Friday, January 28, 2022

Five on Friday: Memorable Museum Moments 2019-2022

This week I am celebrating my three year anniversary of being our small town museum's curator. 
Ah, memories!

Having already worked in another small (though larger) museum, I know that local museums tend to attract a very fun variety of very unique individuals and situations. In honor of my anniversary, I thought I'd share my top five moments (this is going to be hard! Good thing I've already shared some great ones here and here!) at the museum:

1. The museum's first curator, Dorothea, was a woman I never met but I really admire. We even once hosted a day to celebrate her legacy at the museum.
Dorothea outside the museum, circa 1982

In my first few weeks at this job, the curator who had just retired and did know and work with Dorothea looked me dead in the eye and said, "She'd hate everything you're doing here."

Clearly, this is a moment I will never forget. Most people who I've share that tidbit with are horrified. But you can see how it's a memorable moment, right? I found her brutal honesty absolutely hysterical and sort of refreshing. I didn't tell her I disagreed but I did--and I had the next memorable museum moment that (I feel) proved her wrong:

2. Dorothea's daughter showed up unexpectedly one day, took a little tour and she said, "My Mom would love everything you're doing here."
(Oh! I nearly forgot--and one of Dorothea's friends told me that she must be doing "cartwheels in heaven!")

3. Technically this counts as multiple moments, but on the list of memorable moments, I must include every funny, crazy and borderline dangerous thing my Associate Curator and I have done together, which one day will be its own probably private list (ha!) but I did share a little insight once here.

4. Recently I told you about this excellent visitor:

. . . but he's not the only one that's made an impression. There was the retired curator and Dorothea's daughter, of course, but also so many more. Once there was the guy who was riding his bike from Florida to New England somewhere . . . with his cat as his only companion. (Just take a minute with that one: bike, Florida to New England, cat. Okay, thank you for humoring me.) The older women who stop by for tea and a chat, and the one who makes amazing art by scanning fresh flowers. There's my penpal Pete as well as the history teacher who took a second grade field trip to the museum and was so inspired by Dorothea that she decided then and there that she wanted to study history. There was the little girl who wanted to know if we had an alarm on the building to protect the scavenger hunt prize box. There was even the person who bit me recently--yes that was a bad experience but certainly one I won't be forgetting for a long time. 

(I'm sure I'll talk more about it in depth at some point but since you're probably curious, it was an adult with special needs. She didn't break skin. The worst part was her Dad, who did nothing to help me nor did he apologize. I won't be forgetting him for a long time, either.)

But back to the good for my final entry this week:

5. The moment I'm proudest of in the past three years: Recently a friend of mine that is on the Board of a bigger, more prestigious museum and is a person I greatly admire, told me that all the work my Associate Curator and I had done had "turned a building full of old stuff into a modern museum."

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