We are 1 day away from 2020! While I feel sort of bad for disappointing the 1980s and not owning a flying car or living in a silver lame jumpsuit by this point, I feel like 2019 was fairly successful nonetheless. 2019 marked my first full year of blogging (my 2018 blogging year began in August) and I sort of can’t believe it. I am so thankful for the fun creative outlet that blogging has given me and the awesome people I’ve met along the way!

First for some 2019 superlatives and stats:

# of Posts Published in 2019: 112  (was 36 in 2018)

# of Bloggers Who Followed Hollywood Genes: 96 (was 25 in 2018) – Thank you for  giving me a chance, 96! Thank you for sticking with me, 25!

# of Bloggers Who I Followed: 101 (21 in 2018)

Hollywood Genes’ Most Liked Post: Jeff Goldblum and the Grand Budapest Hotel. This was written for the Jeff Goldblum blogathon (hosted by Gill at Realweegiemidget Reviews and Emma K. Wall at Emma Wall Explains it Alland topped the list with 13 likes. I don’t take too much credit for this; who doesn’t love Jeff Goldblum?

Hollywood Genes’ Most Commented On Post: Disregarding ping backs, the post with the most actual comments would be The Abusive Power of Nicholas Van Ryn, which details my love for the villain of Dragonwyck, played expertly by Vincent Price. This was written for the The Great Villain Blogathon, hosted by Shadows and Satin, Speakeasy, and Silver Screenings. It topped the list with 23 comments.

My Most Researched Post of 2019: I did spend quite a lot of time on the two-part post about Sonny Vaccaro and Pat DiCesare, two friends my mom knew growing up, who each became American icons in their own right and in completely separate mediums. Their stories still blow my mind: Pat DiCesare & Sonny Vaccaro, Part 1: Pals, Parallels, and Trafford, PA. and Pat DiCesare & Sonny Vaccaro, Part 2: Becoming American Icons

My Personal Favorite Hollywood Genes Post from 2019: So far I have really enjoyed this Old Hollywood Best Picture Challenge and the posts that have come out of it. It’s a great excuse to watch films that I may not have otherwise, but are historically considered important. It feels almost educational, but incredibly fun!

In terms of individual posts, it would have to be Wonderful and Strange: A Love Letter to Twin Peaks, a tribute to my favorite television show and why it not only changed television as we know it, but served as a connecting thread between me and my dad.

 

Other Blog Related Accomplishments in 2019: 

  • I gave my blog a new name (Fading, but Not Forgotten to Hollywood Genes) and a face lift.
  • I participated in my first blogathon.
  • In July, I hosted my first joint month-long blogathon and film challenge. It was quite an endeavor, but when I get excited about something it’s go big or go home. Still, I think I’ll go more traditional for my next hosted blogathon and just make it a 3 day affair!
  • I was also nominated for 2 Sunshine blogger awards and 1 Liebster award (thank you Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews, Paul from Silver Screen Classics, and Michael & Andrew from Maniacs and Monsters!!), though I still haven’t officially accepted 2 of them, as my response posts are still in the works (I wrote about 90% of each, but lost the work when my computer restarted and the autosave failed- I just haven’t had the energy yet to re-write them), it is something I plan on doing and greatly appreciate the honor given to me by these fantastic folk!
  • I began a few new series, including Fine Young Scholars, which focuses on the education of a specific family member each post; the Hollywood/Genes Crossover Interview Series where I interview fellow genealogy and old Hollywood film buffs; and the Old Hollywood Best Picture Challenge, where I watch & review every best picture Academy Award nominee between 1927-1969.
  • I made some really great new blogging pals! I’m very lucky to have your friendship & support and I thank you (if you are reading this, this means you!)

Classic Film Biographies and Genealogy Related Books I Read in 2019:

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Classic Film Biographies and Genealogy Related Books I Started in 2019 (and Intend to Finish in 2020!):

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Finally, what’s a New Years post without some resolutions? First, let’s go back a year and see how much I accomplished this year. Second, let’s see what my goals are for 2020:

How I Did on my Genealogy-Based New Years Resolutions for 2019:

  1. Join the DAR. UNCHECK. Though I did contact someone from the DAR and start the process, I bailed after learning how steep the membership fee was. I’m still filing it away as a possibility for the future…
  2. Research and maybe join other genealogical societies. I did research an Italian-American genealogy group and a local genealogy group, but have yet to go to a meeting or apply for membership (again, these fees!).
  3. Attend a genealogy conference. CHECK! I did attend the FGS conference back in August. It was a heck of a lot of fun and something I’d like to do again.
  4. Break down my 2nd huge brick wall: Find out the identity of my great-grandmother Atelina “Atela” Scimia’s 2 mystery sisters who remained in Italy. Deja-vu… UNCHECK. I tried, but made no real progress in this area. The brick wall still stands.
  5. Connect with more living cousins. CHECK! I actually connected with several through this blog and on Facebook and enjoyed some very lovely conversations.
  6. Order a copy of my maternal grandparents’ divorce record. UNCHECK. Pure laziness prevented this one. I’m really not sure why I didn’t just get this done.
  7. Take a trip to Utah and visit the Family History Library. UNCHECK. I’m hoping to remedy this soon, though. A cousin of mine lives fairly close to the Family History Library and I’m hoping to make a family trip to go out and visit her sometime in 2020.
  8. Visit the Hans Herr house + at least 1 county museum, library, and/or landmark related to my family. CHECK/UNCHECK. I did visit the Hans Herr house and it was incredible! I have not visited any other landmarks or libraries, though after an FGS session about academic libraries, I am pretty jazzed to go visit one.
  9. Complete the DiBagno family genealogy book that I am working on. UNCHECK. This is still a work in progress.
  10. Start a Mihalovich family genealogy book… CHECK. I did start writing this, though I have a long way to go…

How I Did on my Old Hollywood-Based New Years Resolutions for 2019: 

  1. Write (at least) 10 more posts in the Wampas Baby series. UNCHECK. I completely failed on this count. I did start a couple, but have yet to finish even one.
  2. Watch (at least) 12 classic movies that I have never seen before. CHECK! To see which ones I watched, click here. It’s more than 12!
  3. Read (at least) 12 new classic movie star biographies. UNCHECK. Though I probably purchased this many, I have yet to read them all.
  4. Continue writing the book I am working on… UNCHECK. This went on the back burner, but I’d like to pick it up again sometime…

 

NEW Genealogy & Old Hollywood-Based Resolutions for 2020:

  1. Attend a meeting of the local Italian-American genealogy group. They meet quarterly so I’m hoping to attend the next one that comes around.
  2. Order a copy of my maternal grandparents’ divorce record. (I think I’ll give this one another go). 
  3. Take a trip to Utah and visit the Family History Library. (Ditto)
  4. Visit an academic library.
  5. Make a research trip to the National Archives.
  6. Write at least 10 more posts in the Wampas Baby series.
  7. Read (at least) 12 new classic movie star biographies.
  8. Watch & review (at least) 50 more classic films in the Old Hollywood Best Picture Challenge list.
  9. Host (or co-host) a blogathon.

 

I can’t wait for 2020! Happy New Year everyone!

-Zoe