Being tasked by my boss to come up with new programming ideas, I had been doing a lot of thinking about Valentine’s Day and how it relates to the collections in the museum. I got this idea to share with you all “Love Letters From the Collection”! How great would that be? But, I couldn’t find any. I couldn’t find valentines, love notes, postcards with sweet messages- nothing!
I couldn’t understand it. Firefighting is quite possibly the most romanticized profession in history! I’ve been around firefighters my whole life, I know they like collecting trophies, and awards, and mementos from their careers. The collection is full of things made of bronze and leather that will last for generations, could what I wanted really be that hard to find? Then I remembered Peter and Bobbie Bunn.
The very first interview I conducted for the Museum was with Peter and Bobbie. They had donated a large scrapbook of images from his career with the CFD and we reminisced together over the pages, one by one.
We saw images of devastating fires, and ceremonies commemorating greatness. But then peppered in among the fire shots were pictures of real moments in their lives.
One picture in particular caught my eye- 50 years younger and dressed up, Bobbie was sitting on Peter’s lap. They both looked so happy and carefree. Bobbie started laughing when she saw it and Peter just smiled at her. It was so obvious that these two were ‘the love’ that I was looking for in the collection.
I didn’t need to find a 100 year old love note, or a small valentine sent home from the war. I just needed to remember that the men and women whom the collection represents, are the love I was looking for.
Enjoy the day!