Tis the season for having lots of fun. For me, that includes going to area festivals and historical sites, hoping to connect with crowds in regard to my latest writing venture. When it's festivals, I have hundreds of brief conversations with 1-3 people at a time. My favorites, of course, are the older kids--old enough to put some things into perspective. And they do, sometimes better than their parents.
This past Sunday I was at Jesse James Farm and Museum in Kearney, MO, for an hour-long program. It had taken me days to prepare. I was hoping for 25-50, at least. Instead I got a handful of travelers who just happened to be at the museum and were kind enough to stay and listen. They knew even less about the Border Wars along the Missouri-Kansas border than local residents. It was fun and fulfilling. They learned a lot and were very receptive.
Disappointing, too, since the program was rather well publicized by the event coordinator. Really disappointing since it was supposed to be for children with much of it about adult bullies (like James) in the 19th century who created terror with guns, oiled with religious extremist views. Even more disturbing, the facility has hosted several authors the last few Sundays: all with the same sort of turn-out.
Raises the concern that few Americans seem to share: How are we going to learn from the past in order to shape a better future if we don't see the need to do so?