When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. ~Adlai Stevenson
Preservation in Pink readers,
I would like to collect your favorite thoughts, sayings, or quotes relating to historic preservation. Simply, is there one phrase or line that always reminds you of preservation? A wonderful quote, perhaps? A saying that you have? It doesn’t have to be said by a famous author – something you’ve written would be much better!
Spring is taking a while to arrive in the northeast, it’s around midterm time or a semester crunch for many students, it’s almost tax day, it’s raining — whatever your trouble may be right now, a collection of sayings to make a preservationist smile would make an excellent springtime collaboration.
For instance, my favorite quote, one that always makes me smile and one that gets at the essence of preservation is:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
So what about you? What is your inspiration? What do you keep pinned above your computer, on your bulletin board, or at the end of your email? Leave a comment below, please.
“Folk culture is nothing if not continuous. Of course all of human culture is constantly changing, but it is the thread of history and tradition that keeps us creatively linked to each other and to our pasts.”
–Meg Glaser, Andrea Graham. Different Hairs of the Same Dog: The Work of a Public Folklorist. Elko, Western Folklife Center, 1999.
“Each one of us everywhere defines ourself through the place where we were born and raised. The sense of place shapes each of us in deep and lasting ways. Each of us carries within ourselves a “little postage stamp of native soil” (William Faulkner), and it is to this place that each of us goes to find our clearest, deepest sense of identity.”
Bill Ferris, Chair, NEH, 1998
Yesterday my grandmother hosted a family reunion, with family and friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since the last party, already one decade ago. My grandmother remains a classic figure and she has always known how to throw a smashing party, but my favorite part of the evening was long after the party had ended. A few relatives and I sat around the house with my dad’s cousin and my dad as they told many stories about the family. They described the people I had never met, the houses I had never been in, who had what kind of temperament, who did what for a living, and so much more. Hearing these stories are priceless memories and knowledge. And having heard the characteristics of certain family members, generations above mine, I can identify with them because of a certain characteristic or hobby, and so much about myself and my immediate family falls into place. And while they shared these stories, we sat in my grandmother’s house, which has always been home to me. Between the house, the place, the company, and newly known (to me) connections to my ancetors, I had never felt more at home.