There are times, though, when I must eat my own words. I appreciate the look of new furniture, fresh paint, manicured gardens, newly completed buildings, and many other "updated" things. So, I really shouldn't complain about having to update my technology over and over.
Anyway, there is a Pioneer Museum in my town where I help occasionally as a docent. The building is crumbling and creaking, there are barely any ADA accommodations, and the exhibits are displayed in the same 1940's glass boxes that have sat there unchanged for several generations. It pains me to see this museum in such a sad state.
Our committee members (mostly age 75+) have had talks about doing some updating. They have the idea of applying for grants to get "technology" to help visitors get more information about the exhibits. While the idea is good, it is but a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done. The museum's mission is to tell the story of the Utah Pioneers who settled our area (1847-1900). The story we are supposedly showcasing is of that very specific time period. So why do we have so many random collections of knick-knacks and kitsch from the mid-20th Century on? Space is at a premium, so we should be very selective about what we display.
Just like I need to update my computer and smart phone and software every couple of years, even a museum should do updating, and may I add editing. The trouble isn't just funding, it's overcoming the older generation's fear of change. If we truly want to maintain the artifacts and tell the stories of our ancestors, we must update the way we preserve them and present them to younger people. We shouldn't let the artifacts deteriorate before our very eyes. And we should find engaging ways to tell our ancestors' stories for new generations.
The mini-musical "The Musicians of Bremen" is on just this theme of the difficulties of Age and Change. This song is sung by the Donkey, Dog, Rooster, and Cat. They set out to leave the farm before the old man and woman have them... ahem... "edited." They always wanted to be musicians due to their "beautiful" voices. So, they head to the musical town of Bremen where they hope to be graciously received. Enjoy!