Monday, August 2, 2010

Today's Journal Entry

I have again neglected to post in my blog. But it hasn't entirely been because I haven't wanted to. I have been involved in a Personal History project. And I would like to tell you about it. Let me start by sharing with you my journal entry for today:

"So I have already begun to neglect my latest attempt at keeping a journal. I started up again a few days ago on a trip to Valdez that I took with my family. My intent was to chronicle all the things we did so that we could remember them later. I decided to do this because I recently re-discovered my journal from my mission that I wrote 12 years ago and a journal that I kept while doing some training in Arkansas in 2003. I read these and realized that I had forgotten a lot of those moments or at least a lot of the details. That got me thinking of all the things that have happened to me since and how much I have forgotten. Quite a bit has happened to me in the last 10 years and I'm sure plenty more will be happening for the rest of my life. I would really like to leave something that will allow my children and grandchildren an insight to what I thought and what I did during my life.

"So as I said I re-started this journal a week ago on our camping trip to Valdez. And it was the only entry I wrote while on the trip. The rest of the entries for that trip I wrote today, trying to recall all the things we did. It wasn't easy and it's only been a week. I can't imagine how much I'll have forgotten in the next year or 10 years or 50 years. It was such a spectacular vacation, one that I don't want to forget. And one I don't want my kids to forget.

"I recently read an article by Michael DeGroot called "The Coming Genealogical Dark Ages." In this article it describes a speech given by Curt B. Witcher, manager of The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mr. Witcher was one of the keynote speakers at the BYU Conference on Family History in Provo, Utah last week.

He describes a crisis in which information is being lost due to advancement in technology or because of lack of interest by those that are now charged with the duties of protecting records that have been preserved for many years. He talks about the decline in handwritten letters, which have been replaced by emails. He talks about libraries and government agencies that are getting rid of their collections of vital records or newspaper archives. So to prevent memories and family stories from being lost forever, Mr. Witcher is encouraging people to write, "Write as you have never written before." He says to write about memories, describe family photos, keep a running journal to capture all those things that would otherwise be lost.

"So this is yet another attempt to do so. I am really excited for this With it I will not only keep a running journal, but I will be transcribing all my random ill-fated journals that I have keep over the years, including my mission journal, my various military journals, my audio-journal that I keep when I was in college, letters that I wrote home to my mom, any other letters (written by me) that I can get my hands on, and even blog entries. Not only will I be including past items but I hope to include future emails, blog entries, and other such items that I feel may merit remembering. also includes a "journal jar" that asks random questions to maybe spark some sort of response. I will also be using that from time to time when I am feeling "the block!" So hopefully this will be the re-start of a life-long endeavor to leave a legacy for my posterity."

So the last couple of weeks I have been searching for any old journals that I kept. I called my mom and asked her to send me all the letters that I wrote to her while I was on my mission in Russia and while I was in training for the Army. (She even included all the letters that might dad wrote to her while they were "courting.") So I have been busy transcribing, scanning, and filing all these memories. A larger project than I had originally thought it would be. And I haven't even scratched the surface of what I plan to include in this Personal History project.

I would really like to hear about any of your Personal History projects. Maybe they will give me ideas to include in my project!!