Monday, April 26, 2010

"Read My Pins" Expedition

I have written about the Clinton Presidential Library ( on previous posts on this blog, but fortunately for those of us who like to have an excuse to make the beautiful drive down Highway 65 to Little Rock, they rotate new special exhibits through the facility that entice one to make a return trip. This photo collage shows the striking design of the building, which is built to remind us of a bridge----a "bridge to the future", as WJC would say.

The exhibit I wanted to see was the one that featured the various pins in the collection of Madeleine Albright, who was the Secretary of State during Bill Clinton's presidency. I had seen Mrs. Albright interviewed when her book about her pins----Read My Pins---was released. It seems that she developed somewhat of a reputation among various heads of state around the world, that her friends and adversaries could gauge the success of their diplomacy measures, by the pin she wore on her clothing. The title for both the book and the exhibit is based on a popular phrase of the last decade that asked folks what was their "T-shirt" message, i.e. "Read my T-shirt"!

The exhibit made it clear that most of the pins are not made from valuable materials, rather she chose them---or they were given as gifts to her---more for their design and whimsy than for a carrier of precious stones. This collage shows some of her pins that were my personal favorites. One has to wonder, however, if when she was wearing the hot air balloon pins, she was sending some sort of message of diplomacy being about so much "hot air"!

The top photo inside the yellow block shows a very special pin of Mrs. Albright's that was made from pieces of stone and metal that came from the Berlin wall. Seeing that pin reminded me of a photograph I took at a church in California way back in November of 2008 (bottom photo inside yellow block). In the foyer of the church, sitting on a table, was a dilapidated-looking Bible, wrapped up in barbed wire. There was an explanation next to the Bible, telling about some countries where people are forbidden from having a copy of the Bible, and of course, forbidden from reading it. Yet, here in America, where there is an abundance of Bibles, we are mostly ignorant of the vast treasure of wisdom that the Bible contains. As I was driving to Little Rock to see the "Read My Pins" exhibit, I passed a little country church with a sign outside that had words of advise saying that "instead of spending so much time on Facebook, how about if we put our face in THE book?!!" That is advice I am going to heed right now, so I must close! Miles of smiles! Tricia
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