Monday, June 13, 2011

SCGS Jamboree - Post 4: Partings are such sweet sorrow

All good things must come to an end, and it seems to be very abrupt.  You check out of the hotel, get on the shuttle bus to the airport or train station, and the past three days flood your memory.  Could it have been any better, or more fun?  Probably not!  Saying goodbye to friends and colleagues is pretty haphazard because some have to go while you're doing something else, and you miss seeing them off.  I got lots of hugs and kisses, which is almost the most fun of all.

Sunday at Jamboree (I think I'm glad it's "only" a three-day conference!) was full for me.  We were down at Blogger Heaven for breakfast and saw some colleagues (both bloggers and CVGS folks), and I went over to Blogger Island around 8:15 a.m. to find Amy Coffin holding down the fort.  Soon, Denise Levenick arrived with genea-donuts from Krispy Kreme (both full size and mini-size - I was so good, I had only one small one).  Then along came Elyse Doerflinger with the large cookies left from the night before, and she put them out for everyone to share.  Donna Wendt brought her half-full container of chocolate covered macadamia nuts too!  All of them disappeared in short order, of course.  Late Geneabloggers don't get their reward!  I'm not sure who is the survivor of Blogger Island here, but there were lots of heroes on Blogger Island.

I had every intention of attending one session in the morning and one in the afternoon.  My good intentions faded as I read my Google Reader, read my emails, check Facebook and Twitter, and tried to write my Sunday blog posts while surrounded by my geneablogger colleagues.  Anthony Ray (who received the scholarship awarded by Denise in honor of her mother) chatted with me about blogging and Hispanic genealogy resources.  Suzanne, my SDGS colleague, wanted advice on RootsMagic.  I finally got my blog post done, and looked at my watch and it was 12 noon.  I went and found Linda, and we got lunch at the outside cart again. 

We decided to attend Lisa Louise Cooke's live Genealogy Gems podcast, but we got there in the middle of it.  Sheri Fenley and Kim Von Aspern were on the dais with Allison Stacy (of Family Tree Magazine) moderating a genealogy trivia contest, with Lisa keeping score.  That was fun - the geneabloggers know their stuff.  Some of the options drew some laughs - Lisa caught me with my hand up when she asked "how many of you read genealogy magazines in the bathroom?'  Kim won the contest, 11-9, but both of them received gifts.  The next segment was a discussion with Paula Sassi, a certified graphologist who lives in San Diego and has given two excellent CVGS programs (see here and here).  Lisa had two examples of 19th century handwriting provided by Allison Stacy and geneablogger Heather Rojo.  Paula had not seen them before, and absolutely nailed the writer's personal characteristics, according to Allison and Heather.  It was really interesting!  Lastly, Lisa had Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic, who sponsored the podcast and the Saturday streaming videocasts, talk about RootsMagic a bit.  Bruce brought a prize for someone in the audience, and geneablogger Tonia Kendrick won it. 

I went back to Blogger Island, said goodbye to several geneabloggers in Blogger Heaven, made one last turn around the exhibit hall, and went over to Subway to get sandwiches for dinner on the train.  I was back in time to catch Lou Szucs presentation on 12 Steps to Energize Your Research.  That was the last session, so we picked up our suitcase from baggage claim, and met over at the shuttle stop.  We got to the train platform by 3:30 and waited until the train hurdled down the track at 4:25 p.m.  Everybody in the SDGS group made it, and Elyse rode with us to Union Station too.  The ride home was uneventful - I had a short nap, and managed to read about half of the syllabus on the trip (it's in the bathroom now).  We got back by 7:45 p.m. in downtown San Diego.  We had to call our ride home...he forgot.

I'll have some pictures in the next days. 

Some observations:

*  It is really hard to write coherent blogs on Blogger Island.  There are way too many really pleasant and fun interruptions.

*  Our merry band of geneabloggers are really neat people - every one is different and has different interests, but we have a common bond and support each other.  And we get really loud when five or more are gathered together!  We had 30 or 40 together at times in Blogger Heaven and really rocked the Marriott (some were fearful we would be shut down).  One attendee heard the Peter the Parrot pinata event at the pajama party from his eighth floor room (the pinata was broken outside...).

*  I didn't hear a final count, but it seemed like there were about the same number of exhibitors and attendees (about 1600?) to Jamboree this year.  The fact is that the exhibit hall cannot easily accommodate more exhibitors, the meeting rooms cannot be expanded, and the location is ideal for SCGS (close access to the SCGS library, the Burbank Airport and Amtrak train station).  The room rates are pretty high, though, and many people stay at cheaper hotels and drive or walk into the Marriott during the day.

*  The presentations were uniformly good - these are nationally known speakers for the most part, and I heard no complaints about the speakers or the content.  I heard lots of praise for the speakers and content from my SDGS and CVGS

*  Thank you to Paula Hinkel, Leo Myers, and their team of tireless and wonderful Sotuhern California Genealogical Society volunteers.  They did another excellent job to make Jamboree work (again) for the 42nd year.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

No comments: