Visit Salt Lake Connect Passes to explore the spectacular new Natural History Museum of Utah. What an impressive place! The building is beautiful and captures so much of the structure and beauty of this amazing state. Visitors are greeted at the beginning with an huge hall, built to represent a canyon, with arches reaching from gallery to gallery. In the side of the canyon wall is a glass case stretching up with pieces of each part of the museum collection, an artistic kaleidoscope of the history and nature of Utah.
I tried to capture the magnificent dinosaur exhibits but you just can't fit it all into the camera lens. We aren't big dinosaur aficionados in our family but you couldn't help but be impressed. The exhibits taught us all sorts of things about the way dinosaurs are interpreted by modern archeologists trying to figure out what life was like. We were fascinated, but we were only getting started in this huge place.
I really enjoyed the Great Salt Lake gallery with interpretive displays on the way the lake is changing and how diverse the landscape and the animals are there. There were exhibits on the ways the lake is used and preserved and hands on exhibits about the water flow through the valley. The Land gallery was fascinating too with interesting exhibits on how areas of the state have changed and about the fault line running through the Wasatch Front. In the Life gallery were some fantastic exhibits about dna and speciation. The hands on exhibits were fantastic throughout with pottery shards to reassemble and cell structures to put back together.
But when we got to the top of the building, I was really moved by the Native Voices exhibit. As I've been writing about in my blog, I've been working hard lately to instill in my teenage children a sense of their history: a connection with the inspirational stories of their ancestors, and an understanding of the positive and negative traits that have passed through our family. I found in this Native Voices exhibit, the same longings. I have a very different background from those exhibited here, but the quest for grounding was the same. So much of what they've said in this exhibit is so close to what I've been writing. That sense of who you are is so deep, such a hunger.
"Ever since I grew up, I've always been told that I am Paiute and should be proud of who I am. Now research says that the more an Indian child knows about his culture, his history, the better he's going to be academically--and if they are well-versed in their language then that's even better. And so that's why I think it's really important for our people to know our culture --Karma Grayman, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah"
I found a profound similarity between my reaching to preserve for my kids who we are, and what they can have pride in. And yet with each passing generation in this melting pot nation, we become more and more diverse. I am Swiss and British, my husband is Czech and Swedish. So while I identify with certain immigrants, my children identify with twice as many. They are becoming more and more removed from our past.
It is so important to preserve our history, and to give our children a strong sense of their heritage. I'm so thankful for the people who have preserved my family's stories.
--Shanan Martineau, Shivwits Band, Paiute."
When you have time, go see this exhibit. And then go teach someone in the next generation of your family about your heritage.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
We had a pipe break and our offices have been torn up this summer. It has taken too long to get things straightened out because we've been too busy with family reunion season to be able to deal with it much. I'm so thankful the company that is taking care of it has been great to work around us. I'm missing our usual arrangements, so I'm going to show them to you here. Hopefully the good vibrations will get things back to normal quickly.
|Entrance. I love the logo on the wall. It reminds me of our goals "Share, Honor, Inspire." I love that. I love what we do.|
|The main work room. Big cutting table, laminator, marked with all of the places around the world where we've shipped charts. The Generation Maps logo is still on that wall. We've come a long ways baby.|
|Several of the plotters and the paper. 4 stretched canvases of fall shots that I took one year. I love autumn.|
|My office. Too many computers, lots of pictures of the kids, a few blogger beads, Egyptian papyri, pink, floral, me.|
|Kim's office. There is usually alot more going on than you see here.|
|Our other office for when our employees come in. They work alot from home, but when they come in they have a clean space where they can concentrate.|
|The print server station. My syllabi from all the years of conferences overfloweth. Lots of good reference.|
Sunday, July 22, 2012
If you've ever been out of the country at Thanksgiving or through December, you've probably noticed how the rest of the world only celebrates "the holidays" from Christmas to New Years. But in the US, we get to celebrate for an additional couple of weeks starting with Thanksgiving in November. Americans celebrate with parties the whole month, stretching out the enjoyment of the season for weeks.
