The following is a guest post from Elizabeth Partridge, Magazine Publications Coordinator at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). For more than a decade, Hammock has proudly partnered with DAR to publish American Spirit magazine and Daughters newsletter. This post first appeared on the Today’s DAR blog

Documentation is such an important aspect of obtaining DAR membership, and many older records required for admission into the organization may be difficult to read, require extensive preservation or may even be lost or missing. With that in mind, the January/February 2017 issue of American Spirit features stories that spotlight the importance of historical documents and resources and also highlights the work of archivists who preserve and protect them.

Our cover story, “The Art of Early American Handwriting,” details the history of early American script and offers a few tricks to decode historical handwriting. The most important rule? Don’t assume anything! A feature on the War of 1812 Pensions shows how these vital records provide a direct link to the past and what several organizations including Ancestry.com, the National Archives and Fold3 are doing to help preserve and digitize them.

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From Hammock editor Bill Hudgins:
Serendipity: finding something unexpected and useful while searching for something else. One of my favorite words, it sounds like it belongs in an Ogden Nash poem. Im especially fond of it now, as a chance story assignment for a client has given me a new lease on life.
Back in summer 2005, I wrote a newsletter article for one of our clients, StoneCrest Medical Center, about a new procedure that uses a CT scanner to measure the amount of calcium in your hearts arteries  basically, how much, if any, hardening of the arteries you have. This in turn can indicate how likely you are to have potentially nasty clogs in your pipes.
Cool, I thought. Im over 50, have regular checkups, and I try to exercise and eat right, but my family has some heart disease history. Can’t hurt to get one. I live near another TriStar Hospital that offers the test and took it there. Took 10 minutes  less time than registering  and I didn’t have to skip breakfast or even put on a hospital gown.
The results were not what I expected. Instead of clean plumbing, the test ranked me in the low end of moderate hardening in a couple of spots. My doctor recommended a cardiac stress test to find out precisely what was happening in there.
Aside from having to postpone breakfast and that all-important first cup of java for several hours, the test was not bad. All my Stairmastering made the 12 minutes on a treadmill pretty easy. The cardiologist was encouraging but said the many photos they took of my ticker before and after would tell the tale. Just in case it came out bad, afterwards I indulged in a fair number of foods that might soon be off-limits.
This story has a happy ending. The stress test was negative, which is positive news. I still have to do what I can to keep the hardening at bay. But I can quit worrying about this and go back to a more immediate threat to my health: my daily commute on I-65.
I can only hope that the article that I wrote for our client’s newsletter will help someone else.