Cleaning the museum

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Cleaning the museum

Post  Admin on Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:37 pm

It is 1:30 AM after a mercifully decent evening at work. Suddenly it seems important to write about the weekend of September 26/27, 2009; the last weekend that the Crowell side was open.

Sunny Baddour was packing up the last of the mill museum.

The girls she had led were now all grown up, and had come back to camp for a re-union. Her daughter Deb had flown in from California to be there. Jackie Muth - our very own historian, was jumping out of her skin with happiness to be back here. Snow, Troppi?, Jacque, ..... all tromping around in the rain, having a great time in spite of the weather. Far Away Pines turns out to be in pretty good shape after all, in spite of prior rumors to the contrary. I joined them in Crickets Corners where they fed me lunch & I passed around copies of the history finds. Then we went over to the mill to help Sunny.

It was just about empty. Probably why something caught my eye that I had never noticed before. That, and I had just seen it in the old pictures. Across from the door, just under the rafters, was a wooden yoke. The kind they used to put on the back of a pair of oxen or horses so they could pull heavy loads together. In one of the old pictures, Kirby was hosting a company party on his farm. Our Garfield Hall was called "The Bungalow" and there was the yoke, hanging above the doorway on the left as a couple of flappers wandered through. IN another, from the Cleveland Press, the Girl Scouts have just bought the place. Garfield Hall has a front porch. The yoke is now hanging from the middle front of the porch. In both pictures, the yoke is positioned right side up- the way it would have rested on the shoulders of the animals. A double ring hangs down from it, one smaller, and inside the other.
The yoke below the rafters is upside down. But it's the right size. A couple of us clamber up to get it. We flip it over- and the double rings dangle down. If , as it says in A Promise Kept , Kirby harvested the lumber from this land to build his house, odds are that he hauled the logs with an ox team. What if this was the yoke worn by the team that Fanny bought for her father with her spinning money? Probably not - what would be the odds? On the other hand; yokes don't exactly wear out. A shiver runs through me.
We wrap & bundle old pictures & display boards. When everything is done, Sunny & I open up the huge double windows, drag over a bench, and sit to rest with our elbows on the window sill. I'm watching the road for my sister. The rain makes all the fall colors brighter, and this is a great view. Who'd have thought?

Next day, we have our meeting. Afterward, those who are able go wandering around the camp. Our little group tagged along with Spazz & Co. on the Quest for the Green Cathedral. We split off and wind up down in the mill. Nothing left. A trash can overflowing with papers & projects too nibbled on by mice to save. A dried shelf fungus etched by some long ago troop. This is too incredibly sad. I snag the fungi out of the trash & demand a final ceremony in the encroaching twilight. We take the fungi to the secret waterfall to give it a decent burial - if not at sea - at least at pond. We toss it in, sing taps, and hope for a renewal of life in the spring.



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