Posts tagged vintage clothes

Taking credit for someone else’s work

Those who know me well, or even if they are only acquainted with me, know that I work hard.  I go after causes and find other people of like minds to join me.  That is true of battling the human trafficking issue as well as anything having to do with preserving history. I have pursued Ukraine’s sad stories of the Holodomor (forced famine of 1932-33 where millions died of starvation) or North Dakota history, my grandparents’ history, my students’ grandparents history, etc. Of course, I am also very interested in Kazakhstan’s history but I can only skim the surface of that now that I am far away from living there as I did for 3 1/2 years.  I did collect plenty of my composition students’ stories that are waiting to be put in book form.

Many others who currently live in Kazakhstan, especially those of you who are expats, hopefully will pay attention to the stories you hear from your neighbors, colleagues, students and anyone else who offers up what they know.  Kazakhstan has an oral tradition that is foreign to us westerners because if we were to compliment someone, we would say, “He is an excellent writer” or “She knows how to express herself beautifully.”  They would mean in the latter case in writing and not in speaking.  Strange to our American ears to hear someone being praised with, “She was a beautiful story teller.”  They meant that that person knew how to knit a tale together that kept the listener spellbound until the end. I heard this comment from a Ukrainian woman who was remembering her grandmother’s talent of storytelling.  We might say that someone knows how to tell a good joke and I truly believe that is a gift that no one in my family possesses.  My husband used to tell many jokes, more than he does now. He would give credit to the person he heard the joke from…as if re-living the moment he heard it and giving them due respect.

That gets me back to getting credit for the hard work that I do.  I have scanned 1,000s of photos in the last ten years.  I scanned many photos from Ukraine when I had my students tell their stories from their grandparents’ past.  We had two presentations where the expats were invited along with the old babushka women to our university’s auditorium. The second presentation we gave in the spring of 2007, the American ambassador and his wife came to listen to my students reveal their history.

I have scanned 1,000s of photos from our local museum and gathered up other photos from old postcards so that I could get two books published with Arcadia press out of South Carolina.  I enjoy sharing these pictures on Facebook with people from my hometown.  However, our museum needs money and now we have launched into using Internet with imagekind website out of Oregon to show off those photos of our town.  What I am dealing with is letting someone else get the credit for putting up the photos that took time to scan.  He put all the photos I scanned up on the website but it would seem to anyone else that he also did all the scanning.

At the same time, I and another volunteer have gone through about 700-800 pieces of vintage clothes that our museum was storing.  We took photos of every item and also wrote the tag number on each and described the item.  We have about 20 pages of the listings and I have the 700 photos of the clothes that we could potentially sell to vintage clothes people.  It is BIG out in the East and West coasts, not so much in our locale.  So, the other night at our board meeting, one of the members who wanted to take over to sell these items on her own terms said something incredible.  After my friend and I had spent many Saturday mornings over the course of about four months doing this mammoth job, she had a potential buyer in a town about 150 miles away.  This board member, who has done NOTHING of the work, said in front of everyone, “Have her come to me to ask about selling to this vintage clothes dealer.”  I was shocked that she had the audacity to claim something that she had not worked on yet and take it out of my friend’s hands who knows a LOT about clothes.  That is taking credit for something she didn’t work on.

What are my feelings when others want to take the glory for all the work that I do?  I have another example that recently happened.  One person at my university has wanted me to talk about our town’s illustrious past.  I have done many presentations on this topic and I have 100s of photos that I have scanned to show with stories to tell.  It didn’t work out last semester because she dropped the ball and didn’t have the advertising set to go.  I bowed out and said I would do it the following semester.  That semester is HERE!  She had been e-mailing me about doing this history presentation in March.  I thought, that is fine, I will do it but then she started sending three insistent google scheduled messages where I had to accept, maybe or deny her scheduling requests.  Even though she had said that we could meet when it was convenient for me, she pushed three times with setting a day and time.  I finally wrote to say I was not interested in doing a presentation for her AT ALL!  Why?  Because she has a reputation of having other people do all the work but she would get the credit.

After what I had just gone through with scanning 1,000s of pictures and going through 700 pieces of vintage clothes, I have HAD it with people stealing the show.  Others want to get the glory for things they haven’t done. I am not a volunteer who wants to be walked all over.  I am a volunteer who wants to help others and promote causes.  So, what do people in Kazakhstan do about those who “steal” stories and tell them as if they are their own?  What would be considered “plagiarism” from an oral tradition point of view?  Just wondering?  The concept of taking from others, even ideas should have a penalty of shame attached to it, right?

