52 ODES TO JOY: The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM

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“CHOOSE JOY: Positively add more happiness and contentment to your life with a 30-minute visit to The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM.” 

That’s a bold claim for any advertising copywriter. What if I added “FREE” and you can do this from the comfort of your own home. Stay in your pajamas, sip whatever you want and it’s not from a pricey museum café. Interested in a 30-minute “joy jaunt” easy-learning experience through The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM? It’s opening in 2023. 

S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM—Our Mission 

To encourage people to “CHOOSE JOY” with the four, simple elements of “The S.U.N.S. (Smile-Making, Uniting, Neighboring, Spellbinding) Joyous Aging System.” Here are reasons to visit the museum: 

  1. EDUCATE YOURSELF ON JOY—Learn to focus on things that are SMILE-MAKING to you, commit to UNITING with a few people that genuinely make you feel happy and content, explore ways you can make positive differences to others and decide to prioritize some of your time to your “particular passions” 
  1. EXPERIENCE JOY RATHER THAN TRYING TO BUY IT—Recent studies by Harris Interactive found people are happier when they spend their time and money on experiences rather than on material purchases. Andy Warhol was wrong; the best museum is not Bloomingdale’s. 
  1. FIND INSPIRATION FROM JOY-GIVERS—The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM shares inspired and inspiring thinking from role models as diverse as Mother Teresa, Louis Armstrong, Helen Keller and Mel Brooks. 
  1. FEEL THE EMOTION OF JOY—Art enthusiast Sister Wendy Beckett said, “The United States, the land of the free, is particularly rich in museums. That is appropriate because museums are a means to freedom.” There are many museums across America which aim to elicit a specific emotion: ADMIRATION—The Smithsonian Museums, ADORATION—Museum of the Bible (Washington, DC) , DISGUST—The Holocaust Museum (Washington, DC) and Japanese Internment Museums, AMUSEMENT—Academy of Motion Pictures (Los Angeles), EMPATHIC PAIN/ANGER—National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Montgomery, AL), NOSTALGIA—Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), CRAVING—Museum of the American Cocktail (New Orleans, LA)—however, until now there hasn’t been a museum specifically designed to explain how to go from average positivity to enhanced joy. 
  1. CONNECT WITH OTHERS ON A “JOY PATH”—Just as baseball enthusiasts enjoy being with their tribe in Cooperstown, New York at the Baseball Hall of Fame and historic currency buffs enjoy connecting with others at the Wooden Nickel Museum (San Antonio, Texas), those who want more joy in their lives will multiply their happiness at a museum dedicated to happiness and contentment. 
  1. FORGET YOURSELF—Get out of your own small world and into something SPELLBINDING. When I honestly answer the question: Where were you happiest in life and what were you doing? My answer is:  in a museum, art gallery or library learning something. “Real museums are places where TIME is transformed into SPACE.”—Orhan Pamuk 
  1. UNITE IN JOY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS—One main reason people enjoy museums is sharing that experience with others. I’m already finding it SMILE-MAKING to think of others UNITING at The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM. Together, kids of all ages will be smiling as joyful images of Mickey Mouse, Elvis and sunshine delight them as they listen to banjos and “Rock Around the Clock.” 
  1. CREATE A “COMMUNITY OF JOY” CENTER—Museums are hot spots for civic engagement. Joy is the aim of most religions, and The S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM will be a cathedral. 

THE S.U.N.S JOY MUSEUM will have four main galleries, one devoted to each of the four basic elements for enhancing happiness and contentment: SMILE-MAKING, UNITING, NEIGHBORING, SPELLBINDING. The much-anticipated museum café will serve an array of American culinary joys from Alabama peanuts to the Wyoming lean beef burger (recipe shared below). The vision is to take this “pop-up museum” or “museum-within-a-museum” on a national tour. Paraphrasing just one joyful song from the UNITING gallery—“What the nation needs now is joy, sweet joy.” 

S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM QUOTES FROM OTHERS 

“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.”—Maira Kalman 

“A museum should never be finished, but boundless and ever in motion.”—Goethe 

“I believe profoundly in museums; I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums.”—Richard Fortey 

“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in books and remembering—because you can’t take it in all at once.”—Audrey Hepburn 

“Love is an art. Mine could fill a museum the size of your heart.”—Jarod Kintz 

“Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negative terms, they are propaganda machines.”—Hans Haacke 

“They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum.”—Joni Mitchell 

S.U.N.S. JOY MUSEUM LAFFS 

– Why did the art thief’s van run out of gas as he drove away from the museum? Because he had no Monet to buy Degas to make the van Gogh. 

