Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book of Me, Written By You - Prompt 2 - Your Birth

I am participating in The Book of Me, Written By You project created by Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog. The concept: a series of blogging and writing prompts that help family historians capture their own memories and write about themselvesClick here for more information.
Do you have any baby photos?
I do have some baby photos. None however from when I was a very newborn baby because I was born about 2 and half months early and had to spend some time in the hospital hanging out in an incubator before being allowed to go home.

I always tell people that rather than wait until Christmas to be born I decided to come in time for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here is one to the left where I am just snoozing on Mom. Apparently that was one of my favorite places to sleep. I can totally understand that since I could usually get younger brothers, cousins and even my own kids to go to sleep like that as I was holding them. 



The one to the right is of Mom just holding me on the couch. These were taken when I was almost two months old.

Where were you born? 

I was born at the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, Utah where in fact all of my children have been born. However, the hospital is now dramatically different then it was at the time I showed up there. It is now a regional medical center. 
http://intermountainhealthcare.org/hospitals/uvrmc/about/history/Pages/home.aspx


Who was present at your birth? 

At the time that I was born you couldn't have all visitors in the delivery room so it was just various doctors and nurses that were there while Dad hung out with the other fathers-to-be in the waiting room...pacing I am sure.

Dimensions? 4 lbs. 2 oz. and 17.5 inches long

What day was it? 
Oct 15th.  It was a Thursday.  Time? 1:20 pm

Did you have hair? Eye colors? 
I had a decent amount of dark hair which over time turned fairly light and then back to dark brown as I got older and then started to disappear - or did it just go completely clear? My eyes started out dark brown until my teens and then became more hazel. My wife believes that they change colors based on what I am wearing, as they don't seem to stay a specific shade.

Are you a twin? 
No, and probably a good thing that my parents didn't have to deal with two cranky and expensive premies.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You Prompt-1

I am participating in Julie Goucher's activity:  "The Book of Me, Written by You."

This prompt is a recognized psychology test: Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?” Each time you should give yourself a different answer, and if you can easily go beyond 20 entries then that is fine too. This prompt is about how YOU see YOU.

  1. I am Bret Petersen.
  2. I am a son, husband and father.
  3. I am friendly and easy to get to know.
  4. I am happy and try to look at life positively - glass full - half water and the other half air.
  5. I am helpful to anyone that I can be helpful to.
  6. I am loyal to friends and family.
  7. I am funny and enjoy making people laugh and have a good time.
  8. I am a lover of good books
  9. I am creative in the things that I make and do (carpentry, sewing, cross-stitch, painting, etc)
  10. I am a leader who cares about people.
  11. I am a genealogy researcher seeking my family history.
  12. I am a teacher and presenter in various fields where I can help others be successful.
  13. I am a lover of animals. I have had dogs, fish, gerbils, horses and pigeons. (Not all at once)
  14. I am a fly fisher.
  15. I am a peacemaker always looking to resolve difficult situations.
  16. I am inclusionary minded. I want everyone to feel important and valued.
  17. I am a volunteer. Sometimes too much for my own good.
  18. I am a geek. I love technology, but try to use it in moderation to make my life more enjoyable.
  19. I am sentimental. I am such a softie that I tear up at the silliest things.
  20. I am excited about always improving and learning.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Workaday Wednesday...Or Not


I was recently laid off from the company where I worked for over 20 years in publishing systems and software. This has left me not only busy with a new day-to-day "job" of networking and looking for new employment, but has left me thinking about my ancestors, the jobs they performed and their work ethic.

I have had to examine where I want to go at this point in my career. Looking at their work backgrounds and goals gives me some insight into my own situation.

Dad home from work
My father had a very similar situation in his employment life when he was slightly older than me. He was successful at what he did in sales for his company, but the company was sold and things changed. It gave him the opportunity to go to work for another company in the same industry and still make use of his skills in helping the new employer grow and value him as an employee.


Gloria Newman Petersen in her 1st grade classroom.

My paternal grandmother, Gloria Petersen, found herself a young widow needing to support 5 children.  She went back to school and finished a degree in teaching and was a loved and admired school teacher until she retired.

Burnell Bybee farm store manager


My maternal grandfather, Burnell Bybee spent time in various jobs using his abilities to become anyone's "best friend" and often worked outside-the-box in being successful at what he did.



My great grandfather Ephraim Jensen loved bike racing so much as a teen that after he was laid off in 1924 from a bike shop, he decided to go into the bicycle business for himself and started his own successful bicycle repair shop.
Ephraim Jensen in his bike shop


Thomas Elliott
My great, great grandfather Thomas Elliott came to the United States in 1887 as a former English coal miner, worked his way up in business, became a lawyer, later a U.S. Commissioner and an Idaho State Senator.

And these are just a few of my ancestors with which I share a common trait. All of us want to get better at what we do and be successful in something that we enjoy.

With my former employer I was able to take my love of newspapers and journalism, along with my skills in technology, management and creativity and help them grow and become a leader in their industry.  

Now I am looking to take some of those same skills into a new arena where I hope to make a difference, help others succeed and hopefully love what I am doing. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SLIG Wrap Up and Looking to the Future

Whew! Now that I have finished my week as an attendee/resident AV Nerd for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and caught up on real life once more, I wanted to give you a final rundown on how the week ended.

In my course - Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: From New England to the Midwest (and Points in Between) with D. Joshua Taylor - we wrapped up on Friday with Josh running us through a case study using records from this time period for a family that ended up in Ohio. The fun and interesting part about this process was that as he walked us through it and came to one of those points in the research process where one might wonder where to go next, he then asked the class for input and suggestions. As members of the class shared ideas and suggestions we could learn from one another and also see if that was the direction we might have headed on our own.  It was a great learning experience. 

Next came a bit of "show-and-tell" where those that wanted to could show the rest of the class what types of things the either found or put into play while researching during the week. It was great to see how many were able to improve their research skills and think about new types of records to seek out during this time period.

I realized that here on the blog  I  never shared the other courses being held this year. I heard great things from many other attendees about each one of them. Of course it helps that some of the best-of-the-best instructors were leading each course. Here are the other courses.
  • American Research and Records: Focus on Localities (with Paula Stuart-Warren)
  • Researching Your English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register (with Apryl Cox)
  • Advanced German Research (with F. Warren Bittner)
  • Researching in Washington D.C. without Leaving Home (with Richard G. Sayre and Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • A Genealogist’s Guide to the Internet Galaxy (with Thomas MacEntee)
  • Principles of Forensic Genealogy (with Melinde Lutz Byrne)
  • Producing a Quality Family Narrative (with John Philip Colletta)
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods (with Thomas W. Jones)
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell)
  • Problem Solving (with Judith Hansen)
Later Friday evening came the banquet where the classes were announced for  2014.  I can't wait.  
The following are repeats from this year -
  • American Research and Records
  • Writing a Quality Family Narrative
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
  • Problem Solving
And these others were introduced -
  • Research in the South (with J. Mark Lowe)
  • New York Research (with Karen Mauer Green)
  • Scottish Research  (with Carolyn Barkley)
  • Advanced Research Tools: Land Records (with Richard G. Sayre and Pamela Boyer Sayre)
  • Comprehensive Photo Detecting (with Maureen Taylor)
  • Researching in Eastern Europe  (with Kory Meyerink)
  • Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both? (with Apryl Cox and Elissa Scalise Powell)