Yesterday Roberta and I took a trip up into Atlanta to visit the Atlanta History Center. I've only been there once before, a year or two after we moved to Atlanta. I took our daughters up for a special exhibition and to just get out of the house and give Mom a day off. By that time, having spent two years in the Atlanta area listening to all the self-indulgent whining generated by the grievance industry that rules Atlanta today, I wasn't expecting much out of the History Center. All I really expected were exhibits designed to bludgeon me into an elevated state of remorse over how my ancestors oppressed the ancestors of others (even though my grandparents on both sides didn't step off the boats from Europe until the early 1900's and settled well north of the Mason-Dixon Line).
However, I was delightfully surprised by the History Center. It had one of the best exhibits on Civil War history I've ever experienced (with lots of excellent equipment displays), a wonderful section on Reconstruction Era Atlanta, an interesting section devoted to folk art and crafts, and an outstanding section on the legacy of the famous Atlanta golfer, Bobby Jones.
The Atlanta History Center is where you go to see the other Atlanta history; the proud history of the city that predates the civil rights struggles that started in the late 1950s. I'm not implying that the history of the civil rights movement isn't important - it certainly is. However, visitors to Atlanta today only hear a narrative of the city's history that starts around 1960 and focuses tightly on only one aspect of what was happening during that period. Atlanta's history is much more than that, and the Atlanta History Center is where you can go to learn about it.
This second visit reinforced my impression formed a decade ago - the History Center is a great museum and well worth the time and cost.
When we arrived and went to the ticket counter to pay I notice a sign that stated 'No Weapons Allowed' and had images of both a knife and a gun with slash marks through them. I wasn't really surprised. Atlanta on the whole is pretty anti-gun. Remember, Atlanta is no longer a 'southern city'. Atlanta is just a city located in the south that's filled with people that either migrated in from other places that are known for their anti-gun attitudes (i.e., the Northeast) or people who's families have been here for generations but who's neighborhoods and culture have been ripped apart by gun violence. These folks are incapable of distinguishing between random, senseless gun violence sparked by illegal activity and lawful, safe carry and use of firearms by responsible citizens.
So it was with a bit of ironic humor that I noted the special exhibit going on at the History Center named 'Confederate Odyssey - The George W. Wray Jr. Civil War Collection'. The History Center cleverly describes the exhibit as a 'collection of Confederate artifacts'. Yeah, OK, but pretty much all of those artifacts are guns and knives - dozens and dozens of 'em! This is one impressive (and impressively displayed) arms collection.
But wait - guns and knives are banned at the Atlanta History Center. Oh silly me - just my guns and knives.
If you have an interest in Civil War era firearms and edged weapons this is an outstanding exhibit and I encourage you to take the time to see it. All I was able to collect were a few fuzzy iPhone pictures of some of the exhibits, but it give a sense of the scope of the collection. By the way, one of the most fascinating tidbits about this collection is that, as vast as it is, the owner George Wray kept most of this stuff squirreled away in his garage up in Sandy Springs before donating it to the History Center. He must have been a real popular guy ("Hey, let's go check out George's garage!")
And finally, since this is supposed to be a blog that focuses on knives, let's pause before leaving to view an impressive example of a Bowie-style Confederate bayonet:
And remember, if you do visit the Atlanta History Center leave your weapons at home. They have plenty for you to choose from should the Yankees return (oh wait... there're here)!
Awww geeze, not another blog!
Welcome to A Fine Blade!
This blog will focus one of my lifelong passions and one of man's most basic tools - the knife!
As time and events permit we'll tiptoe into other territory where we can use the knife as a metaphor in discussions about current events and have a little politically incorrect fun.
Because you see, knives rank just below guns as the most politically incorrect subject on the web today.
Guns & Knives = Bad. Gay Marriage & Recreational Drug Use = Good
We'll see if we can't have some fun with that.
So stay tuned, and welcome aboard!