me in the Land of Lincoln

me in the Land of Lincoln
my alleged work face

my work desk

my work desk
my junky work desk where I do my research at the office

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It still amazes me

I was looking through my bookmarked sites. I almost forgot that I was featured on the national park service web site for Black History Month 2009. Here's the link:

This reminds me of the joke Katt Williams made regarding Hillary Clinton. "you should google me. I been doing this. " :-D

Monday, January 25, 2010

Article in the SJ-R about my work

I got a phone call from a reporter from the Springfield Journal Register. He asked me to talk about some of my interesting finds in my research.

Here is the link to the article:

I may need to have an ER consult with the communications department to ensure that future quotes are done corectly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Lincoln Lore Continues...

Well, here it is my senior year of undergrad. I FINALLY made it to this point and boy am I glad about it! I decided I enjoyed the Land of Lincoln so much that I spent a second summer there doing another internship. The research topic was "Faith Communities In Lincoln's Springfield." I went in with the expectation that I would go interview pastors and look at old church records. This experience helped me grow as a historian. I learned that not every church has a well documented church history. I thought it would be as simple as going to a church office and having records in a safe or something. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. Of course, some churches documented their history better then others. A city church directory, which is based upon what is printed in the newspapers, can "omit" churches because they may not have a formal location. For example, I learned that there was a group of Jews who were holding services in Springfield. Then again, ethnic minorities in Springfield wasn't uncommon. The exiles from Madeira, Portugal is another perfect example. I also learned that Lincoln contributed to building funds, even though he never formally joined a church. I also learned that some of his hired help were founding members of some of the oldest churches in Springfield. A highlight of my summer was going to Zion Baptist Church, the oldest African American church in Springfield and telling them that one of their founding members, Mariah Vance worked for Abraham Lincoln. That is what drives my love for history. I like to tell the stories of everyday people who just happen to be involved with historic people or places. I remember sitting in the park and looking at the house. I imagined Mariah Vance singing negro spirituals as she was walking to the house or in the backyard hanging out laundry. It moved me to tears because that same faith has transcended through so many generations. Sorry, there I go being a "holling historian" again. I think that is part of my passion for my profession. I just have to turn it into a skill set that will help me in my career. So, not only did I grow professionally, I grew spiritually. So, this internship was very beneficial for me.

While in Springfield, I always manage to find side projects to get myself into. I thought that more people should know about African Americans in Lincoln's Springfield. That included everything from Lincoln's barber to the Race Riots of 1908 and the separate celebration of Lincoln's 100th birthday by African Americans. After talking with people like Richard Hart and Anthony Landis, I submitted an abstract to present at the ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History) 94th convention, To my surprise, it was accepted. I also started attending meetings for a Lincoln Legacy Committee. These great group of folks wanted to have a program talking about the diversity of Lincoln's Springfield. They decided to have me as a guest speaker. I was a little shocked by it. All expense paid. I guess I need to get used to it. So, I'll be back in Springfield for almost 2 weeks. I will be presenting my research at 3 more history conventions. As a good friend said, "your gifts will make room for you. " I guess he was right. So, I will see where this Lincoln thing takes me yet once again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Well, since my last post a few things have happened. I went back to Houston, to TSU to prepare for my senior Capstone seminar. With research in hand, I was able to write a decent paper. The faculty liked the topic and research. I ended up with an A in the course. One of the objectives was to have a paper that was good enough to present at a conference or consortium. I submitted my paper and was able to present at 2 such events. I presented at the 5th Annual Phi Alpha Theta Houston Consortium. I also presented at the 89th Annual Southwestern Social Science Association in Denver, CO. So this Lincoln Hired Help research has been a boost for me. For the month of February, I was highlighted on the National Park Service's website. That was a complete surprise to me. I would have chose a different picture, but, it's good web publicity nonetheless. The highlight for me was going back to Springfield for Lincoln's 200th birthday celebration. I was on a panel with renowned Lincoln scholars and historians. Some of my family came to support me. That was one of the memorable moments. It was great to know that there were some familiar faces in the audience that day. I know that it was the first of many panels that I will sit on as a historian. There were so many events during that week to write about. However, the Abraham Lincoln Association banquet was the crowning moment. I purchased and altered a dress for this event. I was looking flawless. To make it better, President Barack Obama, a Lincoln fan showed up! It took all I had not to scream like a Jonas Brothers fan. My camera and cell phone batteries were low because I was taking pictures earlier in the day. I was not happy. But, at least I was in the room. So, this research has benefited me greatly and I have grown in the profession of history, I hope. I was asked to return to the site for the following summer and accepted the position with a different research topic. I'll be blogging about those experiences soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


