Forward to the Past

Having made the decision to hand Pints & Politics over to a new set of leaders it’s time for me to start thinking about the future … um, the past … um, the future of the past.

Let me back up a bit. History and I don’t have the greatest history. Like many I expect, it was something that we studied as a requirement to getting through school but it wasn’t anything that we dwelled on much. Also like many, I went to work, came home, ate dinner, watched TV, went to bed and then did it all over again. I was only peripherally involved in The World.

So when people stood hand in hand around the Talbot block to preserve a bunch of old buildings I didn’t get it. This, despite the fact that I took architecture in college and constantly decried the state of modern building design. That I wasn’t there with them is one of the larger regrets I have.

Then rtraction happened and London seemed to matter to me like it never did before. Then Twitter happened and I fell in love with London’s people like never before. 25 years after moving here London finally became home and every decision became about doing right by her.

So when it came time to move our business we wanted to do honour to our city by using this opportunity to invest in its heritage. It’s safe to say that it was love at first sight with The London Roundhouse and I made a commitment to the building owners that I’d learn everything that I could about the building’s past.

Oh boy.

Before I cut the cord on TV (who the hell has time for TV when you have community?) I loved detective shows and it turns out that historical research is solving mysteries. I was talking to people from all kinds of fascinating backgrounds, sifting through clues, following leads, hitting dead ends, righting wrongs, hearing amazing stories and learning, learning, learning.

The best bit? I found a couple of tribes to belong to: heritage folks and railway enthusiasts. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on my new passion. It’s fun, it’s fascinating, it’s relevant and it’s strangely zen.

It’s a bit selfish but now I want to spend more time with these tribes and want to find cool ways to help grow them as well.

Let me preface this next bit by saying that I know that there are a lot of excellent people doing a lot of excellent things in this area and there’s no intent to reinvent the wheel … maybe, if everything goes well, we’ll just be adding a bit of grease to the wheel.

The intent is to start a small, casual gathering of folks to get together and chat about the past. London’s past, Ontario’s past, Canada’s past. A Hops & Heritage kind of thing. What will it all look like? This is just the beginning so I have no idea, I hope you will be one of the excellent people to help with that.

So this Wednesday, January 21, I hope you’ll come for a bite and a beverage at Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium at 5:30pm before wandering over to the London & Middlesex Historical Society meeting at the old courthouse at 7:15pm.

If you’re interested in this gathering or future developments please drop me a note, or just show up and say hi.