Monday, August 8, 2011

A Trip to Garst Museum

Many times in the past I have walked into Garst Museum. This time was a bit different. This time I was there on a mission; however, I gained more than I anticipated.

I'm working on a book called Neff Road which I hope to have finished by the end of November. It is a compilation of many earlier blogs combined into a history of a time and place in Darke County, Ohio. One purpose of my trip back was to see if Garst Museum would be willing to stock the finished product.

With business done, my friends and I shopped in the gift shop. My friend from Oregon had worked for a local radio station and met Lowell Thomas way back when. She was delighted those relate stories and seemed right at home in Greenville. As usual, I seemed to gravitate to the book section. There I found a true treasure, a book called Archaeology and Artifacts of Darke County.

We grew up with Indian stones on our farm. Dad treasured them. Now they reside in Indiana, Virginia and Oregon. His daughters prize them and honor their history as well. Often have I sat with the stones marveling at that which resides in them. The intricate work done by the hands of someone who lived on our land long before pioneers came to settle. Until I looked through this book, I had thought our stones to be hundreds of years old. I didn't realize those hundreds were in reality thousands. The history of the land we lived on suddenly changed. The natives settled along the creek were suddenly more ancient.

When I went to stay with my sister in Indiana, I pulled out the book and started cataloging her stones. I wanted to know more. The stones I looked down on were suddenly more like precious gems. I could feel my father peering over my shoulder smiling.

My trip to Garst was one I will long remember. The stones in my home are dearer. My friend now owns a small piece of my history.

And, much to my delight, Neff Road will very likely find its way into the Garst Museum Gift Shop.

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