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.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My mother would have been a blogger

I would venture to say that the journal and diary keepers of years gone by would be bloggers today (and many are!). I have been trying to keep a journal for years, often without much success. So maybe blogging is the answer. It seems as if almost everyone is blogging these days. A number of my friends have informed me that they are now maintaining blogs and they give interesting insight into their lives. So I have finally given in to the temptation and am going to give this blog thing a try. I tend to get a bit wordy at times, but will make every attempt to control myself in this forum.

It occurred to me that my mother would have been a blogger, had she lived to the point of getting involved in the Internet (and I firmly believe she would have embraced the Internet - the amount of information at her fingertips would have been too much to let pass her by). My mother, Virginia Johnson Wilcox, was a die-hard diary keeper. She rarely let a day go by without writing in her diary. And she wrote in 3rd person, taking an objective perspective wherever possible. While most people who keep diaries make it very personal, my mother's journalist background resulted in her writing about the neighbors, the news, and the environment, as well as her personal life (what she fixed for dinner, what everyone in the family did throughout their days - my brother and I often got tired of being quizzed about what we did at school, etc. - and, occasionally, her opinion of things, such as local government and our teachers). She would write the equivalent of a notebook page a day (more if life was eventful). I have all her diaries (she died in 1994 and the last entry was less than a week before she died, unexpectedly) and they are some of my most cherished possessions. When my brother and I would argue over some childhood issue (when a beloved pet died, who was the true owner of a shared stuffed animal, where we got some item, etc.), Mom would look it up in the diary and, sure enough, she could almost always settle the disagreement. Yes, I think that, if she were alive today, Mom would have been a blogger. And, when I find myself at a loss for words (yes, it could happen), perhaps I will put some of Mom's more interesting diary entries here.

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