The general session on Saturday morning was, once again, excellent. There were two main speakers, Mike Leavitt and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Mike Leavitt shared some stories from his own life. He told us that he “tricked himself into writing [his] personal history”. He felt like he was telling the same stories all of the time so he spent a few minutes brainstorming. He had a goal to write down ten stories – not the whole story, just a word or phrase that would remind him of the story. He did that so quickly that he decided to come up with 100 stories. That happened pretty fast too so he decided to see if he could think of 1,000 stories. He did it. After a while he organized them and decided to write those 1,000 stories out. He compiled a personal history for himself and his family.
I think the funniest thing he said was after sharing a story about the Dalai Lama visiting. He ended the story by saying, “I must be one of the only people on the earth that can say the Dalai Lama substituted for my Sunday School class.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin was a phenomenal speaker. She shared engaging stories. I was especially fascinated by her telling of the Fitzgerald/Kennedy family bible that was used for JFK’s swearing in. She also had a few quote worthy gems. She expressed her fear that because of our instant world “we are losing the art of storytelling”.
She began and ended by talking about baseball and her dad. She learned to be a storyteller as a young girl. She would take notes about the baseball games and then give her father a play-by-play recounting when he got home from work. She and her family are now serious Red Sox fans. They have had season tickets for 30 years. When she sits in the seats with her sons and remembers her father, “whose heart they have come to know through the countless stories I have told”, she says, “there is magic in these moments”.
There were only two class sessions on Saturday. I chose these classes:
- Solutions for Missing or Scarce Records taught by Tom Jones
- Five “Musts” to Digitize Your Photos the Right Way taught by Alison Taylor
Again, Tom Jones’ class was the best part of my day.
Alison had me come up to the front and help her by stomping on a loaf of bread to demonstrate compression. I’m not usually a stomping on bread kind of girl so that was fun. She gave me a free copy of her book for helping her. Score.
During the general session they announced the dates for next years RootsTech so I jotted them down and sent a photo to my sister. She’s in. How about you?
ps – That camera thing? Well, it happened again, during the general session. I guess the camera guys liked me. 😉