Excavation unearths many interesting things depending upon where you look. You enter a realm of time past and bring objects and detritus into the present. Surprises are in store! It is a kind of quasi-historical endeavor as it brings to light ways of life that have gone before. This is an activity I relish. You never know what you will find, but if you dig enough and spread yourself over a big enough territory, you get the makings of some pretty unique displays. Urban archeology, anyone?
Yes, displays. Some of the things you might find would fill a museum of life, a tribute to practical ways and mores of your region. Think of old egg beaters and toasters of early 20th century design; think of old style pressure cookers, can openers, blenders, and juicers. Any items that have been transformed by time and have become nostalgic memories. I personally find this fascinating. I would designate a building downtown on Main Street for my cause. Surely an abandoned space would be the perfect match. Some of you might balk at the idea, thinking “this is no museum,” but what is the definition after all.
A museum, according to an online dictionary, is an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value; a place where objects are exhibited. I see it as a repository for my “junk” relics that may well stand the test of time. Who doesn’t want a glimpse at what came before?
To make it more legitimate and authentic, I would group the displays into categories and accompany the items – whether kitchen or bathroom items, personal care objects, and tools and implements. People would see how and where they were used and stored. If I wanted a really comprehensive collection, I could no doubt find fill-in pieces on eBay.
The best part would be to charge a small admission and also ask for donations. The money would go for building restoration in order of need and importance. We all know that the town cries out for help, and -this could draw attention to the on-going project.
The cost to run the museum would be minimal. I would get the city to “loan” or lease the abandoned building at $1/per year. Volunteers would greet visitors and help assemble exhibits. With the right press, people would know about the efforts and jump in to support the cause. Hopefully, they would find and donate items of their own. It could grow exponentially with satellite museums placed strategically around town!
Revitalizing one’s town is a sacred cause for me and one I hope will rub off on others who read this blog. Meanwhile, I hope to amuse and tantalize you with stories and information that will keep you coming back. A project as enormous as the one I envision takes a lot of talent; it takes a village. But it must, in fact, be done. I cannot sit back and watch deterioration takes its toll. It is time to sit up and take notice, and action, of needed renovation and restoration.