Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Past and the Preservationist label

Christmas 1938 on Bank Street in the Portland (KY) neighborhood.

That’s not a bad haul for my Mom, age one at the time, especially considering the tough economic times the nation was facing. The country was struggling to emerge from the Great Depression. Unemployment was 19%. The family was also resettling after the 1937 flood. In the next year War would erupt in Europe. Lives would be changed drastically.

The connections with Christmas 2008, seventy years later? We’re dealing with extraordinary economic issues, war and even recovering from our own climate calamities.

My personal connection is a material one with the Christmas tree. Nestled in my tree are many of the same ornaments from that 1938 tree.
They’ve had quite journey. They represent much more than glass balls hung on a tree. They are my connection to that time. They are worth the time and effort I invest to preserve them. They are irreplaceable.

Protecting and appreciating history and heritage is important to me. It doesn’t matter what it is - ornaments, family history, architecture, houses and structures, community identity - the connections to our past matter.

That’s what being a preservationist means to me and I carry the label proudly.

Are you a preservationist?

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