Why I am not an historian.

Nor do I want to be one.

The job of an [honest] historian is to recreate the exact conditions at any given point in history.       This is not as easy as one would think.        All you have to do is look at our present.       I kind a know what is occurring at this moment – but I have no idea of the detailed makeup of current news items on a range of subjects nor the intimate activities in over 200 countries and countless cities, towns and regions.       Nor do I need to know.

My current education, media contacts (of which I choose), family and friends – all give me my subjective viewpoint.        Therefore, any two people living at the same time may have two entirely different outlooks at what is happening.       And to complicate things, their statements are mixed in with a minority who want to con or deceive or manipulate for gain.

Therefore historians are a dedicated and serious lot but in the end, they have to make judgment calls as to what really happened.     It is then that their biases along with simple research mistakes may seep into their work.          Even historians, when researching, consult multiple historians on a given subject and then in turn have to shift it all out to find out what really happened.

I’m an explorer like Roy Chapman Andrews (the real Indiana Jones) and a  touch of a promoter like P.T. Barnum (minus the hucksterism!).

My goal is to enrich and promote Newburyport.      Enrichment is far more than making us ‘rich’ and speaks to us being an artist community, an entertainment & business center, a center of culture, and highlighting our deep history.       It also means enhancing and then protecting our high quality of life (which took a long time to attain) from all those who so foolishly want to lower it.

Mr. Andrews who got his start sweeping floors in the museum was never a paleontologist but ended up organizing expeditions in which paleontologists who accompanied him made great discoveries.        He pointed the way and thus gave opportunity for great discoveries.    As he says,

“Always there has been an adventure just around the corner – and the world is full of corners!”

Newburyport recently has been blessed with more than one Indiana Jones – a whole slew of dynamic individuals who want to find the hidden adventure that will expose our secret past.   People like Elizabeth & Bill Harris, Ghlee Woodworth, Gregory Colling, Jay Williamson, Jean Doyle, Jessica Gils, Jon-William Brown, Linda Miller, Linda Smiley, Liz and Bill Hallett, Mary Eaton, Michael Mroz, Richard Jones, Sarah White, Skip Motes, Tom Kolterjahn, and many more!

What we don’t have is a slew of P. T. Barnums!       Chamber President Ann Ormond and Mayor Donna Holaday can’t do it alone.        We’ve got enough of a Wow! factor in this city we don’t need Barnum’s hucksterism.        We’ve just need more creative ways to put our name out into the world.    

I hope I can help in anyway I can – being joined by others would just cause me to break out in a big smile!

-P. Preservationist


This entry was posted in Art & Culture, Education, finances, Heritage Tourism, History, Planning, Preservation, Quality of Life, Tourism. Bookmark the permalink.

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