Friday, May 5, 2017
I should be working on banners for an exhibit the museum is supposed to setting up in time for the upcoming summer season. I have supposedly been working on the banners for the past six months. There are supposed to be a total of 5. So far I've managed to get the layout done for one. I'm not exactly setting speed records on this project. It's a bit odd -- I can visualize them. I just can't manage to get much of anything down on the figurative equivalent of paper. Oh well. . . there will be something up on the walls at the museum by the end of the month. How good it will be is debatable, but it will be there.
I had thought I could manage to get a lot done today because the S.O. isn't around to distract me. He's busy playing chauffeur driving an older cousin down to the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain. He had to leave around 10 a.m.; I actually went out the door almost an hour earlier than that to run a few errands, planned to stop by the museum to put in an hour or so cataloging a few things, and then I was going to spend the afternoon back home on the computer working on the banners. Iron Mountain is far enough away that I figured it would be after 5 before he got home. The drive is something like 100 miles one way so it's never a fast trip. For sure I'd have a quiet afternoon with no distractions, no interruptions.
It didn't happen. The one hour at the museum turned into four. Granted, it was stuff that needed to get done -- there's a stack of stuff that came out of the attic that needs to get cataloged before it can go back into storage -- but it was a lower priority than the banners. On the other hand, it didn't require much thinking, just take a picture, assign a number, take a photo, attach an ID tag, and move on.
I did finish the last of the hats. Or at least the last of the hats that were in the attic. I know there's at least one more container, a large Rubbermaid tote, out in the storage building that's stuffed full of hats but I'm going to ignore it for awhile. Most of today was spent going through a tote that was labeled World War II but had the usual mix of weirdness in it: several crumbling newspapers with front page stories about "the Great War" (World War I) ending, some military stuff from the Vietnam era, a bunch of unlabeled photographs that were pretty much a complete mystery, a sheet of paper that identified people who were in a group photograph. . . No group photo, of course. There never is when the ID was done on a separate piece of paper. It was apparently some sort of unwritten rule that the identification for anything had to be irretrievably separated from whatever it identified. It's been one of the big frustrations in sorting through stuff: lots of nifty labels and nothing that matches up with them.
Sorting through stacks of stuff like that always has me looking wistfully at the trash can. How much can I pitch? How many crumbling newspapers should we keep on the off chance they'd be good for including in an exhibit a few years down the road? They're not needed for research -- anyone interested in World War II can find plenty of copies of those same newspapers elsewhere -- so their only function would be as part of an exhibit, assuming they don't crumble to dust before then. Newsprint dry rots fast. Saving old newspapers is inevitably an exercise in futility. How many unidentified photos should go in the trash? Do we need dozens of photos of men in uniform when we don't know who any of them are?
I don't mean to imply there was nothing good in the tote. There were items of local interest: the flyer announcing when the Village of L'Anse was going to sound the siren as part of the celebration the war was over; a really nice stash of ration books, coupons, and posters; a stationery set that belonged to someone in the military (he or she must not have written home much because it didn't look like much was missing); and some other goodies. But most of it was, to be blunt, more trash than treasure.
And now back to focusing on the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, debunking myths about Native Americans and casino profits, and trying to explain tribal sovereignty in terms a 10-year-old could understand. . . . .