* A Whole Year *
Now that we've come to the First Anniversary for Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History, there was this sudden urge to pause a minute and reflect on the last hectic year. Well, I' don't know about married to the mob, but sometimes you can feel like your married to the BLOG! And I do everything I can to get along with my new wife to keep her looking good and happy. OK, just kidding about that. Almost everything.
So, for you folks, I thought it would be nice, for a change, to share something of the special feeling I get in realizing it is a whole year and I haven't given up or gone under.
Please, indulge me long enough to explain something about what you find here.
A few days ago, I spent some time reading about improving your website, (as most bloggers do, at least occasionally, if they admit it), and found myself thinking about the reasons why I differ in the sense of writing only so often. Maybe I can manage to get a few more links for a better online presence. Please, just don't hold you breath too long. It's becoming obvious trying to better the content and accessibility of the site is a good goal for me to attempt to achieve. Writing does take time and effort and wanting my articles to contain quality, that's the best explanation, or excuse for not writing 3 or 4 times a week, and twice on Sunday.
Recently, I received an e-mail from the President of an historical society on my post of 'The Lost Cemetery and The Braddock Road'. Her compliments were high praise, and though this may not be necessary, I am only human and was really enthused and pumped by this compliment!
The truth is, I didn't actually feel that post was exactly up to snuff. The information was there, true. Maybe that it wasn't COMPLETELY finished. A little more here, something else over here, that kind of thing. BUT, I liked it, you know? To my way of looking at it, the time had come for this post and, regardless, it is published, for better or worse. Once that sinks in, I don't worry about it. Not too much, anyway. I can't really afford to pace and bite my mental nails, and fret; I simply go on to the next one and stress about something else. A well needed philosophy which certainly helps keep my head clearer and closely focused to what I am doing next, is to take it easy now and again. Keeping a healthy perspective about the course of the whole website in general, and whatever works best, that's what matters.
I feel the passion to pool resources for a touch of old fashioned quality and meaningful content, so I do limit my viewership to some minor extent. It isn't on purpose.
What It Is and What It's Not
At the same time, the inspiration received here is truly phenomenal for me. To be able to watch how it develops and takes form from the inside out is actually an exciting and fun experience. Let's hope the aspect of my lengthy posts, (also not particularly popular from a "professional blog" standpoint), matter to serious viewers. The freedom to write in your own way is so important, it couldn't be stressed too much. There's THAT word again... oops.
A million hits and broad recognition would be fantastic, that's just not the main goal here. This isn't the most brilliant and scholarly site on the internet. The end all is entering in to the wonder of the past; the achievements and glories of what we were and what led to our current reality. When you leave here, take a piece of it along with you. Don't store it away. Pass it on so others less fortunate, challenged by syntax and grammar, maybe not able to physically get online, or blissfully unaware of our tales, can be a part of our area's historical significance.
Those that want to use something, or borrow a photo or two, please let me know and I'll do what I can to cooperate and further your cause.
This might not be the most gregarious place, with jokes, weird news and established nonsense, I grant you that. But there are worse. Aloofness, sterility and cold facts isn't a prerogative, either. In fact, attitudes approaching pettiness have no home here, no welcome mat, for that stuff the lights are all out, no room at the inn, so, go away, GET!, (not meaning you, NO, stick around! lol). Seriously, any interaction is well received and does really hold much meaning for me too, up to the limiting sphere of abuse and vulgarity; no need to go there.
If you ever wish to make the 'Admin' happy and keep a big smile going on my worn face, well you know what to do! Give me a small jolt of energy. So do allow your impression to be made known. Your ideas are worthwhile.
Advise, I could sure use some!
Criticism, I probably deserve some of it.
Question, what else do you want to see or read?
Take a moment and let your ideas and your own knowledge be heard, just... in finding a quiet moment to respond. That is all I have asked for in return. In reality, of course, you don't have to, that's fine, that's your choice. It's all good.
Frankly, Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History is suppose to be what it says it is, so I'll get right back on the horse real soon. This isn't brain surgery, it's about mysterious roads and old buildings; it's about people and places, but revealing the wonderful, (yes I used that word, I won't change that), heritage and internal fortitude of our struggling ancestors ways of life. With as much effect as I can muster to pass it on in a form legible using a fair amount of detail and hoping the key ingredients shine through.
