It is disappointing to read that the Bill Dalley windmill collection — which had been entrusted to the Roosevelt County government — is being split up. Let this be a lesson: if you want something protected and preserved for the future, don’t give it to a government.
I spent some time exploring those windmills several years ago. I love the ingenuity shown by their various designs. I like seeing mechanical devices, especially if they still work and work well. I also appreciate the history they represent, and the years of love, expense, and effort that went into collecting and restoring them.
I wish they were still in the hands of someone who appreciated them as much as Bill Dalley obviously did.
You can’t take it with you when you go, but if you want it preserved for posterity it would be better to hand it over to someone who values it as much as you once did. At least those windmills scheduled to be auctioned on Saturday may end up in good hands.
Never give anything to government. Government owns – legitimately — very little. Nearly everything government has was bought with money stolen by a taxing agency or counterfeited by the Federal Reserve — if the property wasn’t flat-out stolen from the rightful owner in the first place. This case is the exception since the collection was donated in good faith. The faith was misplaced.
I would rather see the windmills in private hands, even charging admission to see them, than under the control of some institution that didn’t care enough to take care of them. I’ll gladly pay a little to see things I’m interested in, while I don’t want a single cent taxed from anyone else to fund things they might not appreciate as much as I do.
Anything voluntarily handed to government should come with strings attached. If it isn’t properly taken care of or it is going to be discarded, ownership automatically reverts to the donor or their heirs, or someone else of their choosing — unless they clearly say they don’t want it back. Then it should be offered, without cost, to anyone who’ll take it. Even if the new owner uses it for scrap, this is better than leaving it in government’s hands.
Whether it is your windmill collection, your security, or your liberty, never entrust anything you value to government. They will never take care of it as well as you did.