Today I did something for the first time which I think is a right of passage in the digital age: I Googled myself. While a lot of the content was what you would expect, one item stood out to me.
In my four years working with the National Park Service I sometimes had the opportunity to work as a traditional, interpretive Ranger. One of those occasions was on the 150th Anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas. I requested to be stationed at the Robinson House site. This site holds the ruins of what was once the Robinson house and farm, where James Robinson, a free African American, lived with his wife and children, who were enslaved. Their story is a fascinating one and as an African American historian I spearheaded our team’s research on the Robinsons, creating digital content, waysides, and museum exhibit panels on the family.
Apparently that passion paid off because I stumbled upon a rave review from one of the visitors that day. Though sadly he didn’t enjoy his experience overall, I am filled with pride that my interpretation was the highlight of his day. Here is an excerpt:
There was one interpreter beneath a small awning, Ranger Lindsey Bestebreurtje. She was patient, kind and exceedingly knowledgeable. She answered all of my questions and made a real interpretive connection between the ground and the ideas. She was the highlight of the day.