Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting to Know Pueblo Grande Museum... Again

Depending on whom you ask here in the Valley, Pueblo Grande Museum can mean a lot of different things. Recollections of third grade field trips taken to explore the mound, news blurbs about the light rail construction taking place alongside the museum, visits to Sky Harbor that require a drive down 44th St while casually looking out the window to the east and thinking, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that place”. Good or bad, the realities of this cherished monument to the desert dwellers before us, have become all too apparent over the ensuing decades. As Phoenix set its eyes on the ever expanding frontier of tract home building and low density development, the Pueblo Grande Museum could have easily slipped farther and farther into the pit of obscurity.

Now wait just a minute, who is this blogger stomping on all the toes of such a great piece of Arizona history? I, like so many of you, am a native of the Phoenix area. I am 24 years old, was born in Mesa and grew up in South Scottsdale before going to Arizona State University and earning a bachelors degree in American History. I am currently working on my Masters at ASU and am fortunate enough to be interning at Pueblo Grande this summer. Now, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you how I had wanted this job forever and have always cherished my monthly trips to the Museum while growing up. I, like so many other Phoenicians, had not been here since elementary school and had simply neglected to look into the fantastic work that was being done at PGM. But I can tell you honestly, after having only been here a few short weeks now, many of my previously held notions of Pueblo Grande are completely undeserved and unwarranted because there is some truly great archeological and historic work being done here.

I am interning in the Collections department which is held together by its dynamic Curator, Holly. Holly is like the mayo on a delicious sandwich, it could exist without her, but something just wouldn’t feel right and the over all experience would be greatly diminished. My range of duties has been everything from checking UV light levels to changing and recording bug traps and everything in between. All sorts of different “behind the scenes” aspects of running such a quality museum have been revealed before my eyes and have created a whole new understanding and appreciation for Pueblo Grande.

While not everyone can benefit from the experiences that go along with an internship as I have, Pueblo Grande Museum still offers many exciting exhibits and experiences for the casual visitor. So, do as I have and give Pueblo Grande a second chance. Trust me, many things have changed since that field trip in the third grade. There are many great people doing some really beneficial work here and all of it is going on right here in the heart of the Valley. You don’t have to come with children, and you don’t have to be a “snowbird” to enjoy everything this museum has to offer. It is well worth another visit and you might just see something you missed before.

Posted By Alex Bolt, Collections Intern

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