Friday, September 11, 2009

Our Book (part 2)

Here is what we received in the mail. John was excited as I by our find. John has spent many years researching automobile history in the state of Utah, and he had been self publishing histories on the subject for several years. Whenever he buys something at an antique store or the Internet the first thing that he likes to do is to do research on the item or the people who are connected with it. These albums were no exception. He started looking for more newspaper articles on the girls and their trip. We couldn't believe how much was popping up. Outside of the trip, these six girls' names came up in the local papers quite often even though many times it was just a name in a list of girls who had attended a social gathering in Salt Lake. All the girls had very busy social lives in the capital city. I was excited to discover that Anne Widtsoe, one of the girls, had donated journals and scrapbooks to the State Historical Society. I just had to go see them. Oh, the wonderful discoveries I made that day! Included in her journal was an unfinished letter that Anne had written while in Zion National Park describing her experiences on the trip including all the pranks that they were playing on each other. Pranks were never mentioned in the newspapers. After that, we started looking for the obituaries of the girls. We wanted to know when they died, and John learned a long time ago that obituaries are a great starting point to finding relatives. John has to be one the bravest people that I know. He took the names from the obituaries and started to call people that he thought might be them. It takes guts to call strangers out of the blue and ask them if they are related to so and so who died twenty years ago. We surprised a few people, but he tracked down family from two of the girls quickly that way. One family knew about the trip, but the other didn't. Both kindly invited us to their homes to talk to them about their mother's. Later on a third daughter was tracked down, we visited her. These visits were wonderful experiences with gracious ladies who shared their love of their remarkable mothers with us and didn't even mind when we dragged our three children with us.

So, we were gathering all kinds of information on this trip to Zion and all the girls who went. What made us decide to write a book about it?

1 comment:

Harmony said...

So cool! I sent my mom the link. Hope you don't mind.