Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Life Times

The last couple of weeks I've given two talks about research for writers. Many paths have brought me to the place of being able to do this. Thirty-five years as a genealogist and twenty-four as a professional, research and writing for various western history publications, my own book and years of doing it all.

As I'm telling a bit about myself I talk about the nine years I spent actively involved in a group of authors, historians, aficionados, and others who met every year for a major to-do in southern Arizona. Of course that brought up lots of memories; but also a lot of thoughts about how my life has gone through phases.

Of course, I have my childhood days, my teen years, my college days, my early marriage, raising a family and becoming a grandma. But there's also the years I was involved in a church, the years as a Girl Scout leader, volunteering at my daughter's grade school, various clubs and organizations. Most of those have completely different people involved and sometimes I have to think a bit when I remember somebody or worse when I run in to somebody.

Who is this? Where do I know them from?  I wonder if they know what happened to so-and-so who it turns out was from a completely different time in my life. Sound familiar?

One of the eras for me was that nine years of Western History Advocates. I met so many wonderful people, many who have become steadfast friends. I met authors, actors, historians, collectors and just every day folk who are in love with the Old West. I thought I would share a few of my memories.

Bill O'Neal who has authored numerous books on Texas and Arizona. At one of the earlier meetings he commented about the magic of Tombstone and the sound of boots on the boardwalk. 
He once called me to comment on an article I wrote for the Tombstone Times. What an honor.

Allen Hatley who has a number of books about Texas history to his name. He came across as 
kind of a grouch but I'm proud to say we became friends. He has since passed away.

The members of one of the panels.
Michael M. Hickey, author, publisher and host for all these events; Lee Silva, author of two mega books about Wyatt Earp and writer for various publications; Ben T. Traywick, retired Tombstone historian and author of numerous books and articles; Terry "Ike" Clanton, relative of the famous Clantons and advocate of all things Tombstone; Steve Gatto, author. 
Tim Fattig, re-enactor in Tombstone and author of a book on Wyatt Earp and numerous articles; Bill O'Neal; Lee Zigler, author, writer and historian.
Michael M. Hickey's company published my book on the death of Ike Clanton. He has since passed away.

Marshall Trimball, Arizona Historian and author of numerous books on the state of Arizona.

Jan Deveroux and Bob Alexander. Both are authors, speakers and just plain great people.

Richard Lapidas, author; Michael M. Hickey and Terry "Ike" Clanton.

My husband and I getting in the middle of things.
Don't you just love those black suits and string ties?

Moosad Ayoob, author, gun specialist and columnist for the Handgunner magazine.

Leon Metz, much admired history author who wrote the introduction for my book and 
Jeff Richardson who has written many articles about the history of Phoenix.

Dakota Livesay, speaker and editor of the Chronicles of the Old West journal.

I still run in to many of these people or we stay in touch via phone or internet. They have meant a great deal to me and there are special memories to go with each one. 

What phases have you gone through during your life? Are you still in touch with those people? What special memories do you have of them? Write about those phases and how each one changed you.