Monday, March 14, 2005

Chicago's Awful Theatre Horror

History is a serious subject. I know, I took two (count them, two) history courses with Carol Sheriff. If she taught me nothing else, Carol Sheriff taught me that history is important. Well, she also taught me that the Erie Canal is the nexus of American History, and I suppose that's what she'd have me remember. But somehow, in the midst of all the Erie Canal talk, I also learned that history is a serious subject.

History is a serious subject. I know, I lived in Colonial Williamsburg for three (count them, three) years. Somewhere in the midst of the hordes of tourons, marching fife and drum corps and interpreters dressed in 17th century garb in the middle of the Marketplace, I got it. History is important.

Seriously, history is important. We like to know where we come from. Some people pass down family legends, some research their geneaology, and some people write important family dates inside their sacred text, the family Bible. We treat history with reverence. We honor those who came before, worship them, even. History is religion.

My family, however, must not have gotten the memo about the importance of history, the fact that it is, indeed, a serious subject. The Bostwicks, my grandmother's family, wanted to keep a record of births, dates, and marriages. They bypassed the family Bible, however, and went for another book, similar in size and appearance, but lacking in gravity: Chicago's Awful Theatre Horror, By the Survivors and Rescuers.


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