Monday, January 3, 2011

And Now I Know I'm Old

Telephone Booth Graveyard in Lamu

The day before Thanksgiving, we took our afterschool group of Somali children to COSI (the Center of Science and Industry) in downtown Columbus. I hadn't been there for years and was really looking forward to it. When I was a child, my girl scout troop went every year, and I still remember what fun I had there.

So I was anxious to hear what my group of eight-year-olds was looking forward to.

The first place I want to go is the 1980s, Yahye said.

Everyone agreed. Yes, they wanted to go to the 1980s.

Sure, why not, I thought. Big hair, big shoulder pads, Just Say No, AIDS, MTV, Pac Man ... That exhibit could be interesting.

But we couldn't find it. And nobody at the Information Desk could help.

There is no 1980s exhibit, the person behind the counter said. Are you sure the children aren't thinking about the 1890s? The Progress exhibit? Where, beginning in 1898, you travel through time with the people of a small midwestern town?

Maybe, I said.

I turned to Yahye. Do you mean the 1890s? The time travel exhibit?

He shrugged. Sure. Whatever.

And that was what the children wanted to see. And the thing in that multi-million dollar museum that most captivated their attention?

The phonebooth.

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