The Essential Service of Storytelling

At the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum we interpret 19th-century historic living, as seen in the lives of three single women who owned, consecutively, this grand old house and operated a very respected boarding house within its walls. Here we offer a glimpse at the simplicity of the 19th century, as we display its most fashionable designs and daily comforts that couldn’t possibly, ever be improved upon! It truly was a simpler time back then. Yet, if you think about it, 19th-century America was bigger than it is today. It was more spread out, with more distance between cities and towns, and fewer people to occupy the wide-open spaces. The nation as we know it today was incomplete. Ranches and farmlands dominated the western lands, with several territories still awaiting statehood status. It was a time when neighbor helping neighbor was essential to survival. Essential. Now there’s a word we hear a lot about these days. Essential personnel. Essential job descriptions. Americans need their neighbors more now than perhaps we ever have, yet we’ve never been farther from one another, metaphorically, than we are in this pandemic. That is one reason that so many “non-essential” organizations are collaborating via the internet in order to survive. Museums, libraries, historical societies, archives, orchestras – all of those places we begrudgingly dragged our feet toward on school field trips (presumably for doing something terribly wrong to deserve such a fate!) – have come together to keep the people of the world’s lives enriched with their information; their resources; their harmonies. We need harmonies right now. We need old-style neighbor helping neighbor activities to help the world maintain some sense of balance, if not for ourselves then at least for the children. Isn’t that what the Humanities are truly about – keeping humanity balanced? The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is striving to collaborate with other similar institutions to bring stories to homebound children who are looking for…needing…an outlet of innocence and “happy endings” in their lives. Stay tuned as we put this program together so that we can bring you a schedule of old fashioned entertainment and distraction – storytelling. What a concept! What an essential, wholesome concept for our children to hear and remember. Talk to any adult who lived through a crisis of global proportions as a small child and they will recall the games that they played and the stories they heard. That’s why one of our missions right now is to ensure that today’s children have no shortage of stories to hear. Please join us by submitting your favorite children’s stories so that we can help you help them as we read these stories live on Facebook. Let’s make sure that the children of today have the same remembrances of childhood that the rest of us enjoyed and have held so dear.