A Fond Farewell

Steven here once more to sum-up the final day of OHA @ OKC! Before I do however I want to thank the entire OHR Editorial team for allowing me to invade their somewhat-personal space both on Twitter and this blog for the past few days. It was a pleasure working with Kathy, Troy, David, Doug and Jen at the conference. They were very gracious hosts and hopefully the relationships forged this past week will be enhanced by the many annual meetings to come. In addition, a special shout-out to the real OHR Editorial Assistant Caitlin for providing the behind-the-scenes support needed to pull this all off!

Sunday saw the final panels of the annual conference at Oklahoma City, OK, in addition to the breakfast business meeting. During the meal OHA Executive Director Cliff Kuhn reported on the stability of the organization and the plans for next year’s meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, the various committee chairs submitted reports, and in general a discussion on the need for greater online participation in elections was held. The highlight of the meeting however was not the transition of presidential leadership from Mary Larson to Stephen Sloan as some *cough* might have you believe. Instead it was the presentation to Mary by Stephen of a special token of appreciation for her tireless efforts the past two years at the helm of the OHA. Congratulations and thank you Mary!

As I mentioned earlier however, there were still several great panel presentations Sunday morning. My choice was Myth, Memory and Metal: New Oral Histories of the U.S. Military. Having just finished working on a WWII-themed project myself, it was interesting to me to listen to other historians speak to how best to approach this category of interviewees.

After the final session it was wonderful to see so many now-familiar faces in the hotel lobby still engaged in discussions and well-wishing. Of the many positives on this new experience of mine, the openness and collegiality of the attendees at the OKC annual meeting was by far the greatest takeaway. I was made to feel like part of the family, and because of this, I haven’t the slightest trepidation about venturing forth to the next conference in Madison. In fact I’m so excited I have seven devised seven distinct panel ideas already! (not kidding…)

So thanks again to all those I worked with, presented beside or came to know during OHA @ OKC, and I hope to see you all next year!