What is History?

A Debuke college professor and English tourist are sitting at the India House kitchen table and exchange quips on a history I’m unfamiliar with. “What can you do?” the Iowa man inquires, with a sad and serious undertone.

“You can forget it,” I offer with a nervous chuckle I habitually share to let others know that I’m light hearted, harmless and mean no offense by interrupting their conversation.

“Then history will repeat itself.”

“It’ll repeat itself anyway.” This conversation is already repeat of so many before. They accept my introduction into their conversation and we spend the next few minutes gently chewing on the paradoxes of the study and definitions of history. We take small bites and let the food marinate in our saliva to extract full flavor and aid in digestion.

History has been the forefront of my travels, especially while driving down the Trace and consuming Cajun and Southern stories like I haven’t eaten in days. Sometimes a sadness wafts in when I think about the history I’m not hearing, of the native people, the losers and the lost. (We discover “new” species every year who’ve been around, undetected, every year.)

Fortunately, for you dear reader, warmer weather wafts into New Orleans so I omit paragraphs of undigested thought and leave you with one question: When we die, or while we live, what will our history be?

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