March 12, 2000
| Vol. 17 No. 21
Clovis Future Shock
Founder's Dream Wearing Thin!
By Howard Hobbs Ph.D. Valley Press Media Network
Letter to the Editor
Calif. -- Today Clovis is a great American city with a precious civic resource
that is both the pride of the city and a public concern.
This city's museum holds a central place in the
cultural life of our community -- it is the principal collector, steward and exhibitor
of some of the Citys most important accomplishments, its newspapers, its
schools, churches, social organizations. It is a center for education and cultural
awareness in the entire region.
One hundred and eight years ago, property owners,
miners, and prospectors in what was then an outpost of civilization got together
and organized a land survey near Mr. Clovis Cole's ranch headquarters neighbors
called Clovis Station. They drafted a map of the region. With it they set
out to subdivide the area and promote orderly growth and encourage civic participation.
The rest is history. Today, we are helping to build Clovis Cole's dream and beyond.
In all this there is still a hint of founder's nostalgia for the old
order and for a certain 19th Century structure.
To fully realize and nourish the strengths and traditions
that make the old town of Clovis so vital to the future, we should be taking steps
to greatly expand our museum collection to preserve the present diverse human
history of this community of people who still care deeply about the future and
those who will have to live with it in another time.
We have come a long way from those earlier days.
Preservation of our civic pride and social history has been geratly ehanced through
our Clovis Museum programs. They are a magnet for new collections, if we only
had a place to preserve them. Only a new building and new digital technology will
ensure that the Clovis Museum remains an active resource for preservation of prominent
historical collections. To do so it must expand to the Internet and introduce
database organization and access to memers and researchers.
New collections can only be secured if we have a
safer, more sterile environment for City civic, cutural and technological history.
The new Clovis digital museum will enable us to use the collections more cohesively
without damage to them.
These collections make a progressive and compelling
case for an integrated digital portrayal of Clovs history. A dynamic collective
narrative ranging from ancient Indian civilizations to contemporary America can
and should be presented on the Internet for public use in classrooms, homes and
offices throught the world.
Public education and enrichment is the reason that
the Clovis Museum was created. For decades, this institution has been at the forefront
of the movement among Clovis leaders to educate the public through dynamic learing
experience. Clovis educational and community service programs are among the most
progressive, the most accomplished and the most comprehensive in the nation.
Taken together, these programs have earned Clovis
recognition as a national leader in historic education and community participation.
A new digital Clovis Museum is essential to ensuring that we will continue to
be a leader in serving the educational needs of our constituencies.
But don't forget, the frontier closed in 1890. Frontier
stories came to a halt. By the end of the Indian War the West lost its
Even more important, any number of conflicts and
dilemmas, stirred up in the 19th century, remained to haunt Westerners in the
20th Century. Conflicts over water use, public lands, boom & bust economies, local
authority versus federal authority, urban sprawl, relations between Mexico and
the United States (as well as between Mexican-Americans and Anglos), Indian land
and water claims, and freedom of religious practice -- most of the issues that
had agitated the 19th-century West continued to stir things up in our Century
at the millennium.
But, a great local newspaper is an American landmark
that lives forever and honors the City's greatest strength, its ability to read.
And by the way, its eagerness to write a letter to the editor when you really
want to get something done.
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