Museum truly is a glimpse into the past

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In the fall 2012 issue of our magazine, Bainbridge Living, which should be out in the racks throughout the city soon, I had the privilege to write a story about the Decatur County Historical and Genealogical Society’s museum.

For those who have not been to the museum, located at 110 Broughton St. in downtown Bainbridge (in the old Book Nook bookstore), it is quite an impressive place. The exhibits help show a glimpse into the lives of our grandfathers and beyond, and everything is still very nicely preserved and presented. I understand that the collection used to be on display at the Firehouse Gallery, but I have no doubt that newcomers to Decatur County — like myself — would enjoy the chance to view these items at the museum.

Of course, I couldn’t help but imagine what that museum might look like 20, 30, or 50 years from now. I chuckle at the notion that an iPad or DVR might be put on display, with future children looking at the electronics and thinking, “They used to use that primitive thing to communicate?”

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Perhaps a Ford Focus would be on display, and the museum curator will look at the kids and say, “See, this is how people used to get around. They had to actually have their hands on the wheel and operate the tires themselves. They didn’t have the self-driving (or maybe even self-flying!) machines we do now.”

I can just see the wall, covered with a quaint 50-star U.S. flag. After all, by then, there will probably be closer to 60 stars (I’m thinking Puerto Rico will be No. 51, and perhaps some Canadian provinces or Mexican states will have joined the party as well).

Of course, considering we just finished another Election Day, I also wonder if the kids will look at an old fashioned hand-written ballot in awe and amazement. I figure by then everyone will either vote online, or vote just by thinking of their favorite candidate. On the other hand, if the doomsdayers are to be believed, we’ll have no need to vote because we’ll all be under the dictatorship of a mixture of China, Iran, North Korea and the United Nations. Hopefully it never comes to that.

Of course, that future museum is still many years away, and it’s very likely that none of these predictions will ever come true. After all, The Jetsons came out in the 1960s and those cartoonists expected everyone to be in flying cars and have robot maids by now (And no, I don’t think the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner counts). What we can enjoy is the unique look to the past that the museum offers us, and hopefully we’ll also be willing to help contribute to keep that museum operating for years and years to come.

Just don’t snicker too much at the exhibits. You never know when your great-grandkids might laugh at something of yours on display, in the museum of the future.