When I’m not teaching college—or at any rate when I’m not at home for parts of the summer—I work at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. This is worthy of note, because Philly holds a weird and exceptional place deep in my memory bank.
Why? Well, “The Memory Hole” was a name already taken, but I liked the name, so I came up with a roughly synonymous term.
I think a little biography is in order. My story as an American—and as a serious investigator of cultural memorials—began on July 4, 2005, at the Genesee Country Village (above), a living history museum in Mumford, NY.
I’m fascinated by the monuments and memorials we put up or cordon off to help us make sense of what went before us. I’ve also been a seasonal park ranger at a U.S. historical park for the past five seasons, so I’ve been thinking about this more and more as I do a job that connects ordinary folks to some of America’s greatest national treasures.