This year’s conference was held in Newport Beach, CA. I flew out to John Wayne Airport in Orange County on Thursday, Oct. 16, and for the next four days found myself in history heaven. Every year, I am absolutely convinced that it couldn’t possibly be better next year and that I made the absolute most of my time, and then I meet all these wonderful people and find myself at even greater heights of happiness.This year’s conference was fabulous! Not only did I have the opportunity to reconnect with my friends and colleagues from the Cody Papers Project and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, but also spend some time with my dear friend Peter Blodgett from the Huntington Library and the heroes from my grad school reading list. (Yes, that’s you David Wrobel, Walter Nugent, Glenn Penny, and Carl Abbott!) I also went to quite a few interesting and inspiring sessions and tried very hard (and successfully, I think), to engage in the scholarly discussions that followed. I walked away with a feeling of appreciation and admiration for my colleagues, who have welcomed me with open arms and given loads of advice and reassurance for my future scholarly endeavors. Not only did I garner enough motivation and confidence to finally send my book manuscript off to be edited for publication (Oklahoma Press is going to take me on), but I also have a very promising idea for a new book project. I am also inspired to think about a new public history project that combines elements from the digital humanities with Wyoming history and Interstate 80, which is known as a long, boring stretch of nothingness across southern Wyoming. Now I just need to find me some time to tackle all of this! 🙂
Oh yes, and I went to the beach. And to a couple of awesome restaurants with some wonderful people.