The town I live in is home to a number of interesting and notable people in American history: James Michener, Pulitzer winner and author of “Tales of the South Pacific;” Oscar Hammerstein, lyricist and playwright behind such classics as “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music;” the famed anthropologist, Margaret Meade, who, coincidentally, is the source of one of my favorite quotes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”; and Henry Mercer, the American archeologist, artifact collector and tile-maker.
Every holiday season, the local high school symphonic bands perform inside Mercer’s museum of 40,000 pre-Industrial Revolution tools. The students are strewn throughout the poured concrete structure, some on the main floor with the conductor, trombones on the second floor, a lone trumpeter in a third floor alcove, French horns tucked behind a wheelbarrow from the early 1800s. It’s a high testament to the young musicians to play as well as they did without being able to see the conductor.
As travelers and storytellers, we often dream of shooting in far off lands. But, as my friend Joan reminds us, don’t forget to get out and visit the sites in your own backyard.