Thursday, March 7, 2013

History Gone Stale?

By Uncle Hans

History gone stale? We recently drove to South Padre Texas for a few days in the sun. Practically the whole trip is I-35. We ran across some curious sites, which may be examples of history gone stale.

Going through Osceola Iowa we were offered the chance to visit the John L. Lewis museum. Must have been a native son. He was a fiery labor union leader in the 40’s who gave President Truman an ulcer with national coal and railroad strikes. Very prominent at the time, but now???

Going through Emporia Kansas we could have visited the William Allen White site. He was a very influential newspaper editor, even though he was from nowhere: Emporia Kansas. In those days, having a soapbox like a newspaper column (like a blog?) was all the rage. People like this guy, and Drew Pearson, and Paul Harvey had an opinion about everything and that opinion mattered. People were afraid of appearing in their columns, especially in a negative way. But not too relevant today....

In Oklahoma City we could tour the Will Rogers site. He was truly great, a famous funny man who was also somewhat political, though he denied that part. Much like Mark twain. Ridiculously witty and funny, and good off the cuff, too. Would have made a great late night talk show host, but he died in a plane crash before there was TV. A great American, but, to the kids today??

Near Abilene Texas, we could visit the LBJ library. Rex and Mary “collect” presidential libraries like I do. But none of us have stopped here. LBJ will always be relevant history and not stale, because he was a president.

But the rest? Now they are just signs on the freeway. A particularly bright and inquisitive child riding in a car might look up from his handheld electronic whatever long enough to ask his parents, “ who was John L. Lewis?” But John has been dead so long that his parents haven’t a clue.............

History gone stale?

By Uncle Hans