First of all, I must tell you why I am posting this type of story today. I spent quite a bit of time researching a story and was getting really close to writing it, but then I found even more information about that story. The new information caused me to make the decision to write that story on a different date. I will eventually tell the story, but it will be published on what I consider to be a better day. I have already put it on my calendar so I won’t forget to write it then.
Because of this, if I was going to publish a story today, it had to be a different one. I didn’t have the energy to start at square one trying to find another story that required a lot of research. After a little thought, I came up with today’s blog idea. I choose to spend some time thanking some people that are very special to me, to our museum, and to our blog. Without these folks, the types of stories you find on this site’s blog would not be possible.
I am going to start at the top with our musuem’s director, Carla Jordan. Not only does Carla write occasional posts for this blog, but she is also a great encourager. She is so supportive of not only me, but also the other folks who volunteer here at the museum. Carla provides this organization with very professional leadership. She also designs incredibly beautiful exhibits that are so evident in our museum. So many important improvements have been made around here as a result of Carla’s leadership.
One of the great contributors to our blog posts on almost a daily basis is Gerard Fiehler. I call upon his vast knowledge of the people and places in and around East Perry County almost constantly. He is always willing to help me track down some piece of trivia I might be looking for to make our stories more interesting. He often makes suggestions, points out my mistakes, and encourages me along the way. Gerard would be a great blog post writer in his own right, but he hates to write. So, in a way, I am Gerard’s pen. He often tells me what to write. It doesn’t hurt either, that Gerard and I spend an awful lot of time laughing together.
Lynn Degenhardt is another important cog in our operation here. Lynn is the brains behind the most important tool that we have in our research toolbox. That would be the German Family Tree, which I often refer to in our blog posts. It is literally thousands of pages of information about people from our past that can be found in church and civil records from this area. His German Family Tree is almost always where our stories begin. Lynn also used his engineering expertise to design the display cases that are used in our museum to not only provide places for exhibits, but also make up the walls of our research library. Lynn is another one of many people around here that do their work in the background without desiring any kind of attention.
Another resource used in researching these blog posts and coming up with ideas for stories is the zionrootsgenealogy.org website. That site is the creation of another one of our VIP’s, Kathy Berkbigler. Her expertise with databases and the worldwide web have been utilized to provide yet another resource that pertains exclusively to the typical subjects that are chosen for blog stories. Even though I do not see her often, mainly because she lives in Arizona, her influence on this blog is very much appreciated.
Two other influential contributors to our research library deserve some recognition. Ken Craft is probably the person most responsible for the genesis of our research library. Quite a few years ago, he began the Zion Roots Project which is such an important resource that is located in our research library. Ken lives in Georgia and visits us periodically, and he often brings us more equipment and resources. He has provided his vast genealogical talents and his financial resources which make much of what we do possible.
David Kelley is another important contributor to this blog because he provided some much needed money to fund the addition of our research library to our museum. The Starzinger Memorial Family Research Library is a result of David’s commitment to our museum and historical society.
One of the real blessings we have is a crew of guest bloggers who contribute to the blog occasionally. I will simply list them here. If you place their name in the search box in the right column, you should be able to locate the posts that they have written on this blog in the past. Let me add that we are always looking for more people who might want to contribute East Perry County stories to our blog.
I would be terribly remiss if I left off one more important person who contributes to the blog in ways that you do not know. My wife, Sandi, is incredibly patient with me and the use of my time in writing for this blog. She understands my passion for this endeavor and often makes great sacrifices so I can work on this project. Without her backing, I would never be able to do what I do.
The bottom line is that I have a great amount of gratitude for all the folks mentioned in this post. Forgive me if I forgot anyone. I should also thank all you folks who read the stories posted on this blog regularly. You make it all worth the effort. Thanks.