Well, I will have to figure out how to work with the person on the photos, he is my friend.  The other person who wants to do all the clothes selling with the data that we collected, she will probably fail because noone will be wanting to work with her.  It will probably end up back in our laps.  In any case, I am venting right now about how I feel.  Has this ever happened to you where others claim the glory for things that YOU have done?

Leave a comment »

Vintage clothes and people who don’t know…or care

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We will have the vintage clothes person come up today from 75 miles away to look at our holdings of clothes at the Carnegie. She is more interested in 1940s and 1950s clothes.  We have a LOT of 1960s and 1970s clothes and want to find buyers who are interested in these kinds of things.  We have taken photos of nearly 250 pieces and we probably have about 500-600 more pieces of clothes to go through. That is NOT counting the shoes, hats, purses, etc. that are stored above the ten stuffed cabinets.

We are in gridlock at the Carnegie building right now because we have no where to turn with all the STUFF that has been collected over the years.  We had a yes/no vote taken this weekend by e-mail to find out if people on the historical society board were willing to sell some of these clothes.  Most all on the 15 member board said yes, there were a few dissenters. One said that he thought it was illegal to conduct an e-mail survey…what does he know?  Talks uppity but doesn’t do anything and is so eager to leave the meeting that he is always the first to adjourn our monthly board meetings.  I’d like to see what happens when we start talking a LONG time about clothes and how to store them properly and see what he does…or says.

Some people don’t really know anything and yet spout off about things as if they DO know something…also, there are others on our board who don’t care.  They show up once a month for the meeting (and the food) and vote and maybe make a motion so that their name will be in the minutes…but they don’t care about what is really happening.  We are running out of money and we need to be sure to go down with the Titanic. That is what we are on right now, we have hit an iceberg of reality. We have soooo much of everything, six treadle sewing machines, 10 grandmother clocks, six pump organs, 20 irons…the list goes on and on.  Supposedly we can’t get rid of things because they are on loan from a certain family, we don’t want to hurt that family’s feelings.  What do we have on loan at the museum? We should NEVER have taken anything on loan but instead told the people who “gifted” the museum that we would use the article of donation appropriately for display purposes or sell it.  We have to pay for the lights, electricity, heating, etc.  There are about ten buildings that are on the 8 acres of museum grounds. We don’t run on fumes and yet there are board members who don’t have a clue about what business sense it is to NOT make some money for this non-profit organization. We still need to pay the bills even though we are a non-profit entity.

Okay, enough venting…this has nothing to do with Kazakhstan, I realize that. However, I do know that this old country, the ninth largest in the world, currently has many painful growing pains to go through. Our museum is going through the opposite with having a dying population in our area where the grandkids purge grandma’s house and attic and “gift” us with all the rejected material that they don’t want.  In some cases, that is more than less.  Kazakhstan has many older kind of ideas about how the country used to function before communism took over. Probably after one hundred years, that has all perished.  There may be pockets of the country that still have some of the lingering old customs.  However, I think for the most part, people who still live in the hinterlands are living in poverty and are prey to the human traffickers.

We live in a fallen world, I realize that. Especially after getting some of the dissenting comments about what we are trying to accomplish at the Carnegie. Leave it to a few “do-nothings” who want to throw their weight around and express ideas that are NOT based on realism or on forward thinking functionality.  Here are some of the clothes that we are documenting and hoping to sell…eventually.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »

Been awhile, been busy at the Carnegie

Carnegie frontSometimes life goes on and other times it rushes past. I have neglected this site because there has been so much activity at the former Carnegie library and our county museum.  I have had GREAT volunteers who I have brought in to help with sorting through books and cataloging about 1,000 pieces of 1960s and 1970s clothes that have been stored.  We have discovered some GREAT vintage clothes in the ten jam packed closets. Both jobs with books and clothes are no small tasks.

The picture below is of our university intern. He is shown with one of the 45 WWII posters that we found in the stack of books. So far I have put under frame and glass about 6-7 of these posters. We have discovered some other great things as well.  Who will value them? We hope to have a sale of the 250 things I have put under glass when we open the Carnegie up in mid-August.

If I were to count all the different things I have done in the last month and a half, it would be a long list.  People who do not do anything are the ones who seem to kick up the most fuss.  I have to be patient with them. Life goes on and volunteers are important. I have been volunteering many, many hours at the museum and Carnegie. I should add these hours up to see what it would all be worth to the rest of the members on the board.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave a comment »