History and Kids
By Cait Collins
I teach a group of fourth and fifth graders at my church. They’re great kids and are really starting to figure out that the past often has a bearing on the present. They know I’ve been working on a story about Route 66 and have expressed an interest in the Mother Road. So I’m planning to take them to 6thStreet here in Amarillo. This stretch of the historic highway is a haven for antique collectors, music lovers, and art gallery patrons. I plan to show my kids how we lived back in the “olden days”.
This section of the Mother Road is a still a business district with antique shops, galleries, and music. The Old Nat Ballroom still stands. The history of a kinder gentler time lives on in a few blocks of the older part of Amarillo. I really want them to see that even though it’s different our lives were still full and happy and we had technology. Well, sort of.
I think young people are more willing to learn history when they have hands-on or eyes on the artifacts. But there’s another reality…they keep me young. I get to see the life I lived through their eyes. I get a second chance at living the good times and the bad times through their interpretations of the items they see and touch. And I will pick their brains for a historic building to house my antique pottery and china shop in my next Route 66 story. The location has to be special because the mission is life saving. I have my eye on a store front. I wonder what my students will think about my pick.