“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” -Mark Twain
Our job is to decide which words we’ll rhyme, and which we’ll leave out.
I grew up going to The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, and if living history seems like an oxymoron to you, you need to see it for yourself. I didn’t just learn about history here, I experienced it. I sat in Rosa Parks’ seat on that Montgomery bus, saw the stained upholstery of the chair where President Lincoln was shot, and peered into the Lincoln Continental of JFK’s last ride. I’ve walked through the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop (and aviation’s incubator), Thomas Edison’s workshop, toured the first inklings of the Ford Motor Company where the automotive assembly line was born. I’ve walked through Union and Confederate soldier camps, and watched the deadly dance of a Civil War battle. I’ve heard the sounds of the old spirituals from the deep south and the questionably-tuned instruments of an old-timey baseball game’s pep band. I’ve felt the heat from the blown glass ovens, breathed the sweet scent of homemade bread from the Firestone Farm‘s kitchen, and smelled the distinct aroma of a coal-powered steam engine.
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is a place where history lives. It has become part of my own history, too, its images peppering my memories and my photo albums. It’s a place that holds both national and personal nostalgia, if such a place can exist.
And the older I get, the more I realize that history, as Mr. Twain aptly points out, doesn’t exactly repeat itself. But yes, it does rhyme.
It’s up to us to rhyme the right—the good, the kind, the honorable—words.
Monday Mugs is where I tell the stories behind my coffee mugs. Each one holds a story (and coffee, of course) of somewhere I’ve been or something I’ve seen. The photos are my actual mugs, not lookalikes found online. So grab one of your own mugs (fill it with coffee first) and hear the stories of mine. And don’t forget the cream and sugar.