In Utah, we have that same luck in the summer because the patriotic/historical season lasts an extra couple of weeks. When you are in Utah at the end of July, you simply must do as the locals do--Celebrate the 24th of July. We get extra fireworks and parades and everything. Known as Pioneer Day or the Days of '47, it is a celebration of the arrival of the first pioneer settlers in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th 1847. It is a founder's day celebration of sorts--only bigger than you've probably seen other places. There are great parades, family barbeques and and events across the state. Everyone takes a break and enjoys another summer holiday.
In Salt Lake many families will grab the blankets and sleeping bags and camp out the night before with the huge slumber party that happens along the parade route. Then at 9am on the morning of the 24th, the parade starts, with great floats, bands, antique cars and thousands of people celebrating. The map of the route can be found at the official parade site.
That evening, the place to be is the Maverik Center at the Days of 47 Rodeo. Nationally known professional cowboys compete for prizes in several different events. The rodeo actually goes for several nights (starting this year on the 19th) culminating in the last evening on the 24th. Tickets can be purchase at the rodeo website.
But I think the best way to celebrate the 24th is with a visit to This Is The Place State Park. They celebrate Pioneer Days with special events, including a breakfast at the Huntsman Hotel, a flag ceremony, pioneer games, the watermelon eating contest, the candy cannon and lots of pony rides and special craft projects. You can really get into the pioneer spirit learning more about the settlers to the area amid the historical buildings and talented interpreters.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Presenters are coming to teach about how to write our family histories, teach about DNA genealogical research, and reading Early American Handwriting. There will also be sessions that are just for fun including story telling and music from the past. The day will begin at 8;30 A.M. with keynote speakers Dixie and Anne Leavitt and the the day will end at 4:30 following a closing address from Harold Grant Shirley. Come and spend a special day with us on one of Utah's beautiful college campuses. Registration is online at the Utah Genealogical Association website found at http://www.ugagenealogy.org.
Family ChartMasters will be there. Be sure to stop and say "Hi." And while you are at it, Cedar City is the home of Utah's Shakespearean Festival. Stay an extra day to take in a world class play while you are there. You'll be glad you did.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
|Catching up with what we've been doing. Great conferences and lots to do. It has been a great summer. I'm thankful that we've been so busy with family reunion season that I haven't had time to blog. But I have lots to tell you about.|
|At NGS in Cincinnatti I got to have a booth next to Jill Crandall of Research Ties. Very innovative new product to help you track your research. Take a look at www.researchties.com. Still in development but you can sign up for the beta at the website.|
Memory Medallion. More on that to come. Such good people. I just love the people we get to work with in genealogy.
Maia's Books. She collects the greatest historical games and things for kids.
Family Roots Publishing. We so appreciate them. It was especially fun to see Tara because she brought her new baby. I didn't get a picture of Leland carrying the baby around but you could tell he was a proud grandpa. I think grandpa and new grandbaby are really bonded because their hairstyles match. :)
RootsMagic. Don't usually get to take pictures of them though because there are always people at the booth and they are always busy talking to someone. Congratulations to them on Elizabeth Shown Mills' endorsement at this conference. ESM uses RootsMagic. Kudos.
My Heritage. Shelly Mark and Daniel are holding down the fort. It was great to have a few minutes to talk to them.
Photo Detective Maureen Taylor. She brought me a cupcake treat just when I needed it. Thanks Maureen!
Allison Dolan lives there and I was lucky enough to have her show us where the best Chilli parlor was. The great talk with Lisa Louise Cooke and Allison on the way made it even better. I got to share a room with Lisa at this conference. What a treat.
Randy Seaver, Gini Webb, and A.C. Ivory and their families along to the favorite restaurant we always go to with the Buzbees. So good to have time to talk to everyone. I really appreciated Randy's write up about my lectures at SCGS. I think they went well. Genealogy conferences are so much fun. Looking forward to the next ones. I'll try to take more pictures as they come.