Question for Brian and the other Fort Wayners: What was the name of the taxidermy museum that used to be at one of the city parks? It just came to me: The Diehm Museum, something like that? It was the sort of place that older people love, because they came of age when your only chance to see a bobcat was in an Encyclopedia Britannica or something. Today you have the internet, the zoo, 500 channels of NatGeo footage filmed with remote cameras in the wild.
But the story I’m thinking of was before the internet. One of our reporters did a piece on the declining fortunes of the museum, and the manager/owner was just furious about it. How could people not see the value of taxidermy, the animals arranged in fierce poses? Where else would a child in Indiana see an ocelot, or at least a pelt stretched over a form that resembled an ocelot?
I thought of that when I read this piece in the Freep today, by the talented John Carlisle, who used to be the Detroitblog guy, liberally linked here for years. It’s about the old keeper of a historical museum in Galesburg, Mich. He’s not angry, just sad and old and getting older, wondering who is going to care for his museum when he’s gone, when no one seems to care about it now?
Some days, he might get a few visitors. But there are also whole weeks when he gets none. Yet twice a week, right on time, he dutifully lights the red neon “Open” sign in the window with a yank on its cord, unlocks the door and waits in case someone out there shares his passion for the past.
He’s here because he simply loves history. He loves to teach. And because nobody else will do it.
Most of the museum’s founders and supporters have moved on or passed away over the years, and he’s worried if nobody comes along soon to replace him, all these objects and photos and antiques he’s worked so hard to save might vanish or get thrown out.
It’s a really good story, sad and wonderful at the same time. Y’all read.
And thanks to Alex for finding this artifact of the ever-deepening swamp of weirdness that exists in the far-right fever swamps. This is the MMA fighter who was arrested in Dekalb County, Ind., for either leading the police on a high-speed chase (the cop version) or just being normal freedom-loving citizens with a baby in the back and some car trouble (their version). I was fascinated by their repeated request for “three forms of ID, as required by law.” Is this a new wingnut thing? Say what you will about lefty lunatics, but at least all they do is refuse to get their kids vaccinated.
And so the next 10-day to two-week stretch begins, when I will be working my butt off and maybe dying, but I will try to open a new thread from time to time. I’ll be on the lookout for some interesting images, which is what we foo-foo people say when we mean “pictures.”
Have a great weekend, all. I’ll be in and out.