Perceptions And Outlook
Then again, this is cleary not exactly meant for dummies. What I mean is, the general point is communicating valuable material for a discerning public who genuinely require meat and potatoes. You can think on your feet, right? Good, just as I figured. Let's hope your one of those who are on the lookout for a signpost, but not to the twilight zone. Or the elegant world of fashion conscious models, Hollywood, rap music, the next violent video game, (I do play a few now and then), and the needs of the shallow and the superficial; (yep, you read that right). Someone who doesn't expect tons of cheap thrills and fancy logos, amazing layouts, and bright flashing thingies, or expensive add ons, or whatever the case may be, that take a crew of dedicated experienced webmasters to convey it all in a neat perfect package. That may have it's purpose, don't get me wrong, it just isn't everything. And it's more than I want to convey, or have the resources for. Psst, there's better stuff around here, don't you agree?
NO, some things you just KNOW. Many on the internet, and most visitors here, maybe especially including those of foreign lands, are definitely a fairly intelligent, perceptive crowd. You folks are well aware of what you are searching for and I believe those that care about the region and those that are genuinely interested in having early knowledge of the area with, at least, a modicum of wisdom thrown in, which tends to go hand in hand, succeed at this Quest and they find it.
Those that are just passing through, or only curious, you are very welcome to spend time here as well. What you do is surely your business, and your visits are appreciated. Many will soon learn something of our history and something of the background of southwestern PA, and might some day visit the area and experience it first hand. That feedback is what oils the cogs and truly gets me set for another year of posts.
Honestly, I enjoy social skills, and interaction immensely, or I would hardly be doing this, now, would I? It is hardly about me, it only concerns the information. Having said this, I am adding more for another chapter on Relatives and Ancestors soon. Well, this seems to be a popular subject and there is much to convey which I feel is meaningful, beyond the familial confines. The fact is obvious, in what this post was getting at originally, that these articles on local and regional history are meant to be insightful and fairly original in content. I hope I am successful in this goal.
The aim is to get the idea across fairly accurately. Yes, sometimes I digress a bit, but I want this to be an educational and entertaining experience for you, or otherwise, I wouldn't do it. I would just stick with a journal of my ideas and opinions.
Some Fun Graphics
Here, on to the anniversary of the website, I do want to demonstrate the upside with a few fun graphics with credit for the images going straight to Google.
|some recent Page Views and lucky sevens|
|Recent Audience statistics|
A Technical Paragraph
Granted, link building, SEO, design and generating traffic, all are extremely important in a blog, whether about history, or otherwise. I wish there was more free time to pursue each of these. These factors need to be improved and upgraded. I promise to try harder. That hasn't been discussed often, and you might guess the reason for it. Maybe those aspects of a website go with the territory and aren't required viewing.
In the last few months the site has delved into further research on the Braddock Road and the Turkey Foot Road in this neck of the woods and other possibilities. Valuable time was involved and delayed a few posts, but this was important to our history and well worth it. Many people are not aware how closely these roads were laid through this region as they appear to of crossed near Pennsville and how prominent they were in settling our hamlets and towns. My theory has been presented in some detail toward the indications of the meeting of ancient roads before arriving near Mount Pleasant. The field work of Jeff Hann in Bullskin township was covered and this is still ongoing. The old stone bridge discovery was a surreal and fascinating experience for me. I am still checking this place for further clues.
As you discover these posts you can share in some of the excitement I felt when the website was referenced in the Mount Pleasant Journal. Eventually I plan on a post on Indian localities in Westmoreland and Fayette counties, one on historic Fort Ligonier and some forgotten toll houses. Info on the origin of the counties of southwestern Pennsylvania will be related and what material I have been gathering on one Captain Jacobs. A report on Norvelt, the beginnings of the region's professional sports teams, and an addition to the Connellsville post about South Connellsville too. There will also be a few relevant surprises and a whole lot more besides in the coming months!
A Word Of Thanks
I won't take up much more of your valuable minutes. Just a casual thank you for your awareness and patronage. As things progress, it was well worth it. I don't mean to come off like Mr. Rodgers, but hey, I have done a post on him!
All of you that contribute in any way, the blog is what it is, what it was, and what it will be. Any service you provide is meaningful. Things aren't planned to be less important. Far from it. For the rest of you, young and old, keep returning for more and come in from a troubling world; for a while.
Believe me, there are quite a bunch more subjects of old lost places to discover in the months ahead. And there will be some real surprises too! You'll see.
The Holidays are on the threshold again. I'll see you all long before the next one. Here's to all our veterans, and a moment of silence for those heroes that are under the sod, too. We wouldn't have a United States of America without them. Take care and have a Happy and prosperous New Year !