Montana State Genealogical Society

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: May 1997

Every once in a while I wonder if I am crazy. I suspect there are others who also wonder about me. Do you ever feel that way? More than once my husband has expressed concern about being married to a woman who likes to hang out in cemeteries. I know that to many in society, genealogists/family historians appear to be a very strange bunch. We not only like to hang out in cemeteries, but we love archives, county courthouses, Family History Centers and libraries. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is like Mecca. We spend countless hours reading microfilms and writing letters, and then we haunt the mailbox waiting for the answer to those letters. Instead of wanting to spend a second honeymoon in Hawaii we would rather spend our vacation time and money doing family research--often in some really exotic place--like Kansas. And we constantly talk to ourselves. By now my family is more or less accustomed to Mom's habit of talking to herself. I tell them that I am not talking to myself. I am talking to dead people. I like them. While they may play hide and seek, they don't talk back. If I am trying to shore up the sagging image of my sanity, I am probably better off just admitting that I talk to myself.

Since my sanity is already in question, it should come as no surprise when I bubble and gush about the wonderful weekend I just spent in Glendive at the annual conference of the Montana State Genealogical Society. With travel time I spent four whole days with other people just as loony as I am. Originally there was some skepticism and concern about the possible success of holding a conference in Glendive. The wonderful people in Glendive put on a terrific conference. The special interest group sessions had many more attendees than last year, and I heard so many good comments about the speakers and the workshops. We saw many new faces (some from North Dakota) and old friends, and the entertainment was outstanding. In addition to furthering education, the work of the Montana State Genealogical Society continues to go forward. There was a great deal of business conducted in Glendive. We are still young. We are still ironing some things out. Be looking for our web site on the Internet soon and in the next year or two for the newsletter to go out to all members. Our growth and progress is really exciting.

Next year our MSGS annual conference will be in Missoula, and it will be held in cooperation with the Montana Library Association who is having their annual conference at the same time. The two sites will be only a block away from each other, and crossover between the two groups for workshops will be encouraged. Vending should also be enhanced by the arrangement. While I am still savoring my weekend in Glendive, I am already plotting and planning my weekend in Missoula next May. Join the activities! Don't allow yourselves to be left out. Be actively engaged in furthering the objectives of your local and state society all year long. Stop worrying about your sanity or lack thereof, and start now to make plans to join us at our conference next spring. When you are with us, you don't need to apologize for hanging out in cemeteries. We're the only ones who truly understand you. That's all for now. I have to hit the cemeteries. My friends are waiting for me.

Pat Thompson, President, MSGS

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