This is my final blog entry for my internship experience. I will do an update when I return in February since that will be an extension of the internship. I have truly enjoyed myself. I wouldn't mind returning there every once in a while. I learned that I really enjoy doing research and presenting it for others to learn from. So I guess I will start taking the path towards historian. Of course, with a few letters attached. Ok, Dr. Camesha Scruggs, PhD. sounds quite nice. Enough daydreaming. On with the blog.

Monday - Started my final day in Springfield. I went to my last staff meeting. It was kind of sad. I sat through the meeting and started remembering everyone and how I changed throughout this experience. The walks through the park and talking to the rangers and maintenance. Spending time in the visitor center with the volunteers. Talking with Nikia via messenger. A daily "rambling report" with Tim. All of my devices at my work desk along with my workstation. After work events with the rangers. I really will miss everyone. They have made my life richer. I went to my desk and started packing things into a box. All of my research notes, post it notes, and other stuff at my desk. I went around and delivered the last of my thank you notes. I came back to my office to my completed site bulletin. I finished my presentation packets so they could be fedexed out. I ordered another debit/credit card. My boss called me into his office. He gave me a gift bag full of Lincoln home goods. I went to lunch with Nikia. My boss gave me a goodbye hug. I turned in my keys and left the Beedle house/office for the last time. I walked slowly from my office through the site on my way home. I had to remember that I will be back in February. Josh and I went to the mall to find a suit. I have to admit, he was a helpful guy. We did laundry. I came home to pack luggage and things to ship home. Sam came over and helped. I realized that I was actually leaving in a few hours to go to DC for the rest of the week.

Tuesday - Sam took me to the airport. He stayed with me until I had to go through security and get on the plane. Made it to St. Louis for a 3 hour layover. I got on my plane and headed to DC and finally made it. Brandon, a friend of mine from home was there to pick me up. Since I still needed a suit, we headed straight for the mall. The first suit he found fit perfectly and was in the price range I wanted. We left the mall and he showed me his place. We talked about old times. He took me to my hotel and I checked in. The hotel was beautiful! My room mate came and we walked to our intro dinner. The restaurant was cozy. Enjoyed the ambiance. Met the other interns. We were concerned about presentation order for the next day. We finally walked back to the hotel. I caught up with Kevin, a friend from home who went to the same church I did as a kid. We went for drinks and karaoke. Enjoyed it! It was like old times. we drove around and sang at the top of our lungs through DC. I finally made it back and settled in for the night.

Wednesday - Rocking the fly suit, took the metro to the National Park Service headquarters. We got settled and started the day. Went through introductions and started doing our presentations. I was afraid that I didn't follow the format. Everyone in the room got a presentation packet. I have to admit, I did an awesome job on the presentation. I got a lot of good and positive feedback. We went to lunch and networked with various folks that work with the National Park Service. We went to the Frederick Douglass home. It was great to see the home of another great American. There was a contrast between his home and Lincoln's, of course. Another NPS historic home to add to my photo collection. We arrived back at the office and went back to the hotel. I settled in because I was beat.

