Once I had the letter finished and everything documented, the weight of what I was about to undertake started sinking in.
On normal 8x11" paper, single-spaced, the Scroll comes out to about 88 pages and over 47,000 words. By comparison, The Great Gatsby is about 50,000 words in length and my present copy (in book form) is exactly 180 pages long.
From that, some 150 names were pulled, over 40 different locations, some which exist, some haven't for decades. There was also the historical aspect of the time to consider. From where I was able to start transcribing because of deterioration, my grandmother starts March 9, 1945, and finished around April 23, 1945. There are small pockets of time which are unaccounted for, but for the most part she was consistent. She may not have written a whole lot on a given day if there wasn't much to talk about, or considerably more if there was.
In my early research however, there were two important historical points which occurred the same day.
1.) The United States began their three-day firebombing of Tokyo on March 9, 1945, and she never mentions it, so I can't confirm the public was informed.
2.) 66 years later, on March 9, 2011, at exactly 2:46 p.m. her great-grandson (a.k.a. my son) Daniel Erik was born.
In realizing little historical quirks like that, as well as the progression of the war in both Europe and the Pacific by that time, I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to turn this massive amalgamation into a book?
And even if I did, how was I going to put it all together from the other side of the continent?
So I've gotten in touch with the Winchendon Historical Society, and mined as much information from my parents and relatives as I could. I've also started trying to track down Gramps's Naval record from his time in the SeaBees, but that looks like it will be tough slogging for right now.
Also, thanks to the economy, I have to come up with money to get the research done, which I don't have, so I'm in the process of assembling a Kickstarter campaign to see how it pans out.
I'll have more on that in the next few days, but for right now, the emphasis has been on getting this website up and running, and looking halfway decent for the short term at least.