|[a] Keeping Tickets RF|
|[b] Foochan Ticket DHS|
Geil has again made me question my character.
As a Midwesterner on the East Coast, I have been taking the opportunity to visit all the major historical sites; I went to Valley Forge and Gettysburg, and I even ventured to New York City to see the Hamilton Grange Home and the Tenement Museum. Through all my travels, I have kept my ticket stubs and maps in hopes to create a scrapbook of my time in the Mid-Atlantic.
Now I see staring at me, Geil’s ticket to Foochan, China. Geil, in all his travels, also collected items to remember his time in new places. After working so much with his personal papers, which include journal entries and photographs, it should have been no surprise that he would also collect tickets…like me. Geil and I are once again alike.
With all this documentation, Geil was enriching his memory of that moment in time—a time that can never really be recaptured again. He was creating a history of his life and adventures. This discovery of his ticket reminded me of the first document I ever saw in Geil’s archive: an advertisement for one of his public appearances, with his handwritten note “my first lecture.” It seems Geil is a little sentimental.
|[c] Geil's First Lecture DHS|
So why would Geil and I collect these tickets? We already have written descriptions of our travels and even photographic evidence. So why—already with so much documentation—would Geil (and I) still collect more? Because there is a desire to have a physical link to the past. Why are there thousands of historical sites? Why each day are there hundreds of visitors at Independence Hall and the Statue of Liberty? Because it is human nature to not only remember history, but to also be part of it and be able to physically touch it. By writing about his experiences, taking photographs, and keeping tickets, Geil was capturing the physical aspects of the moments of his life he truly wanted to remember.