The Treasures of the Past

There is an old smell here. A smell of past lives still living among the artifacts whose every-day-use has long since been abandoned. A travel chest with a hole in the lid where a child once climbed atop to answer the ring of a wall phone. An entire frontier cabin taken apart and reconstructed inside an old armory turned museum. Military medals, barbed wire and arrowheads, as well as images of a bustling town whose growth was paused by a great fire that left it looking more like some bombed out foreign city of World War II, than something one would expect to see on the Oklahoma plains. All exist within the walls of the Greater Southwest Historical Museum located in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Voices of the past still have so much to offer the present. Reminders are everywhere, but you do have to know where and how to look for them. Between travel for work and planned vacation destinations, history can get overlooked in the process of long distance sales meetings and margaritas by the ocean. With the aim of hustle and bustle and the "now" replacing the historical sum of who we are as a people, it is easy to forget what it took to build the foundations we stand upon. It is easy to see how mistakes can become repetitive lessons and how revisionists can make something seem new, as opposed to being a major upgrade of something that was first built long ago (like the electric car first built in the mid-nineteenth century).

Every generation struggles with identity. One can always find their history in books, but every now and then, take the time to visit a museum. You will learn a lot about where you came from and you just might find out something about the future, hidden in the treasures of the past.

(For more information visit the Greater Southwest Historical Museum. For an amazing meal while visiting Ardmore, dine at Cafe Alley.)