Let me say right off this isn’t about knocking the US or its people, I have many American friends, been there many times and hope to go there again, in fact whatever the English equivalent of the US Anglophile is, well that’s me .. ‘smile’
I often hear Americans say they have no history, for no other reason it seems that the country can only go back just over 200 years whereas in the UK we go back a lot further, but its not true of course, history is now, yesterday is last week, last month, last year, history is history no matter how short or long a period of time we are talking about.
This brings me to my point, perhaps its this attitude to history that sees things in the US not being preserved they way they are here in the UK for example where we have castles, homes, building and yes ruins dating back 1000 years or more, and there still for the public to see and savour, .. whereas it seems the same attitude or preservation does not seem to apply in the US apart from a very few locations, Jamestown for example.
I first went to Tombstone in 1996 and found it to be a great place, full of atmosphere for me, a (grownup) kid with a love of all things western and there I was in one of its most legendary of places and in all truth it still bore some resemblance I suppose to the Tombstone of old, but in returning in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, what a change, what a shame
…… WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ………
I know People have to make a living, I know people have to live, but for example if a similar town had existed in the UK more than likely the main historical thoroughfare, in this case Allen street, could well have been preserved as it was with the commerce side of things being off to the side and the history of the town preserved to a degree in that way, why I wonder was commerce, profit and trade allowed to take over from historical fact and preservation.
I suppose what sums it all up more than anything else for me and is a striking example of what I mean is Hatch’s saloon ..
.. in 1996 standing at the door and looking down the building, you could still relate it to an original picture that stood on the counter of the building, and I can demonstrate that with the pictures attached, but in 2004 when I went there again, what a difference; The mighty god commerce it seems had taken over and history was destroyed, there was very little to link the old and the new, and then in 2005 it was even worse and now it is all they can do to leave the two doors at the back of the original building which now has no back as such at all, but opens out onto a yard and also opens out into a larger store on the right where a hole has been put in that wall to make the store even larger .. I don’t have pictures of that as a comparison, I was too sick I think to take them, and you who live there, who have been there will know what I mean.
My dear American cousins, you do have a history and one worth preserving, only it seems you don’t maybe know how to best go about doing that .. imagine if Allen Street had been restored and preserved as it was, as it may have been if it had been a street in an historical town here in the UK, as we do here in the UK .. what a jewel it would have been, it would be,
what a striking example of Western history, instead of as we see it today, a commercial disaster more in keeping with a money making mall than a historical site.