Thursday - Day 2 of the workshop. We spoke with employees of NPS. They told us of the career options within the organization. A small career day of sorts. We walked over to the Smithsonian.We walked into the museum of the American Indian. The building was beautiful! We had lunch at the museum. I ate my first buffalo burger. I may see this as another meat option. We had a personal tour by the head curator and an intern. The interpretive staff were Native American. They gave a personalized aspect to the tour, which was different from someone who simply researched and recited information. After our tour, I hung out with a few of the interns. we browsed an outdoor black bookstore. It was truly exciting. We took the metro back to the hotel to prepare for the farewell dinner. The Indian restaurant had some great nan and lycees. I have expanded my culinary horizons this year. I will have to do that more when I return back to Houston. After the restaurant, we decided to go out and explore the city for a while. A few of us went to a bar/club. Enjoyed a few drinks and danced the night away at the club in the back. We made it back to the hotel and settled in for a nap before our last day together as a group.

Friday - Another day of workshops. Today was a round table discussion session. Even though the tables were set up in a rectangle. :) Today's topic was about careers outside of National Park Service with people who once worked for or were associated with the National Park Service. Every opportunity was available, from museum curator to adjunct professor, the possibilities seem endless. I met Bob Stanton, first African American and former National Park Service Director. He told us that we have a responsibility to tell the truth. I agreed with that statement wholeheartedly. We discussed that we also have to recruit other brilliant folks like us to do this internship. I was motivated to come back to TSU and try to find a few. We left the workshop and went to lunch at Ceiba, a Latin American restaurant. Then we went to the Newseuem. The entrance was a display of daily newspapers from every state. The museum covered every aspect of the news from radio, print, television, and the internet. There were so many things to see. An FBI 100 year exhibit, a portion of the Berlin Wall, and the news antenna from one the 9/11 twin towers were just a few of the things to see. The entire museum was a great experience. Not to mention, a great view of the capitol building from the 6th floor terrace. Everyone went their separate ways. Corri and I went to dinner and then I headed back to my room to pack and prepare for my flight back home.

Saturday - Got up extra early. Brandon took me to the airport. Just a sweetie pie. Went through the whole ordeal of security. Arrived at my gate just in time to board. Sat next to a couple who said that they should have gotten the first class upgrade when they were checking in. I actually thought about it, but didn't have the extra $100 on me. I plugged myself into my cell phone, listened to Kayne West's "homecoming", read my Essence magazine, and enjoyed my flight to St. Louis. I got off the plane to CNN reporting that Bernie Mac died. I returned calls and texts during my layover. Finally got on the plane headed to Dallas I was so excited! I was on my way back home, or at least to my home state. I finally arrived at DFW. Went shopping and did lunch with my mom, sis, and aunt Diann. Enjoyed it! Finally came home and crashed!

Sunday - Went to Zion, my real home church. My best friend Kevin showed up. It was if we were kids again. I chatted with my senior pastor. He told me, "stay with the ship". That was all the inspiration I needed. I got lots of love from my senior first lady. It was as if they were all proud of me. I got to see people I haven't seen in years. It was kind of like a homecoming. I hung out with a couple of friends. It was a great start to a week of rest

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Week 9

I am going to have to do a little adjusting. This place has grown on me. I can see myself occasionally coming back to visit. Actually, I will try in February for the bicentennial. Lincoln kind of has that effect on me; not the "fear of five dollar bills" (a fear that I would not want to see a five dollar bill after spending an entire summer around the Abraham Lincoln home) that I predicted that I would have. Ok, enough rambling. Here's the blog.

Monday - More corrections to my manuscript. I got an interesting call from the Lincoln Public Library. The local collection called to tell me that they found a new article. This article talked about a woman who worked for the Lincolns in Springfield. Mind you, I have spent hours reviewing microfilm looking for newspaper articles. Needless to say, I was excited to find this one. This woman brought my grand total of researched hired girls to 18. I went over and got the copy of the article. There was also another article that confirmed one of my previous hired help that I had researched. A good day overall. Added the information. Went home, settled in and prepared for the next day.

