Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knotes from Knoxville!

So we're back! What a wonderful conference the FGS 2010 turned out to be! We met so many wonderfully sweet and helpful people! The sessions and booths were amazing, and the food was off the charts....well, more on that later. I do have a small announcement to make with this blog post. I did not travel down to the conference as solely an attendee. I also went as a vendor, which means sitting with a booth for four of the five days, unless I could sneak away - which I did quite frequently, according to my business partner. As any of my regulars might have noticed, my main Journeys Past web site link is gone and below my little bio is a Facebook link for Pastology. This new venture was the biggest reason behind my FGS adventure!

My business partner from Massachusetts and I have begun a new genealogy/history company called Pastology. At the FGS conference, we only gave sneak peaks of the online web resource as we haven't officially launched to the public just yet. Now that we are back home, we are working frantically to move that launch date up as quickly as possible. I will fill you in later on some of the features and announce a launch date when that gets closer, but I mention it here to allow for a little explanation. This is the main reason my Journeys Past web site has went the way of the dodo. After 9 years of a fairly stagnant website that only offered snippets of my own family history, I had the opportunity to move my content to Pastology, and have done so. It isn't quite ready for viewing, but will be very soon. However, this blog is NOT changing. It will remain my playground of the past, and will rarely mention Pastology as anything I write for them will probably be relegated to the official web site blog.

Anyway, long story short, stay tuned as I will announce the launch here in case anyone is interested, and one of our serendipitous meetings at the conference was with the Family Search people who are interested in affiliating with us already. So, the future looks bright, but I wanted everyone to be aware of what happened to my old site. Now for some general conference reporting.

The networking and truly useful information gleaned from this year's conference was invaluable. Talking with the seasoned experts and giving support to the fledglings were priceless experiences, and I was reminded again and again what a warm and helpful atmosphere the genealogical set strive to achieve and easily accomplish. I had years of experience within Kentucky and Ohio, but seeing the warmth and support exhibited by representatives of every state, reminded me of why I've been so passionate about this field for so many years! Any question you had, someone was lightning quick to answer it and help you develop your areas of weakness or inexperience. The sessions, as I mentioned, were fantastic! The shopping in the vendor area was also amazing - and I have to give a shout out to Maia's Books of Columbus Ohio. Their booth was across from ours and those ladies were a wealth of information, wisecracks and overall helpful fun! I spent WAY too much money in their booth!BTW, if you see them listed as an exhibitor at a future conference, plan on spending a lot of time and money shopping there. They had the most complete collection of family research books I have ever seen. Unique titles that you usually have to order online as the standard bookstore would never carry them. However, according to their bookmark, they now have a physical store in Columbus, so if you are in the area, you must give them a try!

Despite multiple trips to the general Knoxville area over the years, I had always traveled that direction for the mountains and intentionally ALWAYS by-passed the city thinking they had nothing worthwhile to offer - sorry Knoxville. As a Kentucky Wildcat, both by multiple degrees and ten years as staff, perhaps my blue blood would just not allow me anyways near that orange campus! However, this trip to the FGS Conference changed my mind completely. Granted, Knoxville isn't a huge city, or known nationally as a unique destination, but before I left, I became enchanted and thought the city planners of Lexington should take a closer look at Knoxville's downtown life!

I fell in love with their Market Square. About 20 unique restaurants, with AMAZING food and live music! An authentic Spanish tapas restaurant called Sangrias.....the couch booths and three nationalities of cuisine at Cocoa Moon....the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (and bakery) at Cafe mouth is still watering! Plus, the entrance to the Market Square is made complete with the addition of a sculpture/water garden. The atmosphere here is priceless as everyone just wanders around mingling - families and college groups - beautiful! Oh - and about another street or two over is a wonderful cultural/art district, that we missed, but was hopping and appeared to be very hip! I would have loved to try all of the restaurants, and had time to explore the museums and theatres, but we had to head home and dissect all the lovely treasures we brought home....books, freebies, instructional material.....definitely a trip worth taking! Our next conference should be in Charleston for the NGS, but we will most certainly be back to the FGS when they arrive in Springfield Illinois next year.

So on to the next conference! Lots of work to do before next May, and if you wanted to see some of the highlights of the conference, check out the Facebook page of Afrigeneas. They did a remarkable job of documenting the proceedings - 4 albums worth!

Ciao for now!



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