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HHH: Public invited to tell their stories

I’m struggling. I just want to say that up front.

Some days I feel like I have a lot to write about    Hormel family history, upcoming or past events and programming, preservation projects-fun stuff.  But right now I am finding it difficult to look backward due to certain stains in our history and in looking forward all I see is uncertainty.

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Last week I wrote about upcoming concerts and the enjoyment I hope they bring to our guests.  But then a violent event took place in an entertainment district 100 miles up the road.

Two weeks ago I wrote about how George Hormel weathered various economic crisis in his day.  The limited income during the last three months at the Hormel Historic Home have proven challenging.  But I am holding onto George’s examples as evidence that we can withstand this period of reduced resources.

Four weeks ago I described a different Austin-the one in Illinois where George Hormel’s grandfather lived and died.  That Austin has gone from an affluent diverse neighborhood to one with incredible poverty and violence.

Just over a month ago, a tragic loss of life resulted in destruction, hatred, and worldwide unrest.

And we are not quite sure just how long ago COVID-19 landed on our nation’s soil and changed the nature of social interactions — maybe forever.

The weight of all these things gets heavy.

History reveals that events such as these have taken place since the beginning of time, but when it’s in our time, it is hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what to say.  Personally, I want to say let’s all follow the golden rule of treating others as we’d like to be treated.  Why is that so hard?

Professionally, I want my organization to provide stability and compassion to our employees and volunteers and to welcome guests and clients of all colors, orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  As a history organization, I want to preserve the past, not hide it, and from it learn how to be better. Why does that seem hard?

Personal history, community history, cultural history … it’s being written by each of us, for each of us, every day.  What we do and say today becomes the history of tomorrow, which means that it is important to think first about what we say and do.

Because we need to preserve what is happening around us, the Hormel Historic Home and the Mower County Historical Society are inviting you to share your experiences in this historic time.  Write them down, tell them to someone, paint a picture to reflect your feelings.

History is made up of facts, but more importantly, it is made up of people and what they experience.  Tell us your story in whatever way you can.  We need to preserve this time so future generations can learn from it and be better.

Upcoming events

Hump Day History: Sweet’s Hotel

Noon, Wednesday, July 1

Presented free on Facebook Live.

Music @ the Mansion: Patchouli

7 p.m., Monday, July 6

Please bring your own chair and be prepared for social distance. Free

Hump Day History: Marcusen Park

Noon, Wednesday, July 8

Presented free on Facebook Live