January 29, 2011: Barry Cauchon
My good friends Ed and Mary Beth Isaacs have been tracking the progress of my blog hit counter over the past few days as they anxiously waited for it to reach the 500,000 hit mark. Because I have been so busy at work, I haven’t been able to keep an eye on it myself and they were gracious enough to offer. I can’t thank them enough. At 8:59 p.m. last night on Friday, January 28, 2011, the momentous occasion occurred.
Half a million people have clicked their mouses at least once on this blog since May of 2008 and all I can say is “Wow. I’m touched. I’m amazed. I’m humbled.
For those of you who personally know me, you will understand that I speak from the heart when I say, “I really am overwhelmed”! I started writing this little blog about three years ago just to share my love of history with others. I had no motive other than to see if I could connect with similar-minded individuals and students who were interested in the same subjects as I. I had no idea where this would take me. Yes folks, this is the “feel good” story of the year, so read on…lol.
In the course of this blog’s life, I have met researchers, writers, scholars, historians, museum curators, war veterans, authors, film makers, directors, actors, legislators, politicians, history buffs, teachers and students… just to name a few. However, I have also met, and have been befriended by, many wonderful people just wanting to offer their personal family stories to me. Some have become good friends. My life has been enriched by them and the experiences they’ve allowed me to share in. Their persistent and unfaltering encouragement has also kept me moving forward on my projects when there were days I felt like I didn’t have anything left to give. For that, I am truly blessed.
This year, two important things will occur for me. John Elliott (my writing partner) and I will complete and publish our book on the Arsenal Penitentiary called “Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators. As well, we will present our work publicly for the first time to our peers and conference attendees at the Surratt Society 12th Annual Assassination Conference in March. I will meet many of my new-found friends at the conference (some of whom I’ve never had the pleasure to meet in person). I am truly looking forward to it.
After those two milestones are met, I have other goals that I hope to begin working on in the latter half of 2011.
The first will be to get back to posting new articles on this blog. As many of you have noticed, 2010 and 2011 really saw a decline in my output. That is because writing a book, and working for a living, took a lot of my limited time. So expect to see new articles, and perhaps, even a change in how I present the work, sometime after March when things should start to free up a bit. I may even refresh the look of the blog…just thinking out loud here.
The second will be to start working with students and educational institutions again. I love speaking to students and sharing historically based information that is not always found in the curriculum. This year I want to visit more schools and meet more students and their teachers. I suppose it is my way of ‘giving back’ but I also enjoy the experience very much. Education is very important to me. If I can play a small part in helping even one student succeed, then I plan to make that a priority in my goals of the future.
Again, thank you all for your support and friendship. I look forward to moving ahead in the coming months and sharing more interesting history with you.