This past week I was at Bouchercon (along with Sandy and Jeri), where as a treat for all of us not from Cleveland the opening ceremonies were held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The organizers were kind enough to allow us time to wander around and explore the exhibits (there might have been a riot if they hadn't). One person later commented that people from our group tended to go around alone, as if to revisit their own musical memories in private.
--Elvis was much smaller than I thought
--John Lennon was larger than I thought
--Johnny Cash had really big feet
--Somebody there loves Stevie Nicks, because they had no fewer than five of her outfits on display (I already knew she was small—and she's been wearing platform boots forever)
But then I recalled that this is not the first time I came face to face with the clothing of the greats. More than a decade ago, to lift my mother out of a funk after her mother's death, I took her and my young daughter to France. My mother was a lifelong reader of historical fiction, usually involving royalty, so of course we visited as many chateaux as we could fit in, with a few medieval sites for me.
When you grow up steeped in the mythologies of history-altering public figures like Napoléon or Becket, you don't always realize that they were ordinary physical people. It is intensely moving the be able to hold up your own hand next to such displays and to find a sense of human scale across the centuries.