Last weekend, I attended the Member Appreciation Day at the Sampson County History Museum. The atmosphere was wonderful — the weather, music, food, and setting combined to create an absolutely pleasant day.
For the uninitiated, the Sampson County History Museum is a genuine treasure in Sampson County. It houses numerous artifacts and buildings from different eras in our history. There truly is something for everyone to be found there, whether you are interested in farming, sports, military history, or any other Sampson-related subject.
In our history, Sampson County has grown more than long leaf pine, tobacco, and hogs. Sampson has grown war heroes and high-ranking military officers, sports legends, United States senators, and even a vice president. We are home to some of the finest agriculture and livestock companies in the nation. We are home to generations of men and women, who lived honestly and worked hard, passing down those traits which have strengthened our county, state, and nation.
It’s inspiring to know what Sampson’s grown from its humble roots.
Like the nation we’re a part of, Sampson County is home to people descended of many races, ethnicities, and nationalities. We are not necessarily bound by politics or background, but we are bound by geography and a shared decency that says that kindness is not just a luxury we bestow, but a common sense way of navigating through the world.
One highlight of the Museum grounds is Wooten’s Store, hauled in from up around Timothy and restored to depict a general merchandise store circa the 1930s. Out front on the grass is a gas pump, and it reminds me of some relic found along Route 66, in a land that time forgot. For a brief second, perhaps only because my three-year-old son loves it, I’m reminded of the movie Cars.
There’s a scene in that movie where the simple, but endearing tow truck Mater shows off to race car Lightning McQueen by quickly driving backwards, without seeming to look. Amazed, Lightning asks him how he did it. Mater’s reply: “Ain’t no need to watch where I’m goin’; just need to know where I’ve been.”
Mater’s simple philosophy could serve us well in Sampson County. It’s not necessary to always see where we’re going — as far as I’m concerned, Sampson’s future is gloriously unwritten, born of, but not bound by, the past. But before setting off on our future, it is important to know where we’ve been. And there’s no better place to know where we’ve been than to pay a visit to the Sampson County History Museum.
Visiting hours run from 10 to 4, Thursdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. Go; you’ll be glad you did.