Tuesday - Today was TV interview day. I was going to be on a show titled, "Pamela Speaks". After a few wardrobe changes, I finally decided on a dress shirt and silk skirt. I wanted to look professional as well as diva. I went into work and Marie, the admin assistant for the Student Conservation Association came into my office. I knew she was coming, but I thought it was going to be in the afternoon. She brought gifts for me and Josh, tshirts and maple syrup from New Hampshire. I thought that was very sweet of her. Josh mentioned to her that I was doing an interview. I didn't really think anything of it. I knew that I would mention them. So, I went home to try to find a SCA logo to put on me somewhere. I was already wearing my National Park Service badge. I went to my welcome kit. I found a croc ornament. It happened to fit within my buttonhole on my dress shirt. I felt like I was a walking billboard. I left the office with entourage (Josh, Marie, and her husband) in tow and walked from the Lincoln home to the Old State Capital. I get there and my PR guy is filming. Just great! But he made me feel comfortable and it was nice to see him. Dick Hart is also there as a part of the taping as well. So, I had a support staff. The interview went well. I talked about my research and how I think it would impact the community. Marie said that she was proud and that I have to get that information back to the home office so they can know about it. After the interview, I went to lunch the host of the show and my PR guy. It was very pleasant. Nice conversation about everything from religion to the stereotype of historians. She mentioned that she wanted to take my research and develop it into a one act play to present to the community. I was a little surprised by that. We exchanged business cards and parted ways. I finally went back to my office. I talked with my boss, Tim and I got overwhelmed for a moment. Interviews, meetings, etc. was a little much for me. I consider myself to be person who doesn't want to be in the spotlight. I like to provide support behind the scenes. I thought I was supposed to just do the research, write a manuscript, and go home. So, I voiced my concern to my PR guy. I know that he has a job to promote my work. But, I just want to do the work and present it for the greater good; not have a lecture circuit, books, and a bobble head doll. Nor do I want to become possessive and refuse to relinquish or release my research for anyone to gain from it. Which is why I think I want to do public history or a start research consulting firm. I shall see what the future holds. Tonight was the weekly flag lowering ceremony at Lincoln's tomb. Me and my entourage went out there. The weather starts to look a little unpleasant. Next thing I know, there is a small dirt storm and a heavy downpour. It was just horrible. I just knew that everyone would have to find shelter inside the tomb. After a few minutes, it finally subsided. The ceremony started a little later than usual. At the end of the ceremony, the flag that has flown over the tomb is raffled off and given away. Marie was the lucky recipient. I think that really was a memorable part of her trip to visit us in Springfield. We went to dinner afterwards. We talked about career opportunities within the organization. After this long day, I finally made it home, settled in and prepared myself for the next day.

Wednesday - I got into work a little early. Susan, the curator gives special tours for the park employees called "behind the rail", which lets us actually touch the artifacts. After donning the special government issued white gloves, we were able to go through the house. It was great to be able to touch things that Abraham Lincoln owned. For example, to actually touch the desk that he used in the house to write was an experience that I will never forget. I also had a chance to see my boss Tim work in his capacity as a historian. He gave a tour to a group of young people who were visiting and preparing for a debate contest. It was nice to see and makes me really want to consider public history. I went back to my office, worked on the manuscript and the power point presentation that I had to give to the park rangers on Thursday. I finally went home, settled in and prepared myself for the next day.

Thursday - I gave my power point presentation to the park rangers. They appreciated my work. they also gave me suggestions for my presentation. I considered this to be my rough draft, or dry run for my DC presentation the following week. After my presentation, my boss tells everyone that I will be going to DC. He also tells them that I will be coming back in February to do a lecture for the bicentennial events at the Lincoln home. I was shocked! Once again, I thought I was supposed to just do the research, write a manuscript and go home. Obviously, not the case. So, I will be back in Springfield to celebrate the bicentennial. I am excited! I came back to the office and made changes per the suggestions from the rangers. I added a few lines to my manuscript. I finally left the office. I was walking home and realized that I would be leaving the site in a few days. I started to realize that I was going to come back as a different person than when I left to come here. I went home, settled in, and prepared myself for the next day.

