I donâ€™t think I am able to pinpoint my interest in history to a single object or event. Ever since I was a kid I was always interested in anything old. One major influence on my interest in history was the fact that for several years my family was living at my maternal grandparentâ€™s house. Anytime I could I was always rummaging through old desks, chests, closets and especially the attic, to find things that appealed to me. Being a kid I never pursued any of those things past simple admiration, but those experiences nevertheless cemented my interests in anything historical. The source I have attached is a gold-plated railroad spike that was gifted to my grandfather by Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Johnson. The inscription on the spike reads, â€œTo Bernard Winfield, With happy memories of our Whistle Stop Tour, October 1964, Lady Bird Johnson.â€ This artifact resonates with me especially powerfully because it is one of the few remaining things that I have connecting me with those few years when my interest in history began to mature. This spike is representative of some of the many things I love about history. With it I have a physical attachment to something important in the past and more importantly I have a strong emotional connection to it.
To Bernard Winfield, With happy memories of our Whistle Stop Tour, October 1964, Lady Bird Johnson
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Unknown, Charles Pfeiffer, Civil War Era NC, accessed January 20, 2022, https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/919.