As a kid in the 70/80s it seemed inevitable that you'd buy a book of tasteless jokes, and there was always a section on Helen Keller. I must confess I had no idea who she was, but you could work it out based on jokes like,
Q. What was Helen Keller's favorite color. A. Corduroy
So it was with a schizophrenic anticipation of childish glee and adult reverence that I visited Helen Keller's birthplace on Saturday. I'll start with the adult bit ... well informed staff take you around the beautiful period house highlighting interesting items and giving you a potted history of her life.
I didn't need to make my own entertainment. I walked around the tour with a family of four who really did ask, "Did she enjoy playing the organ?" And even better when they asked, "If the small house to the right was the garage?"
The guide turned her attention to me and managed to point out 4 things that were of British origin in the house. I felt at home.
As philistines throughout the world know, the best part of any museum is the gift shop, and the Keller house did not disappoint.
Why anyone would consider a coloring book to be a good Helen Keller commemorative item is beyond me, but I made the purchase if only because the quaint old southern lady behind the counter threw in some free Helen Keller crayons.
Feeling touched by her generosity I bought some Helen Keller pencils as well.