Friday, February 8, 2008


Souvenir is a French word meaning “memory.” A memento, keepsake or souvenir is an object a traveler brings home for the memories associated with it. As collectors, we don’t limit ourselves to only buying a souvenir at the actual building or monument’s gift shop. We usually buy anyplace we can find an additional piece. Our buildings sometime retain a memory of where it was purchased or a story associated with the find. I have fond memories of finding a large Louisiana State Capital building in a small antique store in a tiny town in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate N.Y. After my initial discovery euphoria wore off, I wondered how it got there. How did it travel so far? If only buildings could talk. For me, that replica will always have a unique memory attached to it. I remember where I found it, what the day was like, why I was in that town and who I was with. I’ve never been to the real Louisiana State Capital building in Baton Rouge, but I can appreciate its art deco design. I also marvel that its one of only a few non-domed state capital buildings – most states modeled their capital buildings after the U.S. capital with its dome.

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