I doubt this is the blog post those of you who have visited my site regularly expected. Believe me, I wish I wasn’t doing this.
But I really have no choice. Or at least, this is the least objectionable choice.
When I first started this blog in February, I did so with the idea that if I couldn’t give it the effort it deserved I would pull the plug. I didn’t want this to become a “what I had for breakfast” exercise in egotism. I wanted it to have gravitas. I wanted to make a contribution.
To quit in the middle of a series might seem (as it does to me) a form of laziness. But in the end it is the symptom of a greater illness. To do the life of anyone justice, it requires at a bare minimum that one familiarize themselves with the work that person has done. When I wrote a small snippet on the life of James G. Randall, I had read most of Randall’s work (some of it over 20 years ago) to the point that I felt comfortable with it.
With the work of Bell Irvin Wiley, I was going to have to read things I’ve never read, and the truth of the matter is I just don’t have the time. To admit that while ending a week of vacation is doubly painful. Now I know what people who have retired mean when they say they don’t have enough time to relax. When you have all the time in the world, you have none of the time in the world, especially if you have a long list of things to accomplish.
What I’ve got to say in this blog isn’t that important that it will be missed. While I appreciate the kind comments I’ve received, something continues to gnaw at me.
That something is a voice telling me that since I started this, I haven’t worked on my biography of Everton J. Conger in any serious way. I’ve got a pile of library books at the left side of my desk that need to be gone through, with notes taken from them, so others can have access to them. I have a ton of material that I’ve accumulated that needs to be gone through to see if anything of value can be found.
In short, I’ve got to place my priority where it needs to be. I’ve got to make writing Conger’s life story my main mission. Nothing else matters. Especially this.
I plan to keep the blog active, and I’m not saying I’ll never post again. But as Robert Ferrell once told me to sell my television if I wanted to be a historian, I need to jettison every other thing that could stand in the way of what I have to do. If stopping work on this blog is the price to pay for that, it is a small price indeed.
To those of you who have visited this site (2,111 as of today), I appreciate your willingness to do so. I hope there’s something left here that might be of value, although I doubt the pre-teen girls who typed into Google “how to impress a boy” expected to find a blog talking about an obscure Civil War soldier. Maybe it helped them, especially if that boy they were trying to impress is a Civil War nut.
Hopefully, when I finish working on Conger’s life story, those of you who have been impressed with my work will want to spend a few bucks to find out what happened. At that point, the 13 years (and counting) I’ve spent with Conger will have made some sense.