Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Walking Conference

With sessions spread between the Crown Plaza and several venues in historic Pensacola Village, this year's NCPH meeting in Pensacola presents a rarity - a truly walkable conference that encourages conference goers to escape the headquarters hotel! Although I have heard a couple of comments lamenting the lack of central meeting place for conference goers to just hang out, I find it a welcome change from the meetings of many organizations where (with the exception of field trips) you find yourself captive of the hotel. This is certainly not a new idea at the NCPH. In Santa Fe four years ago events took place in several locations within a few blocks of the Plaza.

And like Santa Fe, Pensacola provides a perfect landscape for public historians to engage the history of the community where we are meeting. Just a block from the conference hotel is St. Michael's Cemetery. After strolling past on my way to registration at the Museum of Commerce in the Village, I could not resist the urge to explore the rows of stone markers and family tombs on my way back to the hotel.

I hope I am not sounding too much like a booster! But place matters intensely to public historians, and my thanks to the members of the local arrangements committee for taking advantage of the unique opportunities close at hand and helping us explore the place that is Pensacola.

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