– I visited the National Air and Space Museum but there was nothing there. 

– Why does a carton of milk turn into yogurt when you have it in a museum café? Because it gets cultured. 

– The Scrabble Museum was robbed last weekend. The curators are at a loss for words. 

– I saw my ex-girlfriend at the other end of the museum hall today but decided to not say hello. There was just too much history between us. 

JOY-GIVERS CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK 

Dec. 31—John Denver 

Jan. 1—George Washington Carver 

Jan. 2—Roger Miller 

Jan. 3—Victor Borge 

Jan. 4—Jacob Grimm, German folklorist 

Jan. 5—Diane Keaton 

Jan. 6—Kate McKinnon 

S.U.N.S. MUSEUM CAFÉ JOY BURGERS—WYOMING LEAN BEEF 

(Source: yummly.com) 

Each week this year, “The JOYrontologist” has shared a recipe saluting a healthy food produced in America. We conclude with Wyoming lean beef. The delicious and nutritious collection is called “The S.U.N.S. Longevity Cookbook” and highlights vitamin B-3 (niacin) which many gerontologists believe holds the promise for a long, healthy, joyful life. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 lb. good quality lean ground beef 
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2-3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tbsp. horseradish (optional but good) 

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Chop garlic cloves on wooden surface then press in mortar and pestle. 
  1. Add salt and olive oil and make a paste. 
  1. Add this to the meat along with the Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. 
  1. Mix everything and adjust ingredients to suit your taste. 
  1. When you make the patties place an indention in the middle of each one with your thumb (almost all the way through). 
  1. Place on grill and close lid to cook for 3-4 minutes, flip burger and cook another 3-4 minutes. If adding cheese, place cheese slices on burgers during the last minute of cooking. 

1,070 JOY-GIVING THINGS FROM MY FIRST 70 YEARS (the All-American climax) 

1031. Cracker Jacks  

1032. Maira Kalman illustrations 

1033. Peavy speakers 

1034. Lily Pulitzer anything 

1035. Shutters at the Beach (Los Angeles) 

1036. The architectural drawings of Philip Trammell Shutze 

1037. Fried chicken and California Pinot Grigio 

1038. My mother’s Estee Lauder bath oil 

1039. My Jeeps through the years 

1040. Jefferson cups from Charlottesville, VA 

1041. Albert Bierstadt’s “Looking Down Yosemite Valley” at Birmingham Museum of Art (AL) 

1042. Lee, made in America, club chairs 

1043. The Mad Potter of Biloxi 

1044. Tony’s chicken-fried steak in Fort Worth, TX 

1045. Mountain air in Cashiers, NC 

1046. Jekyll Island, GA sea turtle soup 

1047. Shwinn Bikes through the years 

1048. Café du Monde beignets 

1049. French Quarter pralines 

1050. Stetson hats 

1051. Brooks Brothers straw boater 

1052. Fritos, San Antonio, TX original 

1053. Buffalo Rock ginger ale 

1054. Chattanooga Chow Chow 

1055. Crates of Indian River, FL oranges 

1056. The clang-clang-clang of San Francisco cable cars 

1057. Picking cotton with my brother 

1058. Cotton seersucker 

1059. Chestnuts roasting in NYC 

1060. Gullah seagrass baskets in Charleston, SC 

1061. My parents’ ornamental gardens 

1062. U.S. Army Navy bands 

1063. The fortune tellers at Books and Beans in Birmingham, AL 

1064. L.L. Bean canvas totes 

1065. An intimate conversation with American artist, Ida Kohlmeyer 

1066. Street-dancing with The Sweet Potato Queens in Jackson, MS 

1067. The Southern Humor Highway 

1068. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail 

1069. The snow-capped mountains of Colorado 

1070. Audubon’s “Birds of America” 

(THANK YOU to THE CULLMAN TRIBUNE for sharing the weekly chapters of “52 ODES TO JOY” with your readers. The installments helped me have the focus to complete the book. I look forward to providing you new material in the new year. CONGRATULATIONS on your first 150 YEARS and MANY MORE!) 

HAPPY, JOYFUL NEW YEAR TO ALL! 

Read all the installments in this series at www.cullmantribune.com/tag/odes-to-joy-2022.