I went to TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) on Monday and Liz the Librarian had lots of great information for me. Betty, who came along as my research assistant, and I spent three hours with Liz and the cool stuff she had. She found even more documents while I was there. I was excited.
We then went over to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), but had less than an hour to go through what they had. I asked the Manuscript Librarian to pull some documents and I will be returning to Nashville on Saturday to complete my research at TSLA. It should be good weather for the drive.
I am feeling like a hound dog again - sniffing out leads. It's exhilerating! As I read through different folders of correspondence, I get a feel for the time period I am looking at. For example, I was reading through a folder of correspondence on Saturday to the Knox County highway official. The majority of people wrote to tell him their road was in bad shape. He was relatively timely in answering their complaints. One gentleman even put a P.S. as "See if you can find some tickets to the UT-Vanderbilt football game and send them my way." The official replied, "Those (tickets) are pretty hard to come by." And that was in the mid-50's! One can learn a great deal by just reading "between the lines" of some of these letters.
Even though research is time consuming and can be tedious, it is well worth the time one takes to do it. There is so much more to learn off-topic! Are you in the middle of doing research for a project? Relax! Enjoy the time you have and approach the research not as a tedious task, but as a multi-faceted learning experience. Learning, like life, is an adventure! Stay tuned . . .