GenealogyKC a Huge Success

One of the big events for the Liberty Missouri Stake in March was our second annual GenealogyKC conference. It was

One of the plenary sessions
One of the plenary sessions

held March 21-22 in our stake center.

I wasn’t as involved this year as I was last year, but I was still somewhat involved as the stake presidency member who oversaw it. This year, our stake president’s wife, Rebecca Morgan, was the chair of the event. And she did a fantastic job!

We had much better presenters this year than we did last year. For example, we had Jill Crandell, director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU, Amy Harris, associate professor of history at BYU, and our own Bob, founder of LineageChase and a researchers at the Center for Family History and Genealogy! We also had Katy Barnes, one of Bob’s classmates and a colleague at LineageChase, and a number of presenters from such organizations as the National Archives, Midwest Genealogy Center, Ancestry.com, and other places. We had more than 700 people register and it looks like we had about that many–or perhaps a bit less–actually attend. That was up from about 500 last year. It was a terrific event!

Bob teaching at the conference
Bob teaching at the conference

For our family, rather than traveling in and out of Liberty each day, we decided to stay at a hotel in town. It started out for us on Thursday, 20 March, when Mom and I took John in to the stake center so he could help with setup while we took Katy and Chase Barnes on a tour of the local Church history sites. The Barnes had flown in late on Wednesday night and had stayed at a member’s home near the stake center. Mom and I picked them up at about 10 or 11 a.m. on Thursday and took them to the Liberty Jail, followed by the Community of Christ temple in Independence. We then went to lunch at the most amazing barbecue place–it’s actually called A Little BBQ Joint–based on a recommendation from a member of the Community of Christ. It was so tasty! And very large portions, as well!

We then went to the LDS Visitors Center in Independence and enjoyed a very nice tour, after which we went back to the stake center. Mary Ann had come in from work shortly before we arrived at the stake center, and so after dropping off the Barnes, the four of us went to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We went to the Smokehouse Barbecue in Zona Rosa. . .another great meal! We then went to the hotel, and at about

Lunchtime at GenealogyKC 2014
Lunchtime at GenealogyKC 2014

11 p.m. I went to the airport to pick up Bob.

On Friday, 21 March, we made it to the stake center just in time for GenealogyKC’s opening plenary session. We spent the next two days instructing and being instructed. It was absolutely wonderful!

Mary Ann, Sister Elaine Dalton, Brother Stephen Dalton, and Mom
Mary Ann, Sister Elaine Dalton, Brother Stephen Dalton, and Mom

One of the huge highlights this year was a special youth fireside featuring Sister Elaine Dalton and her husband Stephen. They arrived on Friday and stayed with some friends. Then on Saturday they went on a tour with our stake president, arriving at the stake center at about 5:00 or 5:30 on Saturday afternoon. All of the youth who attended GenealogyKC were invited to a special pizza reception with the Daltons. Fortunately for us, Mary Ann was able to meet Brother and Sister Dalton with other members of the stake presidency before the reception began. It was awesome! Mary spoke with Sister Dalton about her plans for a mission, and Sister Dalton was so impressed. We were thrilled that Mary Ann had that opportunity!

John also met Brother and Sister Dalton during the reception, and although he didn’t appear to be quite as excited about it as Mary Ann was, we know he had a great experience.

The fireside that night was absolutely awesome. Sister Dalton has such a wonderful way and gift of connecting with you. It was great to see her in person.

Overall, I would say that GenealogyKC 2014 was a fantastic success! Not only did we have a lot of people attend, but our family learned a lot, were edified, and got to spend time with Bob!

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Travels to Chicago, NYC

During the first week of March, I traveled to Chicago and New York City to do some video shoots for eBay. I’m producing some training videos for one of their divisions, and we needed some on-site footage and interviews with local staff. I have a local videographer here in Missouri with whom I’ve worked in the past, and so the two of us hopped on a plane and headed to Chicago.

We made it without incident and with all the equipment, and set up the shoot on location in the Windy City. The shoot went much faster than we had anticipated, thanks to Don’s exceptional skills and the preparations of the local staff in Chicago. We had a great day of shooting and then the next day we headed to New York City.

The playbill from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
The playbill from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

I had scouted out NYC with my client late last year, and while walking the streets around Times Square I had noticed that a new musical was to open in January. It’s called Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Of course, I filed that little fact in the back of my head when I left New York in November, and so it came to the forefront of my memory as I was preparing for this shoot in March.  Because our shoot in Chicago went so well, I hoped that we’d have some free time in New York as well. . .and I was right! We did have some free time, and with some help from my client, I was able to go see a matinee performance of this musical. And it was awesome! It tells the musical story of Carole King from the time she was about 16 until the Carnegie Hall performance in 1971. It is filled with performances of various hits and gives a framework of Carole’s life challenges as a backdrop for many of the songs she wrote. It was fantastic, and I’m so glad I got to go!

After shooting the recreations and interviews for a day, we headed back hometo Kansas City. It was a great trip!

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Spring is on its way!

Hello all!

Thought I’d chime in and give a little update from the Cool portion of the Call family.  Rachel and I have been doing great!  We’ve both been plugging away at school and work and are very anxious for Spring to finally arrive.  It’s been so nice and warm over the past few weeks one would think it was here already!

Rachel and I just got back from our first fun walk around our semi-new neighborhood for this year.  We live in quite the nice little quiet patch of homes, yards and the occasional barking dog outside.

Rachel has been doing phenomenal with her little business and has really come into her own with being able to work with good clients and everything that comes with entrepreneurship.  If there was ever a contest for the best writer on the planet, she would win hands down.  I have a very talented and wonderful wife.

In my camp I’ve been inching into the final lap as it were of my Bachelors Degree in CS.  I’m around 7 months off from finishing it and am super anxious to get there.  I’m currently finishing my last programming-centric class.  In this class I’m working with C# ASP.NET back-end applications and beginning to build one that will have a mix of various technologies permitting the end-user to store some information and log in to retrieve it if desired.  Simple but important none the less.

Hope you all are doing great!  Until next time!

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