Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blog mania

Ah, I remember that time long ago when I had no idea what a blog was. Now I manage four! Hopefully I can keep them straight and don't start posting doll info to the historic one, or historic info on the writers' one, or....

Well, you get the picture.

This post is to introduce my newest blog, which is really sort of a store front. My mother and I have repaired and restored antique dolls for over 20 years. The business had fallen away - mostly due to lack of advertising - but now it's back. With the cuts at the historic site, I will be concentrating on repairing this treasures of the past in order to fill in for lost income. If you have a doll in need of a doctor, or know someone who does, send them to the blog at

Tell them the interpreter, writer, artist, and general crazy person sent you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As I said last week when I was on my soapbox, the lovely sight above was almost lost this year. There was a movement afoot in the Ohio Historical Society to close all their sites - not because they wanted to, but because there simply were no funds to keep them open. Due to a few fine folks who stepped 'up to the plate' so to speak, the sites remain open, but with severely cut hours.

In order to make more people aware of our site, we have created a blog featuring our events, news, hours, etc. Posts will be history-oriented and will cover a range of topics from the Johnston children's lives to the excavation of the 1740s Pickawillany site - a trader's village that was burned to the ground, contributing what many historians think was the 'spark' that ignited the French and Indian War' - as well as Ohio's ancient Indians, the Miami and Erie Canal, and much, much more. Please visit it often or, if you want, sign up to follow the blog and recieve automatic updates.

Beyond this, I would like to make a plea that - wherever you are - you take time this summer to visit your local historic sites. I bet many of you never have. I was as guilty as the next person. I've been to Williamsburg, but up until 6 years ago I had never been to the site where I now work. It was in my backyard - WHY would I go there? If our history is to be preserved, we need you. Most times, an all day visit to a site with fun for the whole family costs less than the admission to a single movie.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

History's Call to Arms for 2009

Where's George Washington when you need him? The in-the-red cuts are coming!

I rarely use my blog to rant, but today has been ONE of those days. Why is it that, whenever the sword of financial woe strikes, history is expected to bare its breast and take the first thrust? I know times are tough, but there seems to be enough money to keep the stadiums and movie theaters open. Why is it, then, that so many historic sites are being shut down or having their hours severely cut? The site I work at is one of the lucky ones, though our hours have been greatly shortened. Our doors will still be open this season. I run a Yahoo list that is aimed at historic interpreters. I know from them that others have not faired nearly so well. There are states that are contemplating cutting their entire history program. Have we learned nothing? Why is it that people cannot see how precious history is?

Remembering where we have been is what will get us where we need to go. The historic sites in all of the 50 united states are living reminders of where we came from and of what is truly important. They also serve as a check and balance against the fear and panic of such days as the ones we are living in. Have there been periods of financial hardship before? Yes. In the 1790s, the 1830s, and on and on until the great depression. We can learn from those who tell our past just how to survive our future. For all of the children out there, the past is a precious present that cannot be tossed away. Without it, they will have little foundation for tomorrow.

Please, any of you who read this blog, take a moment and send a donation to a local historic site. I don't care if it is $5. If everyone in a city would do that, none of these unique representatives of our past would have to worry or wonder about where their next dollar is coming from; they would have all the money they need. THINK about it. The town I live in - and its a small one -has nearly 25,000 inhabitants. At $5 each, that would give our historical sites and societies $125,000 to spend. I'm sure all of us pick up a pack of cigarettes or drink a mocha at least once a week. Skip it for once and save all of the wonderful people who tell history's tales .

Marla (on the soapbox)