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Inside Museum at 95 Main Street. Photo courtesy Museum of Buford

By Lyn Bowman

It is always nice to start the New Year out with self-improvement plans for both the personal and the professional. The personal ones are easy to plan but difficult to execute and are, unfortunately, usually dismissed after only a few weeks. Just for the record, here are a few of those: lose weight, exercise more, attend church more, be a better husband/father, talk less about politics, pay it forward, help my fellow man, spend more time with family… anyway, you get the picture. I guess if anyone can do these, even for a few weeks, they are better off; and everyone around them is better off too. If only it could be a permanent lifestyle change for me…

The professional changes, especially for the museum, can be a little tougher to think up but are maybe more easily executed because of community participation. With the help of our existing volunteers and those inspired by this article, surely our goals can be met and the end results will be substantive and noticeable by most. I guess it is necessary to start with restating the mission of the Museum of Buford: Preserving all things Buford. It is short, simple, and to the point. Expanding on that for 2018 can be just as simple. I can easily think of three tasks or resolutions I would like to accomplish this year.

The first goal, slated for the summer months, will be to rearrange many of the display cases housing our permanent collection. By doing so, we will have a nice opportunity to clean the collection and display different items that have been stored for a few years. We typically try to temporarily display new items that come into the museum, but oftentimes, they do not make it to permanent status and are stored for a later date. Many of the items we have out have been displayed since we moved into the Buford Community Center, and a change would be refreshing. This overhaul will require two groups of volunteers. The first phase will be the selection process: creating preliminary groupings of different but related items within general themes or topics that communicate a uniform message. The second group of volunteers will be those with spatial planning skills who can rearrange the cases in a pleasing but informative manner. If anyone would like to be involved in either of these stages with this committee, please contact me at bufordbowman@gmail.com.

A second idea that we have been kicking around for years is making video recordings from members of our community. We should probably first concentrate on the older generation and define topics that are relatable to their common history. This idea was moved to the forefront after Perry Pealock expressed a growing interest from many members on Facebook and other social media outlets. Our initial thoughts were to have several topics that we use as a basis but, of course, allow free discussion and let the conversations go wherever they lead. We are looking for first-hand accounts, public events, landmark occurrences, and generally interesting facts about growing up or living in Buford. We will compile and edit these testimonies into multiple discs or volumes that are made available to the public at a nominal cost in order to underwrite future videos. Our goal would be to create a new video each quarter with different topics of community interest. We would need suggestions of people to interview, points of interest for questions, and help with filming and editing the final projects each quarter. If you have suggestions for any of these, please contact Perry at pealock@gmail.com.

The third and final resolution for the Museum would be making the collection more accessible and getting the community to plug into our efforts more. How can we encourage more participation from the community and increase our visitation here at the Museum? Does it require different hours of operation? Currently we are open Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and during many evening shows and events sponsored by the Community Center. Would different days and/or hours benefit potential patrons? Feel free to contact me with any suggestions, again at bufordbowman@gmail.com.

In order for any of these ideas to succeed, we need community involvement. We alone cannot execute these ambitious plans alone, so if you want to see these ideas completed, please get involved. We look forward to an exciting 2018 and, hopefully, we can fulfill our resolutions aimed at continuing our mission of Preserving All Things Buford.

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