Friday, April 21, 2006

Luncheon: National Genealogical Society

Saturday, September 2, Luncheon sponsored by the National Genealogical Society (NGS)

Speaker: Buford J. Suffridge, Jr.

Was Grandpa Really Grandpa?
This talk will not be about the science of DNA, but will give a brief overview explaining how DNA can be utilized as another aid in genealogical research; yet it is not a panacea as many believe. He will share some historical examples of its use in a few high profile (and one personal) cases. . .

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The presentation will be accompanied by PowerPoint visuals. He has previously made the presentation to several genealogical societies and other audiences.

Buford shared this aim for his luncheon talk, "I will make this an entertaining, as well as informative, talk and look forward to giving the presentation." As a science major, he has literally studied the DNA structure practically since it was discovered in 1954, and finds this "new science" combining DNA and genealogy absolutely fascinating.

Speaker Bio
After reading the biographical material that Buford shared, I needed to stop and take a breath. Some selected abstracts from his detailed bio follow. This man does not sit still!

Buford is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Science in Bacteriology and was a member of Phi Delta Theta Social Fraternity. He attended the UofA School of Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia. Continuing his education, he attended the UofA Graduate School, Department of Geography. The next educational step was the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry where he graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. His employment background includes the North Carolina Department of Public Health, an active duty Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves, a general dentistry practice, and then on to the Orthodontic residency program at St. Louis University Medical Center where he graduated with a Master of Science degree with a specialty in orthodontics; thelatter was his full-time career until 2000.

Then he became the teacher, in the Orthodontic Graduate Program at The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, as an Assistant Professor. He still practices orthodontics on a part-time basis in Arkansas. After his two years of active duty with the U.S. Navy, he continued in the reserves and retired as a Captain. The further reserve duty carries an impressive list of accomplishments and the official decorations that accompany such service.

As if all this background is not enough to tell you that he is an interesting and educated man, he is a 1997 graduate of the Missouri School of Auctioneering, a licensed auctioneer in Arkansas, and a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course. He is a member of Perryville Masonic Lodge #238, F. & A.M., the Arkansas Scottish Rite and Scimitar Shrine Temple, Little Rock, Arkansas and has been a member of the West Little Rock Lions Club since 1974, having served twice as president and edits the monthly club bulletin, The Lions Mouth.

As a correspondent for the Perry County Edition of the Petit Jean Country Headlight, for the past six years he has written "Glimpses From The Past" a weekly column. He is a member of the Perry County Historical and Genealogical Society and is serving his second two-year term as president. He was co-editor of the book, Perry County, Arkansas, Its Land & People. He is a lifetime member of the Methodist Church.

His wife, Lynda Sue (Childers) Suffridge, worked as a librarian for the Arkansas History Commission and for the Arkansas House of Representatives. She has been active with several genealogical societies and is currently a member of the NGS Board of Directors. (Lynda’s bio doesn’t stop here, but since Buford is the speaker, he gets more space!)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Beyond the Lecture Halls

Another installment in the series from former FGS board member, Kay Freilich. Kay has been sharing her knowledge about Boston based on almost twenty years of visiting the city.

For the sports fan
Take a tour of Fenway Park, the home of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. . . .
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You’ll have a chance to walk on the field, see the wall that was moved to accommodate Ted Williams’ hitting style, visit the .406 Club, and sit in the dugout. For those interested in seeing a Red Sox game, check their schedule -- the team will be playing home games from August 31-September 6. Fenway is just a mile from the conference hotel and the Red Sox website lets you purchase ticket online.

Visit the Sports Museum at the TD Bank North Garden. Home to both the basketball Celtics and the hockey Bruins, the Garden (previously known as the Fleet Center) replaced the historic Boston Garden. Notables from all sports are honored at the museum.

Other Boston "must-do" breaks
Have a meal or just some liquid refreshment at the Bull and Finch Tavern. Inspiration for the long-running TV series Cheers, the original location in on Beacon Street. There’s now a replica at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace as well.

For history and nourishment at the same time, visit Union Oyster House. Billed as the nation’s oldest restaurant, dating from 1826, Union Oyster House is on the Freedom Trail near Faneuil Hall.

Take an elevator to the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Tower for a spectacular view of Boston and the surrounding area. At 740 feet, the observatory is said to be the highest viewpoint in New England. There are also some exhibits and a movie for you to view. [The entry is just steps away from the convention center, in the same enclosed complex.]

For those planning to visit several attractions, Boston’s CityPass offers discount admission via a single ticket to six of the city’s top attractions.

Back on the March 11th blog, Kay shared an extensive list of Boston websites.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another Boston Conference Draws Record Attendance

I just saw a press release about the Public Library Association’s (PLA) March 2006 conference in Boston. Quoting from that release: " . . . the largest-ever Public Library Association Conference. More than 11,000 library staff, exhibitors, authors and guests packed the Hynes Convention Center."

I realize that genealogical conferences don’t draw that kind of attendance, but PLA's total shows what a draw Boston is. Read More

Another draw that I witnessed that same week was the New England Historic Genealogical Society where I saw quite a few researchers wearing PLA name tags. The NEHGS is just one of many research places in the Boston area. I talked to one librarian who said that doing some family history research was one of her reasons for coming to the conference.

The Hynes Convention Center is such a great place for a conference. With multiple elevators and escalators, it is easy to get around. The facility is handicapped accessible. The aisles in the building are wide -- registrants can easily get between the lecture rooms and to and from the Exhibit Hall.