Theme Reveal – Endwell: My High School Years #AtoZChallenge 2023

When the annual A to Z Challenge begins on April 1, 2023, Molly’s Canopy will participate for the fifth time in the month-long blogging marathon. My theme this year is Endwell: My High School Years — including a smattering of family history.

In 2017, I blogged about Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont Childhood, where my genealogy journey began in my family’s Albany County farmhouse — sharing stories about my earliest sense of family and relatives.

In 2020, during the COVID lockdown, I returned to my childhood in Endwell: My Elementary Years to explore how my interest in family, ancestors and heritage germinated once my family moved to the suburbs circa 1957.

In 2021, I revisited my early adolescence in Endwell: My Early Teen Years as I came of age in the early 1960s – amid rock concerts, world events and memorable visits to family.

In 2023, I’ll chronicle my late adolescence in Endwell: My High School Years – rolling out the next chapter of my own story from A to Z at one letter per day (minus a few Sundays) throughout April.

Many thanks to former high school classmates who helped refresh my memory of events we participated in together. And heartfelt gratitude to my late mom, Peg (Laurence) Charboneau, who saved many high school documents in my “baby box,” so I still have them for reference.

The Sixties bring a new outlook

Although the geographic setting is the same, my perspective changed as the rebellious Sixties unfolded – and with it came a new, activist outlook that would carry me into young adulthood.

My inspiration: Genealogy bloggers who wrote about their own lives during previous challenges.
The rationale: We spend so much time searching for our ancestors and telling their stories that we forget to tell our own. As family historians we owe it to posterity to include ourselves in the mix.
The impetus: Not getting any younger, so there is no time to waste in getting these stories out there.

Leaving a historical diary

Have you ever wished your ancestors had left letters or a diary — some tangible record in their own voice? I know I have, and I don’t want to be guilty of the same omission. So, I intend to tell the next part of my own story during this year’s #AtoZChallenge.

My plan is to blog about my late teens in Endwell, N.Y. — the Broome County suburb where I grew up with my parents, two younger brothers and two younger sisters. Here and there, I’ll also examine how my heritage quest intersected with my teen years.

Time & Setting: Late 1960s in a small suburban community west of Binghamton, N.Y.
Backdrop: Maine-Endwell Senior High and the other youth gathering places that became my social, academic and political focus in my late teens — plus a couple of road trips.
Players: Me; my immediate and extended family; neighbors, friends, classmates, and other like-minded teens.

Please take a seat and get comfortable. On April 1 the curtain rises on Endwell: My High School Years.  See you then!

Meanwhile, please take a moment to visit this week’s other intrepid Sepia Saturday bloggers.

© 2023 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

36 thoughts on “Theme Reveal – Endwell: My High School Years #AtoZChallenge 2023”

  1. I can’t wait to see how our stories unfold in April. Good luck and godspeed as you embark on another A-Z challenge!

  2. I’ve followed the previous posts, tracing your younger years. Sooo looking forward to reading about the teen years which is when life really starts. 🙂


    1. Yes, these challenges can be daunting…but I find that they help focus me to get some writing done. Hope you’ll stop back during April. Comments keep me going!

  3. Will be fun to follow you! My problem is I have drawers worth of diaries I’ve kept since the early ’80s plus I’ve written way too much in each one of them. I almost pity any future relatives who think they might want to try ploughing through them. Oh well.

  4. I look forward to reading the next chapter in your life story. I had toyed with the idea of doing 1960, plus some other 1960s events in my life. I enjoyed 1950 last year and I’m not sure if I’ll still be around and still blogging in 12 more years so I thought, since I remember what was happening in my family in 1960, I’d do it now.
    You’ve inspired me! Now I guess I better get going.

    1. Yay! I was hoping you would participate this year. Look forward to your posts, especially as we are writing about the same time period. See you in April!

  5. I so agree with you about recording our own life as a picture for future generations. I began by setting up a new blog Journal Jottings, but I found a public site rather restrictive , and now write a journal Random Ramblings (you can tell I like alliteration). Hopefully some descendant may discover it and find it a fascinating account of life in the past.

    1. It’s a great idea in whatever format. Now that we’ve moved from paper to digital, it’s good to plan for posterity. See you in April!

  6. Fun theme, and I’m looking forward to your posts. And I like the idea that you’re leaving information for other genealogical researchers to treasure.

  7. I look forward to following your alphabet challenge. I might be able to find a few letter matches from my high school years but quite a lot of my memories are such a blur now that I don’t know how truthful they would be! Make sure to keep us Sepians informed of your progress.

    1. Thanks, Mike. You could do musical instruments from A to Z if you want to join the challenge. I will definitely send the Sepians my Saturday posts.

  8. Fun theme! I’m doing a Childhood Flashbacks theme this year. I’d considered doing Childhood Memories as theme at one point and also considered The 1980s as a theme, but decide to combine them as one since the 80s was when I grew up. Looking forward to seeing your high school memories!

  9. Having lived in the Binghamton area for some 35 years now (originally from New York City), I am looking forward to another look into your earlier life. I’m still trying to decide if I will participate in A to Z by blogging this year (I’ll decide Tuesday) but I definitely will be reading some of the blogs, including yours.

    1. Hi Alana! Glad you’ll be stopping by Molly’s Canopy during A to Z 2023. I hope you decide to join in — it’s always great when we veterans take part 🙂 And I enjoy your Southern Tier posts.

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