Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Douglasville History Is a Big Deal

I had someone the other day ask me why I waste my time writing about Douglasville history since nothing of any value ever happened here. 
Yes, that person is still in an upright position and walking around, but I did briefly think about smacking them. 
I let the person continue with their statements, and they actually made a few decent points arguing that on the whole Douglasville and Douglas County has made a pretty good practice of allowing our local history to be demolished, thrown away, neglected, and forgotten, but then he spouted some more fighting words stating state and local history was irrelevant since most folks grow up and move away. Why teach it?  We don’t use it. 
You never really need local history later in life, right?
I’m glad curriculum experts across the country don’t follow that way of thinking. If they did I would have never been taught any Geometry. I can state emphatically I have never had to solve a geometric proof in any of the three careers I’ve had since my teen years. Throw out the reading of Poe, Melville, and Whitman because students who might grow up to be policemen really have no use for early American literature. Perhaps we should delete teaching students Linnaean Taxonomy because very few ever have to know the species, genus, or family of every animal they encounter.

The question I pose in the sub-title is a no brainer to someone like me. You see, I am one of those people who can be totally consumed by large twenty pound history books. I love the intrigue, story-twists, conincidences, and repetition of themes involved in history.  I'll read the history of anything. The history of butter, word histories, Mandarin Chinese, buttermilk, famous cats in history, the history of knitting , obscure African tribal histories, and yes...American history.
Look–I get it. There are people who could care less what happened on any given street corner in the 1870s or even the 1970s for that matter.  I understand. I don’t exactly get the warm fuzzies over the steps to bleed the brakes in a car or the intricacies involved with building a skyscraper, but I know those things hold value to certain members of society and they benefit me as well.   
You can read the rest of this column over at Douglasville Patch 

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