September 12, 2011


Had an invitation to attend the monthly meeting of the Lauderdale Historical Society, which was being held in D'burg.  Why D'burg?  A traveling Smithsonian exhibit, "The Way We Worked," was on display there. Of course, attendance meant forfeiting one of the football season's openers but I was game. Tom, Abby, and I, meandered up Rte. 51, slightly above speed limit (late as usual),  in search of the building housing the exhibit. Well, boys and girls, even late, I was one of the first of the Ripley attendees to arrive.

Dyersburg has turned one of their former public schools into a multipurpose center, aka Professional Development Center, housing a museum, the Y's fitness center, and more.  "The Way We Worked" was fascinating. It traced, over the span of 150 years, the many changes in our workforce and work environment: the clothing; types of work; and how technology changed the way things are done.  It grew out of a National Archives exhibit by the same name.  The Archives web site is more extensive than the Smithsonian's, so if you want to get the flavor, go to that site first.

Now, you know that I am enthralled by history.  It is not an extensive exhibit but jam-packed with information. What else do you expect from the Smithsonian and the National Archives? One of the pieces dealt with the Great Migration. from the South to the North.

The next room was totally devoted to the history of work in D'burg.  Tools, photographs, meticulous miniature reproductions of buildings in the area. One section detailed the first African-American high school in D'burg--Blanche Kelso Bruce. Small world, my elementary school was also named after Sen. Bruce. Wow! I was in pig heaven.

There is also a room totally devoted to the Nancy Timmerman Memorial Dollhouse Collection, many designed by Mrs. Timmerman and created by members of her family.  They show all aspects of family life and experiences. All Saints Church; Christmas Eve (where Santa is preparing to leave on his trip); Santa's House; Irish Cottage; Dream Cabin; Colonial House, and more.  Exquisite!  Don't you just envy people who have the talent to do such things?  I only did a cursory tour but you can bet that I'll be back to spend more time. You have to see it to believe it.

There is also a section devoted to the Civil War and battles around Dyersburg, replete with uniforms, cannon, etc.  Someone constructed a humongous miniature display of a battle fought along the Forked Deer River. There's a name for that type of display but senility is setting in and it's not coming to me.  Look it up for me, please.

So what's with the psst? I'd been introduced to several of the attending members of the LHS and entered the room where the meeting was to be held.  Seated myself at the end of the long table when I heard: "Isn't she the one who bought Colista's house?"  It was supposed to be a whisper but carried in the empty room.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  I guess I didn't help matters any when I replied, "Yes, ma'am. I am."  We had a good laugh.

I passed on the many refreshments being offered.  The ladies of the Dyersburg Historical Society baked 3,000 cookies to commemorate 9/11.  I guess that was one cookie for each person who died. Obviously, 3,000 people did not pass through the doors of the Professional Development Center yesterday. Wonder what they did with them?

Hied myself down the road and found that I'd arrived home just in time for the Redskins/Giants game. Psst! Redskins!  That's how opening day games are supposed to be played.  Go 'Skins.

A correction--the title of the documentary shown on MSNBC is "On Native Soil." Be safe. Be Blessed.

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