy and toys and the love of our family to share the joyous Christmas season again!

Off to the Christmas Shopping!

Week #51 – Holiday Events

Week 51. Holiday Events. Where did your family gather for the Christmas or Hanukkah as a child? Which family members and friends attended the event?

This challenge runs from Saturday, December 17, 2011 through Friday, December 23, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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Treasure Chest Thursday: Photo of Jonothan Benjamin and Sarah Lydia Gabbard Stout

 

Originally Published January 13, 2011.

 

This is one of the very few photos that were in my Grandma Thompson’s boxes of photos and clippings that had anything written on it to identify the people or places in the photos.

It is of my 2nd Great-Grandfather Jonothan Benjamin and 2nd Great-Grandmother Sarah Lydia Gabbard Stout.

Not a great photograph in terms of photography quality but a priceless and wonderful memento due to its subjects!

 

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Treasure Chest Thursday simply create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family.

A special thanks to Leslie Ann Ballou of Lost Family Treasures for suggesting Treasure Chest Thursday as a daily blogging theme!

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EARLIEST MEMORY – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  November 10, 2011

I don’t really have very clear memories of my early childhood.  I have vague memories of playing with my sister and of seeing my grandparents but I don’t really know which memory was the earliest.

However, I do have a good family story from the first night that I was home after I was born.  Apparently my Great-Grandma Venna Thompson came to stay with my Dad and Mom to help take care of me for my first few days.  Mom put me to bed the first night I was home and then she and Dad went to bed.

The next morning my Great-Grandma came in and woke up my Dad because she was worried that I was dead! Apparently, I hadn’t woken up during the night so she thought I was dead!!

I, of course, wasn’t dead as I am here writing this blog post!  Who me?  I had just slept through the night!  I have always liked sleeping!

Week #37 – Earliest Memory

Week 37: Earliest Memory. What is your earliest memory?

This challenge runs from Saturday, September 10, 2011 through Friday, September 16, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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LEAST FAVORITE FOODS – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  October 24, 2011

My least favorite foods are green vegetables!  I still don’t like green veggies except for an occasional dish of green beans and lettuce.  I also won’t eat any oriental food!

The thing I hate the most though is soggy things!  Soggy bread or other squishy soggy foods literally make me gag!!

My least favorite foods have pretty much stayed the same since I was a child.  I am not an adventurous eater.  I like plain simple country-cooking.

Week #39 – Least Favorite Foods

Week 39: Least Favorite Foods. What was your least favorite food from your childhood? Did your parents make you eat it anyway? Do you still dislike the same food today? How have your tastes changed since your youth?

This challenge runs from Saturday, September 24, 2011 through Friday, September 30, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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Books – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Originally Published:  June 4, 2011

I am an avid reader!  I have read since I was a very young child.  When I was very young, I read the Laura Ingles Wilder series about Little House on the Prairie.

I have also always loved mystery books!   I read most of the Agatha Christie novels!  I like the Sherlock Holmes series of books.  When I was younger, I read the Nancy Drew series too.

I also like biographies and true stories.  I have read most of the books written about Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln and the events surrounding their assassinations.  I read the books about the latest true crimes that make the news.

When I was a teenager, I started reading romance novels and I was hooked.  I still read them.   I usually read at least two or three a week.  My current favorite authors include Lynnsay Sands, Nora Roberts, Diana Palmer, Julia Quinn and others!  I usually read a novel in about an hour and a half.  I especially like the books that are part of a series – I like the story to continue from one book to another so the characters become more real!

Week #23 – Books

Week 23. Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats?

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NICKNAMES – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

 

Originally Published:  November 10, 2011

I didn’t have a nickname when I was a child.  My Dad, however, was known as Buster.  We don’t really know why!  But that is what he was called.  The story behind his nickname is one of our family mysteries!

Week #33 – Nicknames

Week 33: Nicknames. What was your childhood nickname, and what was the meaning behind it? You can also discuss the nicknames of other family members, both past and present.

This challenge runs from Saturday, August 13, 2011 through Friday, August 19, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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WEDDINGS – 52 WEEKS OF PERSONAL GENEALOGY & HISTORY

Originally Published:  November 10, 2011.

I am not married so I don’t have a wedding of my own to describe.  So I will talk about some of the family weddings.

Mom and Dad were married in the hallway of her parents home.  They were married exactly three weeks after their first meeting!  I guess it worked out ok since they have three children, five grandchildren and have been married for over 44 years!

My sister was married in the living room of Grandma Thompson’s home with only a few close friends and family in attendance.  Their wedding cake was a beautiful cake with their engagement photo spray-painted (or whatever the bakery people call that process) on the top.  They have over 11 years of marriage and three children.

My brother was married in our family church with a few more people attending!  They had a reception after their wedding and my niece was their flower girl!  They have two children and over 9 years of marriage.

My Dad’s parents were married for almost 50 years when Grandpa Thompson died.  My Mom’s parents were married for over 50 years when she died.

Week #35 – Wedding

Week 35: Weddings. Tell us about your wedding. You may also talk about your future wedding, the wedding of a relative or shape this question to fit your own life experience.

This challenge runs from Saturday, August 27, 2011 through Friday, September 2, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

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