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Friday, May 16, 2014

BEING A DETECTIVE

My former school in Berkley, Michigan where I attended the seventh and eighth grades. All the students could walk to this school. The school was razed a few years ago as the administration felt there were not enough students attending. Land was sold to a housing developer. Photo was provided by an old schoolmate that attended Oxford School with me. Thanks -- Dallas

I have always been a detective of sorts. I began this lifestyle when I was young by filling empty cigar boxes with small items that intrigued me -- such as political pins, old photographs, old buttons, letters, jewelry, crackerjack trinkets, stones, and other items that I categorize as mementos. I wanted to know everything about these items -- they became part of my detective work as I pieced my young world together. 

As an adult I still hunt and find pieces that were and still may be the building blocks of our society. Only now instead of finding items that would fit into cigar boxes I find items both small and large. I find them in houses, trees, cities, barns, streets, clothes, paper-goods, small towns, photography, etc. They are not glamorous nor endowed with sophistication. They are what our society would probably feel is common or even in some cases lowly. These common or lowly objects tell me something about how we existed in our past and in many cases how we even still exist today. 

Yet these building blocks aren't really blocks that are stable. They fade and are replaced -- thus changing our world -- economically. financially. and environmentally. They are only temporary  -- until they are replaced. 



20 comments:

  1. Besides death and taxes, the only certainty is change. That some things remain for a very long time is remarkable since so much changes and often the changes are quite rapid. Certainly that's how it is with houses... and schools. And so much else. Yes, you are very right in these thoughts.

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    1. June -- Yes, the only certain thing is change -- whether we like it or not. As we age we look back on all the changes and realize how much time has past. In indigenous cultures change is slow but in this culture it is rapid fire. We seem immersed in changing everything so fast! One day its a school, the next day a housing development; one day a corn field, next day an industrial park. Who benefits? thanks -- barbara

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  2. Everything in life is so temporary.

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    1. Michelle -- Yes, life is temporary. That is why I wish folks could slow down and smell the roses and appreciate what they have instead of always wanting to rush into everything. thanks -- barbara

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  3. I am not like this, but do love to look at antique bits and pieces and wonder about their story.

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    1. Tabor -- Antiques have many stories -- if only they could tell us a few -- thanks -- barbara

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  4. I'm becoming more so...the older I get. Good post!

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    1. turquoisemoon -- I just got back from looking at your recent posts on your blog, Daily Om, at http://daily-turquoisemoon.blogspot.com/. Your last four posts on New Mexico are fascinating. My time is short today but will be getting back to leave comments on your blog. thanks -- barbara

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  5. Ah, we used to live in Clarkston, which is not far from there. My grandfather went to school in Ann Arbor, and they tore down his school but saved to entrance facade to use in whatever building was taking its place. The building had been acquired by U of Michigan. At least that holds onto the history a little bit.

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    1. Am familiar with Clarkston! So you must originally be a Michigander. I have some strong ties yet to the state. Like that U of M at least kept the entrance facade of your grandfather's school for the public to view and the past graduates to possibly enjoy. Just think about all the natural resources that end up in landfills because our country does not promote the recycling of housing parts. All that virgin timber from old vacant Detroit housing stock is being swept away to the landfills. thanks for your nice comment -- barbara

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  6. Good food for thought here...not only in your post itself, but the conversations going on in your comment section. I like it! So, I also have a detective streak in me. May eventually be a hoarder. For now I'm proud to remember how I taught my sons to go on a walk in the woods and be aware of everything around them. As always I think people with our name are pretty special too!

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    1. Barbara --I has a feeling that you would be a mother that would teach her children to be aware in nature. And yes, our name is special too. I do like to know why, when, and how about this world of ours. Hopefully we are not headed down the wrong path with mother nature. Right now in my life I am at the opposite end of the spectrum of being a hoarder. I want to be a free spirit -- emphasis on free with light load. I used to be an almost hoarder years ago. Your comments are always nice to read -- thanks -- barbara

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  7. I inhabit a 200 year old farmhouse. Hope it'll be ariound a few more years. Lots of history attached.

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    1. Birdman -- How wonderful! From my math that means your home was built in 1814. I can imagine the fine construction of your place -- surely it will there in another 100 years or so. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  8. Who did the drawing?
    One elementary school I attended and my high school building were knocked down as earthquake hazards and replaced with modern buildings.

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    1. Hattie -- the art work in my header was done by a local older woman, a native of Kentucky named Edna Simpson. She is considered a true folk artist by many in KY -- along the lines of Grandma Moses.
      Sad to hear your school was razed. So many across the country are being razed without even the excuse of them being in earthquake territory. thanks for your comment -- barbara

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  9. You are historian, detective, archeologist, anthropologist, folklorist, & I'm sure, a fine person, friend & family member! Throughout it all, curiosity & passon. Life is made up of many present moments, perhaps...

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    1. Rita -- Oh, you are so kind to say such nice words about me. I'm blushing. I know that you are a fine person that loves what you are doing as it show in the joy of your art.I feel that life is a wave of ups and downs so I try to go with the flow and it seems for the most part the flow brings me to finding wonderful persons that I learn so much from and nature that I also learn so much from. thank you friend -- barbara

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  10. Barbara I'm playing catch up and I started with this wonderful post. I too enjoy the simpler items of historical significance. As you have seen, my discovery of a simple old book discovered in a local vintage bookstore has me totally engrossed and committed to investigating it further.

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    1. Raining Iguanas -- John, thanks for all your recent nice comments. Yes, I have been following your blog about the old book and following the trails it has taken you down. Following your passions makes life so illuminating. thanks -- barbara

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