Here I am in the good old town Fredericksburg, affectionately referred to as FredVegas or abbreviated as F’burg or FXBG. Tomorrow evening I’ll be meeting the current students of the Mary Washington preservation department. I’m honored to be speaking as a recent graduate and what it’s like for new graduates in the working world, particuarly as an oral historian. (It’s exhausting work, oral history, but the opportunity of a lifetime).
All of my classmates at Mary Washington are doing wonderful things in the preservation world. From studying preservation planning, material culture, architectural history to working to save downtown Lexington, KY, writing National Register nominations and restoring historic homes in Boston, to working to incorporate better planning and evironmental practices in Fredericksburg, I am honored to call these people friends and colleagues. Work like this clearly gives quality of life a postive outlook.
The variety of professions and studies that fellow historic preservation graduates have pursued, represents only a brief selection of the preservation options and branches from which to choose. Describing historic preservation and all of its related fields is not a simple, nor easy task. It can mean something different to everyone; yet, ultimately, they are interconnected and work best when giving consideration to the others.
I pose this question: what one word or phrase describes preservation to you?