At Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska, there is a large riverboat-turned-diorama museum. The different sets chronicle the different kinds of towns that have speckled Alaska throughout the ages. I loved the visualisations of what these towns looked like at different times in history, depending on the people group that founded them.
I love dioramas. I fantasized about being a diorama-maker. I mean, who puts together all those tiny trees? Is there a special tree-making machine somewhere? Or does an actual person glue the branches on one by one? And did that person have to be committed to a mental institution after gluing approximately 5 million branches on approximately half a million tiny trees? And is this person’s name Berthelmina?
There’s just something fascinating about a world tinier than a doll house. Look at the cute little U.S. Mail building! Look at the cute little pile of logs!
The adorable pile of luggage! The be-hatted folks of yore! The delightful green shirtwaist!
And then you start wondering about the little people themselves–like, who is this woman?
Why is she leaving the hospital alone? Did she just come from visiting an ailing patient? Or is she a kindly young woman in the flower of her youth who goes to read to the moribund, but will shortly be swept off her feet by a rakish logger (who watches her go in and out every day around 2pm, totally besotted) and taken away into the wilderness for a romantic, rustic life trapping animals and loading up a cellar with preserves for the long winter?
I want to load up the cellar with preserves for the long winter!
Anyway, I wandered around, bent over so that I could see the sets at eye-level and really get into things. Look at that cute train! I breathed. And that cute river! And that cute bear!
And this cute little communal grouping of cabins . . . !
Wait a minute . . . Who is this ‘Lily,’ and what exactly is going on here?
Hey . . . this ain’t no quaint grouping of cute little cabins!