Two years ago today, I began this blog. As I recounted in the one year anniversary post last year, I started it to chronicle my summer at Preservation Institute: Nantucket, along with my other preservation-related travels and interests.
Last year at this time, I was preparing for my internship at a cultural resources management company based near Atlanta. I did a lot of interesting things there such as explore an abandoned youth detention center outside Atlanta, tour Cold War-era nuclear weapon storage facilities in Kentucky, and do research in the impressive new Mississippi state archives in Jackson. I begrudgingly returned home to Florida in August (after taking a brief, but memorable, detour to New Orleans).
Once home, I quickly found another CRM job in Tampa, but I didn’t start working until Nov. 1. For that job, I learned more than anyone needs to know about Florida cattle ranching, completed an architectural survey of Bal Harbour, and researched the last historic freight train depot in Tampa. Unfortunately, I was laid off in February. Apparently, I was hired to work on the proposed high-speed line between Tampa and Orlando, and when Florida’s new governor rejected federal funding for the long planned, bipartisan project, my job went with it.
Today, I’m not working in preservation, but I do hope to get back into the field soon. I have realized that CRM is not for me. I have also come to terms with the fact that I’ll never become a preservation carpenter. But that still leaves me with a lot of career paths in the field, and I hope to be well on my way with one of them when I write about myself again next year at this time.
Since it started, this blog has received 6,409 visits, but about 75 of those were me by accident. That means I have received almost 4,000 hits in the past year. My busiest day was April 19, with 84 hits. But I think I was recommended by some strange search engines that day. My best month was April, when I had 632 hits.
Lido Shores, National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference, and Gainesville’s Chert Houses, all three written in this blog’s first year, were the most popular posts in the past year. The most popular entry written in the past year was Cocoon House, one of my many posts on the Sarasota School of Architecture. Speaking of, my thesis entry received 73 hits and the link to my thesis was clicked 18 times, which is 17 more than I expected.
I admit, the quality of my entries dropped off last summer, but I’m happy with most of what I have written. I’m proudest of my entries Lowcountry Church Ruins and Tampa’s Cigar Factories Part 1. Those two put me into somewhat dangerous situations, as did my trip to the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans (I believe that entry also contains my best photos of the past year).
But by far the scariest situation I was in this year came when I visited the Miami Marine Stadium. The property was gated off and no trespassing signs warned that violators would be jailed, but that didn’t seem to stop people, including myself. Upon my exit, my heart started pounding when I saw a police car waiting on the perimeter of the property. I stalled around for a bit, and I was able to drive past without being stopped, but a trip to Miami city jail seemed imminent.
Over the next year, I intend to write two entries a month, starting with this month. I have trips planned to Chicago, New York, and probably South Carolina yet again, so stay tuned for posts on those.
Thanks for reading.