T.S. Eliot


When I try to explain a point here it is a great shot in the dark. Even though I get so much good feedback on my points there are those who may just have given up. Or there can be those who just decide that I cannot be reasoned with.

For those who cannot understand a passion with history it is an extremely tough sell to try and impart the vision or the feeling to them. Many times the ones that need the vision or passion explained to are in elected office. Many are behind the scenes of those elected. With out the passion it is very difficult to get the point across.

OUR HISTORY IS IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE! Now after you are done rolling your eyes lets get to the point. For those who are on that lofty perch that only look down on your constituency at election time, take a moment to try and understand why saving our history is important.

Lets just use Wichita for an example (mostly because their blunders are so much larger). Why is the fact that Wichita has a Museum District as well as other great museums? Because there are huge numbers of people who really like history and love to see it preserved by a community who really cares about theirs.

For the officials (elected and un-elected) this translates to dollars. During my time at Old Cowtown Museum I talked with hundreds of people every season that were there from all over the world because everyone involved with aviation are in Wichita at least one week every five years world-wide. The out of towners and those from other nations bring their families for the week of training that takes place here. The families go to everything that is interesting that they can while they are here. Many if not most do not know this in the upper echelons.

The whole world is fascinated with the cowboy and the west. Out of town and foreign visitors are just in awe of Old Cowtown. In fact if you know what to look for you will find it showing up in movies and advertisements all the time.

Yet Old Cowtown has had difficulties for years because there are some behind the scenes people that do not want to hang on to the old western heritage that the city has. They want Wichita to look more ‘urbane’. Sorry no matter how much you want to be the New York of the Plains you are not going to sell that. How about just celebrating who you really are. You would be surprised at the people who really love visiting Wichita and Kansas.

There are two opportunities that just popped up and lets see if Wichita is smart enough to take advantage of them? A man owns four Jones Six Motor Cars that is willing to give them to Wichita with only one condition. That the four are displayed to the public. Considering the museums in town that should not be a problem.

Another is a couple that purchased property in Butler County and found that there was a complete original White Castle burger stand on their place. There is interest to buy the building and move it to Wichita and restore it. Lets see if that can happen?

We already know that if there is a chance to build some thing that is expensive there are no historic protections big enough to save it from being destroyed. aka Meads Corner, LD Stadium.

If you think I am just preaching to Wichita think again. When a historic building is knocked down in your small town what do you end up with? No jobs there, an empty lot, or a new shiny building that does not fit aesthetically into the architecture of the town.

Why do rural communities die? The residents don’t do business locally until there is no business locally.

You wave goodbye to the kids when they graduate because even if they wanted to come home to raise their kids, home is not there with work or amenities.

What are the reason that some rural towns thrive? Jobs and an attractive historic community that is celebrated. A community that wants their kids to come home and do something to bring them home.

The local Honor Society awards made the mention that the community hoped that we would see these kids again after they graduate. (We won’t)

Some dying towns are just huge old age homes. Without the desire to do anything that can keep them alive. In history the elderly were celebrated and respected as sources of knowledge, experience, and a foundation for the family.

Now the kids come home to bury the old folks and sell off the family heirlooms that they do not appreciate. How did they learn this?

If we do not learn our history and celebrate it look at all the mistakes we will make in the future because we would simply not learn? Or care?

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