About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, it's New Year's Eve and I haven't written in over a week. I can see that I handle blogging as well as I do diary-writing.

Growing up, my typical New Year's Eve involved listening to my favorite radio program on WFMT in Chicago - the Midnight Special. When I lived in Illinois, it was a much-anticipated experience that, when I moved to California, was probably the element of mid-western life that I missed the most! The Midnight Special program plays a variety of selections, primarily folk music, but including show tunes, comedy, farce, and all sorts of things, including live performances, guaranteed to keep a body awake until Midnight ... and beyond (especially on their New Year's Eve edition, which, in my youth, extended until about 5am ... I'd go to sleep with the radio on).

After moving to Calif., I occasionally would be surprised by my brother (still in Illinois), who would record the New Year's program for me, but only the first 2 or 3 hours of it (until he ran out of tape or went to bed, or both). Sometimes I would get those recordings right away, but more often than not, he would send them to me for Christmas the next year! But when the Internet came into my life, I discovered that the Midnight Special was broadcast live on the web! Both their regular Sat. night programs and their once a year event was just a mouse click away ... for a couple of years. Then they made it a "by subscription only" option. This was because they put the live show (well, 2 of the 3 hours of their Sat. version and a little more of the New Year's program) on XM radio. Actually, the Village (the XM station that carries the MS) airs the Sat. night program the following Thurs. and then again on Sat. but last year I discovered, much to my surprise and delight, that they decided to air the New Year's Eve show live! I got to listen to almost all of it! What a delight (especially since the subscription I had to the station was somehow corrupted on my computer).

Well, it's New Year's Eve again, only this year, my beloved Midnight Special is not being aired live on XM because, with the recent merger with Sirius radio, the XM station, the Village, has been pre-empted for a month to play holiday music. It is a very quiet New Year's Eve for me. I understand that, beginning on Jan. 2, the Village will be back on the air and that there will be a "catch-up" of Midnight Special programs. I do hope that it will include the New Year program, even if it's a few days, weeks, or months after our ushering in of 2009. At least it won't be a year later, as it was when my brother taped it for me. Well, I hope not.

Happy New Year.

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