i’m going to be a volunteer at the presidential museum.  I LOVE THE MUSEUM.

it’s going to be me and legions of retired people.  i’m in training now and we’ve had to introduce ourselves to our little splinter training groups (the entire training group is almost 60 people) and invariably each introduction starts with “i’ve been married 67 years and have five kids and 354 grandkids and i’m retired from being a teacher/principal/security guard/carpenter.”

and then i say “i’ve been married two and a half years and i’m a part-time massage therapist.”

i don’t whip out photos of my dogs and cats, but if i ever thought to print out any photos, i would.  i could then regale them with stories of mollie breaking into various food items when we’ve left the house.  lately it’s all about the whole wheat pastry flour.  she got into it  a while ago, and now it’s secured in a plastic bag.

at least it was.  the other night we got home and mollie and shadow’s faces were both covered in white.  they looked like they’d been doing lots of coke.

all over the new rug were the remnants of the whole wheat pastry flour bag.  what’s the big attraction with the wwpf?

have i mentioned that we’ve adopted shadow, amy’s dog?  surely i have.  noodle attacked him sometimes and amy feared for shadow’s life.  so he’s ours now.  he’s so little that people think he’s a puppy, and  he acts like one.  this morning i was trying to sleep but shadow kept tip-tip-tipping around the house, racing in and out of the bedroom.  i scooped him up and he laid down next to mollie for a couple of seconds and i thought we’d all sleep a little longer, but shadow suddenly jumped down and was gone in a flash, ready for me to GET UP.

but i’m digressing from the PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM.  must focus.  this is what the retired people would be doing if they had their own websites (and i’m sure some of them do), but they’d be going on about their hundreds of grandkids instead of their pets.

anyway, last night tom schwartz the state historian (is he A state historian or THE state historian?  surely we have more than one?) spoke and he was really interesting.  he told about going to burbank to talk to the people at disney about their ideas for the museum, and how all the historians were prepared to HATE them.  but while they were meeting, at one point one of the guys with tom leaned over and said “these people are evil geniuses.”  because the ideas the disney people had were great.

tom explained about how important it is to have a museum that will appeal to people, will draw them in and keep them entertained while at the same time being so informative.

and of course that’s exactly what our incredible museum is.  if you don’t like it, well i believe there’s something wrong with you.  i’ve only met one person who didn’t care for it because she said it was “too much like disneyland,” and that woman still makes me mad.

i mean, the people who are lucky enough to work at disney are there because they’re some of the best and the brightest.  they helped create a completely unique place.  when i walk into the main hall of the museum, i continue to be amazed that springfield could be home to such a cool museum.  and now i’m going to be volunteering there!

after tom spoke, another guy talked; this was hal smith, who is in charge of “looking for lincoln,” all the lincoln sites around central illinois.  he was interesting, but i kept thinking he seemed really slick, and at the end of his spiel he rattled off some of his past work experiences, and he said he worked for game shows, for goodson productions.  you’ve hear them say “a mark goodson and bill todman production,” right?  so that makes sense that he used to be in the gameshow business.

after the men talked we had a museum tour.  the first stop was outside the “ghost of the library” show, and there was ED MCMURDO.  it was nice to see him, and i thought it funny that volunteers in the back kept yelling SPEAK UP! because ed is an amazingly talented actor and i’m sure he could have been really really loud if he wanted to, but he always seems so unasumming when not on stage.  it seems that i should know ed, but i really don’t, but maybe i’ll get to know him because i’ll be hanging out there at the museum for eight hours a month.  except he’s probably really busy when he’s at work.

he also handed out flyers for the special show they’re doing right now, “one destiny,” but he didn’t mention that he’s IN the show.  modest and unassuming.  mom has already seen it and says it’s great and i’m looking forward to seeing it, too.

while we stood around in the main plaza, jeff nevins walked by.  jeff does all the lighting (or the sound?  maybe both?) for the museum, but why was he there at 8:00 at night when the place was closed?  does he work nonstop?  what about HIS mollie dog?  because he has a very cute dog named mollie of his own.  i know for a fact that his mollie never gets into whole wheat pastry flour because i’m sure that jeff has never and will never own any WWPF.  he mostly has ramen. lots and lots of ramen.

each subgroup of volunteers then got a quick tour of the museum.  our guide was a seasoned veteran volunteer (retired english teacher) who rattled off a huge amount of trivia and history about different things in the museum.  he didn’t point out many of the emergency exits, though, and i remembered that this was supposed to be a very important part of what we need to know.

in the civil war room he pointed out the photos of the women who disguised themselves as men in order to be soldiers, and that made me wonder why i couldn’t be one of the ghosts of the library, disguised as a man.  i don’t think i’d like to do that all the time, but i’m sure i could do a good job for a couple of times at least.  isn’t it kind of discrimination, that only men get to do that?

soon we will all be trained and ready to be volunteers, although i don’t feel i’m ready yet.  i’m sure we’ll get on-the-job training. plus hopefully i’ll spend enough time at the museum so i, too, can absorb some of the history there and will be more educated about all things lincoln.

ok then,

wednesday grace.