Friday - I came into my office. Printed up a quick summary of my research. I had a meeting with a Nikki from an organization named "Looking for Lincoln". This organization has signs all over the state that tells stories about Lincoln that children that understand and learn from them. The meeting went well. We discussed making another wayside sign that talks about the hired girls. Also, she was going to add the information to a production reenacting Lincoln's farewell address in Springfield. Once again, surprised that my research is being used in so many different ways. I left that meeting and went out into the site. I had park rangers telling me that they were already using my information in the tours and the response has been great. That made my day. Today was a lunch meeting with Tim, Katharyn Harris (library mom) and Dick Hart. We met up at a downtown restaurant. I have to admit, I will miss that part of Springfield. I will have to take time to discover the non-franchise, locally owned restaurants in Houston when I return. I enjoyed my lunch. I gave my "mom" a thank you note. She appreciated the thought. I got back to my office. Josh and I decided that we should visit New Salem before I leave. New Salem is the town that Abraham Lincoln lived in before he came to Springfield. We went out there in the heat of the day. It was an entire area that was recreated to look the way it did when Lincoln was there. That seems to be a fascination with historic sites. Ok, the whole purpose would be the better term. Historical accuracy is the professional term. This site is a state operated site, which received budget cuts through laying off, or firing seasonal employees. It is sad that the site has to suffer due to the whims of a state's government. One would think that the Lincoln sites would remain open in anticipation of the bicentennial. or be staffed to the max because it is summer travel season. I would think that these sites impact tourism and the local economies. Maybe I'm wrong. Anyhow, this is a couple of miles of log cabins, farmland, and roads that are set to look like 1830's central Illinois. The scenery was beautiful. I realized that I was not prepared for this visit. Not to mention, out of shape. Motivation to do better. Get more exercise so I can feel and look better. By the end of the visit, I felt gross and my feet were sunburned. I didn't think that was possible for me. Lesson learned: get sunscreen. We left the park and returned home. I ran straight for my shower to get all of the humid nastiness off of me. I was invited to go to hear a friend play downtown that night. I left my house and walked downtown. I made it in enough time to catch the last set. It was truly a joy to watch. I sat at the table with Mr. Lockhart, the glass maker I met last Friday. After the set, I sat and talked with the band. I walked home, settled in and prepared myself to enjoy my weekend.

Saturday - I finally woke up and did my usual Saturday morning ritual. HGTV and Food Network. Nikia and I went to lunch. I went back into my office to start working on my presentation packets for DC. I wanted to make sure that the people attending the workshop next week would have something to remember my research and internship by. My plan was to finally check out the mass transit system and go to the mall. I needed a suit for my presentation that I would be giving next week. I went to the ATM to get cash so I can get change for the bus. I got the cash and the receipt, not the card. I didn't realize until I got on the bus that I didn't have my card. By then, it was too late. I went ahead and rode the bus out to the mall. Of course, Springfield's mass transit is not like Dallas or Houston. Then again, there really is no need to have several buses and light rail. It was a nice break outside of my apartment. I finally made it back downtown. I went home for a few minutes to grab a blanket. This was the night that the movie in the park was rescheduled to. The attendance was sparse. Then again, the night before, a movie night in the park event was done at a bigger park with 3,000 people coming to watch the "wizard of oz" on an outdoor screen. That was fine with me. I finally saw "the bee movie". It was a cute movie. After the movie, I walked home, settled in and went to bed.

