Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Sense of History

I am going to invite you to laugh at me. My training is as an historian, and I have a serious defect.- I have no sense of place. You know what I mean, you are standing in, say, the atrium of Pompeii, and you KNOW its significance, but you don't get the buzz. It's just an old building. This is a source of great disappointment to me. I can multiply the examples a thousandfold, places that CRIED OUT to be appreciated, but left me unmoved. One exception was Auschwitz, but I really don't want to revisit those emotions.
The other - now you can laugh - was Tombstone, Arizona. I was birding in SE AZ and decided to make a detour to visit Tombstone. After all, I have always been a Western fan. I stayed in a nearby motel, and drove into Tombstone at eight o'clock in the morning. Deserted.Just one store open. I walked around the town and had a devastating feeling that I had been here before. When it opened, I visited the Birdcage Theater, and my sense of deja vu was even stronger. I won't bore you with the other parts of the town that I visited, but when I left, I drove away with the feeling "I WAS HERE BEFORE".
My son Jeremy said that is was just because I had watched so many westerns that I felt everything was familiar.
Maybe he's right. But I tell you this: every time I watch the movie Tombstone, I get the same tingles.
My advice to you all is not to mess with me: I can draw a pen faster than the Sundance Kid, and plug ten dedications into your copy of my latest book (when it's published. HA! ) before you can say OK CorraL.

1 comment:

Nea said...

Not even a giggle.

But you did remind me of one of my favourite poets, e e cummings and his poem Buffalo Bill's.

But in your case it would be:

onetwothreefourfive barnowlnesting boxesjustlikethat

We saw a barn owl last week just outside Bury St Edmunds, they are beautiful creatures.