HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum was in the news last week because of some vandalism that had taken place there. Realizing not a lot of people know much about the museum, let’s take a look around.
The first thing you notice as you get to the entrance of the museum is a trail of water. Well, actually paint. It’s supposed to be water. As your eye follows it, you find yourself gazing into the heart of the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum. Some people will only see an ally. Those are the same people who think the water is only paint.
The museum to me is a place where your imagination and your sense of humor is what is really on display, more than the things you will find here. To me, the items tucked into nooks and crannies and along the walls or on the pavement are here for you to make of them what you will. They are all capable of being makeable into most anything you want them to be.
The power boxes for instance, converted by a little paint into a honey factory and delivery system can be a complete story in and of itself, or you could make a story about the play-like forest creatures who come here unseen to collect the honey.
The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum started as a display in an unused window in the old Sanger Theatre in downtown Hattiesburg, filled with all sorts of intriguing items for folks to stroll by and see while the world was shut down and six feet apart in the COVID-19 pandemic. As time went by, well wishers made additions, painted the sidewalk and gave us all sorts of oddities to fool our eyes and make us chuckle or give us something to think about.
Drew Young, who is guiding a group of musicians from Sweden, can tell us what the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is.
“Well, I’m still figuring that out. That’s what I love about it. It’s a way to get people out of their cars and it’s a way to get people engaged in exploration and adventure and finding things on the side of the road. It gives people a way to talk to each other. Like we’re doing right now,” said Young.
There are rules posted, so you know about the little displays out in the open in the alley. All summed up, they simply say we’re on our own not to smash them or steal them. The honor system. If we break the honor system, I guess the result of that will be on display here, too.
The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is in the alley beside the Saenger Theatre in Downtown Hattiesburg. It has no hours and there’s no fee to see it. We’re on our honor to simply enjoy it.