Friday, May 13, 2011

NGS 2011 Conference: Day 1

Lessons of the Day:

  1. Do not skip the opening session of the NGS Conference... EVER.  My friend and I thought that since this morning would be the only morning we did not have to be at the conference by 8am, we would take our time and skip the opening session.  So we arrived about 9:30, ready to enter the vendor area and get our free FamilySearch t-shirts!  We were walking around the vendor floor, getting acclimated to the layout when I saw two people who were also from Georgia.  Since I will talk to anyone, I stopped and showed them my name tag to indicate that we were also from Georgia.  The female looks at where we are from, which is printed right there on your name tag for anyone to see, and exclaims "Oxford, Georgia?!  One of your names was called this morning for winning a prize... but you weren't there.  They had to call about four names to find someone who was present to claim the prize!"  She went on to say that she thought it was my friend's name that was called.  That did it.  My friend was upset.  She blamed me (just kidding, I think).  Someone else finally told my friend that the prize she missed out on was a free registration to next year's NGS Conference in Las Vegas!  That just added salt to the wound.  The "funny" thing here is that this followed us the rest of the day.  I went to my class after lunch, ended up sitting next to a woman from Athens, Georgia, and when I told her I was also from Georgia, she looked at my name tag and said, "You missed out on a prize drawing this morning!"  !!!!!  WHY did everyone remember OXFORD, Georgia so well?  Why, when we only skipped this one session will we never live it down??  WHY OH WHY?!!!
  2. Do not believe that you can remember what classroom your next class is in.  Always double- and triple-check it.  That way you will not end up wandering around, asking and getting bad directions that take you out to the loading dock, become determined that you cannot find your classroom, ask everyone you can find where that classroom is located when it actually doesn't exist, and you will not choose a different class to only get five minutes into it and realize that you had your classes mixed up and the class you should be in is next door, but it's too late to join it now.  Where did my memory go?
  3. Once you are given a free gift, let's say... like a t-shirt, put it away in your bag IMMEDIATELY.  Do not carry it around, draped over your arm, and when you sit down to fill out an application for the Georgia Genealogical Society, lay it over the back of a chair.  Then when you finish your application, you simply walk away... and leave the t-shirt there.  (Yes, this really happened.)
  4. Do not trust your GPS in a strange city to pick out a seafood restaurant.  The first two were dives in scary-looking neighborhoods... They may not have even been restaurants, they may have been strip clubs disguised as seafood restaurants.  So we ended up driving 12 miles to historic, downtown Charleston to A.W. Shucks, where we saw a ruptured water main and paid $8 to park nearby.  Fortunately, they were not busy, the food was wonderful, and we got there in time to eat and drink clean water before they had to close down because of the aforementioned ruptured water main.
There were some good times.
  1. The classes were informative.  The three classes I took were Statistically Speaking:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Vital Record Research; Everything you Need to Know about Footnote (my sub class); and Libraries, Archives, and Public Records Offices:  Understanding Resource Repositories.
  2. I joined Footnote at a special conference rate.
  3. We are now members of the Georgia Genealogical Society.
  4. I got to meet Dear Myrtle, Dinah from Second Life, and Drew Smith in person.
  5. I got to talk with a Family Tree Maker expert who showed me how to customize a cemetery report.
 Here's to tomorrow holding fewer lessons and more good stuff!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that it was your friend who missed the drawing. Hope everything gets better and better from here!

  2. I am so sorry you lost out on that prize. But thank you for sharing your experience. I will heed your warning and never miss an opening session again!

  3. sounds good. sorry about that prize you missed and the lost t-shirt. hopefully good times to come.