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A Night at the Museum: When History Comes Alive!

August 7, 2012

By: Kristen Hearn

For the first time in Pujols Family Foundation ‘History’, we partnered with the Missouri History Museum, located in historical Forest Park, for a fun adventure we called a “Night at the Museum.”  Over 400 people were scheduled to attend, and the museum and their helpful staff were more than welcoming. When our families first arrived, they were greeted by a musical delight of acoustic songs being sung in the entryway. One of the girls, upon hearing a rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” screamed out “this is my favorite song!”. She ran over to the source of the music, and started dancing and moving like she was at a Justin Bieber concert.

The whole museum was our map, and as soon as the families checked in, they were eager to get started on their journey. There was a lot of commotion at the first exhibit, “Underneath it All,” where the families saw an array of ladies western undergarments, from the Victorian Age to modern times. They saw a variety of these garments, to include crinolines, corsets, bustles, and brassieres. But there was no time to be bashful for our bountiful families, and soon they were busy trying on various petticoats, and posing for their family and friends. Even the PFF’s program director Jen Cooper joined in on the fun, much to the delight of the families. One family remarked that they were glad to see that the volunteers there not only helped to put on the wonderful event, but also had a little fun, too.

There were many more exciting exhibits to visit. At “FIRE! Friend and Foe,” our families got a local history lesson, learning about such topics as the Great Fire of 1849, the industrial fire profession, to include the volunteer and professional firefighters of St. Louis, and the domestic tools that we use in our everyday lives. There was a ‘camp’ setup in the middle of the exhibit, and some of our families were quick to sit by the fictitious campfire, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, all while telling ghost stories and singing camp songs. One of the kids whispered to his mom and said, “So, when are we going camping for real?” His mother told him she liked pretending to camp better.

Finally, let’s not forget that the event was held during the 2012 London Olympics! As the U.S. team was winning an unprecedented number of medals, the History Museum helped us join in on the fun. A clever arts and crafts table was set up, allowing the families a chance to earn their own gold medals by creating their very own unique design and wearing them proudly. They also had the chance to make Olympic torches, which was a wonderful tie in to the fire exhibit. One of our triple gold winners, who proudly displayed his swag, exclaimed, “This is so much better than the real Olympics!” And I might say that I have to agree.

When the event had finally concluded, with our minds full of knowledge and our tummies full with the delicious food consumed at Bixby’s Restaurant, it was nice to step outside and feel an almost cool breeze, something that I think most of our families forgot existed. With a wave to our generous hosts at the museum, we said “adieu” to the ever-amazing Missouri History Museum…at least until next time.

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Date:
August 7, 2012
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