Carl Crim is not an immediate relative; he’s really not even a distant one. But I have studied his life in quite a lot of detail. And I do consider him a member of the family (i.e. the Hugh Breeding Trucking family). Wait, now I'm absolutely confused as I attempt to explain this.
Here’ some context: when I first moved to Texas from Oklahoma in 1989, my Grandpa Lyle Breeding attempted to share his life a little bit with me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as receptive as I would be now as I just had way too many other interests as the time. Right before leaving home, Grandpa pulled out a magazine from 1959 called “Petroleum and Chemical Transporter” and it had a gentleman who was a driver for the company, Carl Crim, on the cover.
Over the years as I moved numerous times, I must’ve lost that magazine. Believe me, over the last five years I’ve enlisted my family to search our house high and low looking for that magazine. And we’ve never found it…anywhere.
When I began researching my grandpa’s trucking company a couple of years ago, I searched all over for anything that had Carl Crim on it and I actually found quite a lot written about the man. Carl was the American Trucking Associations’ Driver of the Year 1959 and even got to meet then-VP Richard Nixon. Still, I could never find that magazine Grandpa had given me. I asked everyone I talked to about magazines and journals that trucking companies might subscribe to but I never came close to that magazine. That was, until last June.
As I’ve written about previously, I found a magazine called Bulk Transporter and discovered that Texas A&M had the journals going back to the 1940’s. Back then, it was actually called Petroleum and Chemical Transporter. And it was back in June that I went to the A&M library and not only found that long lost journal but that same issue had my Grandma’s picture in it in addition to Carl Crim’s story. The process of discovery is a wonderful thing when you take so long to get it. I’m sure that if I had found that journal just lying around the house, I would’ve never appreciated it near as much.
|Carl Crim's |
Driver of the Year
a picture with the
trophy was a
for me in 2012.
At the same time I was finding that journal, I was also reaching out to Carl Crim’s two daughters who lived about 5 hours from my house. Over the next couple of months, I had numerous conversations with them learning all sorts of cool stories about their dad’s fascinating life. Late in the summer, as we were returning from a family vacation and we were passing somewhat close by, we paid his two daughters a visit for lunch. As we were hoping to get home after a long vacation (you know the feeling), we only intended on staying for an hour or two before getting back out on the road. Well, you what know what they say about the best laid plans…ultimately, we stayed about 5-6 hours and they had all sorts of photos and news stories to share. We even got to take a picture with the 1959 ATA Driver of the Year trophy that is 4-feet high and was presented to Carl Crim back in 1959. For me, it was one of the best visits we had ever made in the past five years.
When we finally got home, it must’ve took me a good 3-4 months to go through all the newspaper clippings that his daughters had shared and another month or two to assemble Carl Crim’s biography for my chapter on the Hugh Breeding Trucking company. When I finished it, his part of the chapter was over 30 pages in length.
That would be a great finish to a story except that I wanted to take it a step further. When you are dealing with a real famous relative, one of the things I find interesting is trying to share that story with a broader audience. Enter Wikipedia which is the online version of the Britannica encyclopedia we used to have when we were younger.
I got my first taste of using Wikipedia back in March 2012 when I assembled my Hugh Breeding biography on Wikipedia and it was difficult. Everything in Wikipedia needs to be sourced and written in a very neutral tone. In addition, you have to insert all sorts of special codes in your write-up to place inthings such as tables and special sections. And once you get through all that, you then have to submit the article and hope that the reviewer/editor at Wikipedia will reward all that hard work by publishing the article. It is a very tiring process but well worth it. When you see (and the whole world can see) your ancestor’s life “in print,” it can be quite the exhilarating experience. My Hugh Breeding Wikipedia article can be found at the following URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Breeding.
|Carl Crim with Mickey Mantle at Yankee Stadium|
during his awards tour to New York in June 1959
After we visited with Carl Crim’s daughters back in July, I assured them that I was going to also try and assemble a Wikipedia article on his incredible life. After all, it should have been pretty easy given that so much was written about him. Of course, I had to assemble his biography for my chapter on the company and then I could work my way forward by going off the published sources to create my Wikipedia article. And I freely admit that the second time around, the Wikipedia process wasn’t near as daunting and I got through the review pretty much unscathed. It was quite the feeling to reach out to his daughters to show them the Wikipedia article on Carl Crim’s incredible life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Crim.
Before I finish up on this blog entry, I will say that even though it can be quite rewarding to get your ancestor’s names “up in lights,” it is not an easy experience – at least as I have described here. Just recently, I had another of my article ideas rejected because the editors felt my submission was too close a cousin to something that already existed and that I needed to join my content with that of the existing page. Still, even with the hiccups I have experienced, I would highly recommend Wikipedia as a medium for sharing information on a famous ancestor – provided you have decent sources to work from.