30 December 2010

On My Recommended Reading List

Someone who has become an email acquaintance of mine recently sent me a book to assist me with preserving my metal detecting finds and other historical artifacts which I possess. Don Williams is senior conservator of the Smithsonian Institution and was kind enough to send me a personalized copy of a book he co-authored: Saving Stuff ~ How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions. The book is chocked full of useful information and I've already gleaned some great tips on taking care of all my "old stuff." I would recommend it to anyone interested in taking care of collectibles of all types. Don inscribed the flyleaf with the following:
"To Richard with heartfelt thanks for having the guts to be an honest historian. Blessings, Don Williams."
While I don't really consider myself a historian in the professional sense, I appreciate Don's kind words and gesture. In reading a recent post of his, I discovered we have kindred sentiments in some areas. Don recently wrote:

"I have endured many blessings in life, including that somehow I managed to avoid getting the curiosity beaten out of me at an early age while navigating government indoctrination camps . . . I was a mediocre student through much of my secondary schooling, essentially tuning out formal academics and doing only what I needed to move on while focusing on those things which interested me. There was so much fascinating stuff beyond the drivel being pushed in the classroom. Why were we reading a somnolistic civics textbook when there were The Federalist Papers (and even better, The Anti-Federalist Papers) to read? And history? A fascinating subject that takes great effort to be made unpalatable, but institutional “learning” gulags are up to that task. As I get older I only get more out of step with the popular culture all around me. I love learning, and I delight in passing along what I have learned."

I could have written those words myself. You can read more of Don's thoughts at this most interesting blog: blog.lostartpress.com


Douglas Hill said...

Thanks for the book tip; looks like a goodun'.

I too can relate to Mr. Williams' reflections. Popular culture? The least common denominator of Americana, guaranteeing empty suits and worse in high places, and distractions from the unceasing spiritual warfare around us. America's Got Talent? America's Got Problems!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Doug - the least common denominator does seem to rule the day, doesn't it?