Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Wonderful Views of the Past

Exhibition Detail: Decades of Dissent: Democracy in Action, 1960–1980 | Skirball Cultural Center

After I've put the menudo in the crock pot next Sunday, I want to take my cerebral sweetie by the hand and take him to the above exhibit, which is at the Skirball through February 17, 2013.

According to the article in this morning's Los Angeles Times' "Arts & Books" section, these are originals, with all the handmade details, rips, handwritten entries, and all. Seeing these items will probably take me back to the springtime of 1973. That's when my then- (and now deceased, RIP) boyfriend and I joined a ragtag band of antiwar protestors (and arguably anything "anti-establishment") to a trip to the heart of San Francisco and a rally on the Federal Building steps. One of our group's projects, while we weren't marching, yelling, and engaging in a few now-cringe-worthy activities, was to silk-screen posters for our cause(s). Whenever I see an old silkscreen device anywhere, I think of those few days with much nostalgia...

Another venue, summoning much less adrenaline-fueled memories, can be seen at the Heritage Square Museum (heritage square.org). The article spotlighting the Colonial Drug exhibit can be seen in today's "California" section of the Times. Sid Simmons is 90, and curates this display of his father's massive collection of vintage pharmaceutical bottles, posters (advertising goods such as "Cocaine Toothache Drops"), and the like. Old George's accumulation might, in the hands of other families, be seen as evidence of hoarding, but his sons had another visions.

I seem to remember my grandmother having a bottle of Lydia Pinkham's tonic (for "female complaints") in her room. When I get to this exhibit--and I will on some Sunday--I'm betting I might see some of this on display. Below is a photo of the still-working Lydia Pinkham Memorial Clinic, which is one of the wonderful sights I saw on my self-guided tour in 2008 (of Boston, Salem, and lots of points in between). That's a topic for another time and another post. Now there's another place teeming with wonderful visits to the past!


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