Sunday - My final worship service. I was a little saddened. I'd started to feel at home and it was time to go. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the FOH. But this was like my summer home. If I come back, I also want to visit other churches. Especially the historic African American ones. No matter where I go, I have to find my center. Churches are historically known as a cultural center. Churches held an important place in the Civil Rights movement, for example. This was the place where community meetings were held and to get information or instruction on the plan of action like marches and boycotts. Sorry, had a history nerd moment for a minute. But for me, it is a spiritual center that I have to have. I came home and started to pack. My goal is to only take one suitcase when I leave Springfield headed to DC. I refuse to give airlines extra money for luggage. I finally settled in, and prepared myself for my last day in Springfield, Illinois.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Week 8

2 months. it seems like I have been here for quite a while. Just one more week and then off to DC and then back home. Back to the things I was doing before I came here to Springfield. Here's the blog.

Monday - In the wee hours of the morning, I FINALLY finished my manuscript. I took a nap and got up for work. I read it to make sure that everything made sense. I know I was up late typing and some things may have been out of place. The work came to 15 pages. Very few footnotes. So a majority of it was actual writing. Now, I have to put that same type of work into my senior seminar for the fall semester. Now I know that type of work can be done. Maybe I can take some of this info and use it for my senior seminar. After printing copies, I made it a point to personally deliver copies to historians and researchers that ave helped me with my project this far. It was nasty and humid. Not to mention, I felt like I was a girl scout delivering cookies wearing khaki and white. Of course. I had to add a bit of flair with a scarf. Ok, maybe I wasn't a girl scout. A diva esque troop mom. Coincidentally, Josh had the same color scheme in mind when he got dressed that morning. It was funny. I think we've been hanging together too long. We were coordinated. Kinda scary. Anyhow, I delivered all copies of manuscripts. By the time I finished, it was time to go home. Josh and I went to walmart. I needed crazy glue to fix my faithful laptop bag. We came home to watch the show, "History Detectives." The top story was to find out if someone had a document actually signed by Abraham Lincoln. Nerd, I know. This Lincoln thing sticks with you. Once you start researching, you keep finding things. The woman found out that the document was fake. However, the person that signed the sheet music was a guard of Lincoln. The schemers had him sign the document in his older years. Then, they forged Lincoln's signature. That was just mean! The things people do to change history. Which is why I appreciate my job. I take only the facts, and present them for others to see, or tell a different side of the story. After that, Josh went home. I settled in and prepared myself for the next day.

Tuesday - With the weight of the manuscript lifted for a moment, I started to work on the site bulletin. This is a snapshot of my work that the public can get their hands on. When someone comes to the park, they can get a pamphlet that tells about a certain thing or event. Of course, mine will cover the story of the hired girl and the hired help that worked at the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois. The fact that my research is going into this is mind boggling. I consider myself just a researcher. I just want to find the information. Not present or profit from it. I'll let someone else do all of that. Which has gotten me to thinking of a business venture as a historical research consultant. I will have to see how that pans out. Created an outline, tried to pick out info that the public would want to know and still keep it historically interesting. Went home, settled in, and prepared myself for the next day.

Wednesday - Midweek. yay. Came in and worked on the site bulletin. Decided since it was the middle of the week, I'd work until the middle of the day. I left the office. Went home and actually watched a soap opera. Something I haven't done in years. It reminded me of times I spent with my grandmother, Pearl, or Dear, as I called her. I think she'd be proud of me. There are times when I accidentally dial her number. Just so I can hear her voice and I can tell her about my work here. I can hear her say, "very good." and we would talk about when I was coming home. I also know that my great grandmother, Naomi, or Maw Maw, as I called her would listen to everything I said about my project and asked me if I have read all of the materials that could help me with my work. These women instilled confidence and a love for knowledge into me at a very early age. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity, actually, the privilege to be in the presence of these women before they left this earth. Ok, enough sappiness. I am always crying about something in each week of my blog. I have to stop that. Went to the lecture. The topic was about equality struggles in African American history. Dr. Kemayo talked about how Frank McWhorter, the first African American who founded the town of New Philadelphia, Illinois was a visionary. He brought up the point that he paid for his wife's freedom first. He also freed himself and 16 of his family members which cost him $14000. Of course, the interesting young man was at the lecture. We were texting throughout the lectures points that we discussed since the last lecture. I wondered if the lecturer tapped our conversations. Dr. Kemayo gave me thee advice that I have to see myself as an academic colleague when I get to graduate school. Also, he suggested to find a school that is supportive. Some professors make it a point to diminish the morale of graduate students. After the lecture, Josh and I grabbed dinner. The interesting young man wanted to know if I was going to watch the CNN special, "Black in America." That was an obvious one. He came over with roses. I thought was very sweet of him to do, but a bit much just to watch tv. Anyhow, watched the show and discussion ensued and was enlightening as usual. Sent him home, settled in and prepared for the next day.

