Saturday, April 9, 2011

H: Historian

That’s my dad, James Frazier. He was born in Missouri and grew up in southwest Kansas, which is where he met my mom. After graduating from Kansas State University with a B.A. in History, he moved to Colorado to attend the University of Denver. At DU, he got his M.A. in History, with an emphasis on Colorado History. He worked for the State Historical Society in Denver for 4 years before accepting a job teaching History at CSU. That’s how he and my mom ended up in Fort Collins.

In one of life’s ironies, my dad didn’t have the opportunity to make a lot of history of his own. Plagued by chronic ill health, he died at the age of thirty-nine. I was eight at the time, so I didn’t have the chance to build much father-daughter history, either. But I’ll always remember my dad’s love of the west and how he was such a great storyteller. And writer. At the time of his death, he was working on his doctoral dissertation about businessman and railroad entrepreneur William Austin Hamilton Loveland, for whom the town of Loveland and Loveland Pass are named.

I took a couple of history courses, including Colorado History, at CSU, but I didn’t exactly follow in my dad’s academic footsteps. But I’ve always loved to write, which comes to me through my dad and mom in equal measure. I started this blog because I thought it sounded like a fun project that would strengthen my connection with this community and help build my platform as a writer. What I didn’t anticipate was how it would also reconnect me with not only the history of my hometown but with my personal history, as well.

I think about my dad a lot when I’m out and about, (re)discovering Fort Collins. Maybe I am following in his footsteps a little bit, after all.

4 comments:

April Moore said...

Beautiful post. Even if he didn't make a lot of his own history, he left quite a legacy it sounds like.
My dad was also a great writer so I like to think that's where I got my love for the craft.

Empty Nest Insider said...

A very nice tribute to your dad. So sorry that you lost him at such a young age. I'm sure he's proud of you for reaching out to him in your writing. Looking forward to visiting you again. Julie

Anonymous said...

Neat! Yes, I have been so interested in reading about the history of Fort Collins on your blog (especially that darn mammoth story)! I bet your dad would have loved following your blog as well. What a nice way to honor your father.

MJohnston

Jenny said...

Thanks for the nice comments! Sorry again about that mammoth story, Marcie :-)