A letter from Elizabeth, our Guest Services Representative, as she prepares to leave for graduate school in August.
July 25, 2014
Dear Dallas Heritage Village Visitors, Volunteers, and Staff,
You may know me. I work in the ticket office. I will be leaving soon (too soon) and before I go I asked if I could share some of my favorite things and favorite moments from working there this past year. There is a lot to recommend the Dallas Heritage Village to me and of course I’m biased, I work here.
When I started in the Ticket Office at the DHV, I was super excited because it was my first actual job in a museum. Finally, I would be paid for doing something that I love! Honestly, I didn’t really know too much about the Village. I’d heard about it, sure. After my first interview I was able to walk around a bit, and I knew that my parents used to bring my older sister here when she was very young, but they didn’t return after I was born. I still don’t feel like I know that much about the actual buildings, land, and artifacts, but I have learned a lot about the museum.
When I went on my first tour of the Village, I immediately found my favorite house: Blum. Since the Blum house is set up as a traditional Jewish home, and I, being of Jewish origin, was completely enchanted by the artifacts, the style, and the color of Blum. Also, the Blum house holds my favorite items in the DHV collection: the door mezuzahs. Since I am partial to the Victorian era, the Sullivan house is a close second in my list of favorite buildings. I think what appeals to me is the ornate and intricate designs. I also love the Farmstead, especially when I have to close it up at the end of the day. Yes, it is the most complicated to close, but when I do, I get to go behind the barriers to walk through the house, and that is one of my favorite things about working in museums; being part of the select few who can go behind the scenes.
Some of my favorite moments spent at the village are from our bigger events. My first event was Boy Scout day in November with the Civil War reenactment. I am so much of a nerd that I was really looking forward to the demonstration. I’ve always wanted to see one. The wind blew the gun smoke back over the spectators that day. I turned to my parents, who were visiting, and said, “Huh, it smells like popcorn.” My mom and dad gave me a look, one of those “what are you talking about” looks, and I responded sheepishly with, “I think I’ve burned too many bags of popcorn.” But it did, the smoke smelled like popcorn to me! Aside from realizing my inability to cook popcorn, it was really neat to be able to see the care that the re-enactors take with their costumes and weapons.
In the spring, the DHV hosted a 1920’s themed Sunday Social, which turned out to be another cool event. The event had a bigger turnout than anyone really expected. What I loved about this day was seeing how many people, of all ages, actually dressed up in 1920’s style clothing. I love to dress-up when I can, but I was astounded at how many people from the Dallas area do too. It is always reassuring when you find people like you, with your same interests. It is why I love working in museums
And that brings me to the Village people: the volunteers and staff. You all are amazing. You are nerdy, history buffs, with amazing costumes and great attitudes. I have enjoyed working with every one of you and learning about your lives and what keeps you coming to the DHV. We all work towards making the museum memorable and enjoyable for visitors and that has made this experience memorable and enjoyable for me. Thank you.
I have enjoyed working at DHV for those moments above, and also for really simple things. No day is ever the same, the way each building has a unique scent, the compliments from visitors about the museum, those quiet moments while walking the grounds, seeing the contrast of the Dallas skyscrapers in the distance. This is not good-bye, not really. I will be back, even if it is just to stroll the grounds, or to say hi to Nip and Tuck, or to celebrate the holidays with Candlelight. I am loathe to leave, especially when I know some of the events and improvements that will be coming in the fall. Plus, I can always try the cell phone tour if I am really homesick.