I received a gift from the past: over 1,000 letters and documents covered in dust and yearning to find their voice. I had first to organize them by date, then I had to read them. Transcribing the various forms of antique handwriting was practically a must before I could make sense of what I had in hand. My first attempt was to present a rendition of the letters and their meaning as complete as possible. It was clearly my style of handling an overwhelming amount of material, and I immersed myself in the project with great pleasure until one day I began to feel I was drowning.
It was not only the size of the project that was taking me down, but the knowledge that the real substance I wanted to convey was not being told in a manner that would interest any but a scholar or genealogist - not that these like-minded people were unimportant (I am, in a sense, both of them) - but the more time I spent with the people and events in this chronicle, the more I felt there was a popular story to be told. After I had written, edited, and self-published 13 1/2 heavily-footnoted and illustrated "chapters" ranging from 29 pages to 155, I stopped in January, 1996. I finally believe I know what to do, but it's going to require many choices and some new ideas. I have some of them in mind already, and I'm counting on the writing of this blog and your comments to help bring the project to fruition. I swam joyously through v. 1.0. Now I'm ready to fly. I see the horizon, and I'm eager to approach the details en route. I am carving out time. A resource that has seemed distinctly limited recently. But now . . . is . . . the time.