Oct 8, 2008

New Volunteer Endeavor

I'm so excited! I know, again?! Hey, I excite easily. I receive joy from many, many things. And the latest item to bring me joy is a new volunteer endeavor I will be taking on starting next week. Since I am a history major and my dream job would be to work in a museum and I have not been able to find a position here in Austin as of late, I knew I wanted to volunteer at museums to get some experience and do my part. This summer I began researching volunteer positions at different museums here in Austin and actually submitted the required forms to one particular museum to begin the process of becoming a volunteer to which I have still not heard from at all. Maybe they have enough volunteers. I am more interested in archiving, artifacts, cataloging, preservation, conservation, stabilization and exhibit production and management than being a tour guide, docent or interpreter. Most of the museums in Austin seemed to want tour guides, docents and information desk volunteers rather than historical work until I came across the Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry here in Austin. They need those public positions but need more help with the behind the scenes part of the museum. They are funded solely by donations and only have a small full time staff. They operate mainly through volunteers. So I was eager to get in touch with them about volunteering which I did recently. And boy did I feel like I could help. From the very first phone call, I was warmly welcomed and once they heard what I was interested in and when I could help, they were very eager to get me to come in to complete the required forms and begin working. So next week I will begin volunteering on a particular stabilization project now that they have received adequate storage that will prevent any future damage to the artifacts. I am so excited to get to use my passion for history and museums. Yeah!!

Also, if you are interested, their living history group will perform two battle reenactments soon. The first is Saturday, October 18th at Camp Swift near Bastrop and the next is November 8-9 at Camp Mabry. All events are free and open to the public. The October 18th event will also celebrate Oktoberfest events at the same location. So I don't think I'll have any problem convincing Roger to go. I know we aren't supposed to add anything new to the month of October, but I won't be able to make it to the November reenactment because I'll be out of town at a nephew's birthday party. And Roger really wanted to attend an Oktoberfest celebration. I would have loved to attend the November event since it will be reenacted through the eyes of the unit most Texans were sent to Europe with during World War II, the 36th Infantry Division. My grandfather, William "Buster" Jasper Wise Jr, served in World War II from Texas. I wish he was still around to ask him questions and listen to stories of his experiences there, but he didn't talk about it much when he was alive. I did a report on him and his WWII experience once in junior high or high school. I wish I could find it so I can read what he said about it. This was before computers were common in households so I wrote it the old fashioned way, on paper then used a typewriter to turn it in. So I doubt there's a copy lying around. If it had been done on a computer, there might be a copy still somewhere. Even though he was ornery, I still miss him.

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