Thursday - My PR guy managed to get me to meet with two interesting individuals. My first meeting was with John Crisp. He is at the Harriet Tubman Susan B. Anthony Center. I learned a lot. He brought me into this room that was a tribute to African American history. There were photos of local and national African Americans. I thought that very interesting. He also had inventions by African Americans. There were some that I knew. There were some that i didn't know. We talked about my project. He talked about how it was interesting that I was in Springfield for two months and no one in the African American community knew I was here. A part of me thought the same thing. Yet another part of me thought, " I am here to do academic research work." This issue divides me occasionally. As a historian, I have to be unbiased. But I can't simply put down my race and gender. These things define me also. I am sure as I grow professionally, I will get over this small issue. I hope that Camesha Scruggs can simply provide information in an unbiased manner. I also met Idris Qadeem. He has a bookstore that I would consider to be Pan-African. The books covers various topics in the African diaspora. We also discussed my project. We talked of how I am changing the face of historical research. I love African American history, but I have to be able to work outside of that area. I know that I will not lose my identity and legacy of my ancestors as I move ahead in my academic career. These wonderful men took me to lunch. We went to a restaurant called Gateway to India. Lunch was great. Afterwards, they gave me a driving tour of the African American side of town. They told me stories of how they would play in open fields, storefront of black businesses. I truly enjoyed myself. That was kind of my Lincoln Home break. I finally left their company in enough time to return the G ride and go home. I settled in, enjoyed my evening, and prepared myself for the next day.

Friday - I came into my office with the expectation of receiving manuscripts and making modifications. I get a call from Dick Hart. He asked me to meet with a group of kids he was working with. He asked me to talk to them about my project and "inspire them." I thought I was only supposed to do research, write a manuscript, and go back home. So much for that. Today was a casual Texas Southern t-shirt and jeans kind of day. I met the group. I took a public tour for the first time since I have been in the park. It was interesting to watch the rangers do their job and how the public took in the information they were receiving. It made me think that my research work will be given to thousands of people from everywhere in the form of this tour. Mind boggling. We finished the tour and walked back to their summer work site. We talked about what their goals and aspirations are. I realized that even as an aspiring historian, I still have to reach back into whatever community I am in and contribute. I made it back to my office and took a break before picking up my manuscripts. I got all of them back. 15 pages multiplied times 7. I don't do math. That was a lot of paper. Each one made very good points for me to consider and modify. I appreciate their input and assistance. I finally left the office and went home. Settled in and prepared myself to enjoy my weekend.

Saturday - I spent the day with new found girlfriends in Springfield. Nikia, Ebony, and I went to the nail salon. I DESPERATELY needed a pedicure. I refused to be talked about because my feet look a moving mess. We went to an Asian bistro restaurant. The food was great. Afterwards, we went to see the movie, Sex in the City. I enjoyed my day with the girls. I made it home close to midnight and settled in and went to bed.

Sunday - Another worship service. Today was youth Sunday. The sermon was more like a panel or summit. An interesting format. The discussion was for youth to be an example. Don't let your youth be a deterrent to the job you have as a Christian. That same message can be applied to any Christian. Don't let your (age, race, sex, hindrance, etc.) get in the way of the work that has to be done. I know, I'm not supposed to be preaching. But, it touched me personally. I came home and did a little editing to my manuscript and started looking at what can be sent ahead of me as I get ready to work my last full week at the Lincoln Home.