“I’m new to social media but excited to share what I am told is called 'content,'" Tim wrote.

By Alison Fox
March 26, 2020
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When the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City closed to the public due to concerns over coronavirus, like many shuttered museums, they decided to keep their fans updated through social media — and did it by giving their head of security the job of managing their accounts.

And to the pleasant surprise of Internet users everywhere, what we got was a wonderfully endearing journey as Tim, the new social media manager, navigated how to use Instagram and Twitter, signing each post with “thanks, Tim” and spelling out the word “hashtag,” rather than using the symbol.

“I’m new to social media but excited to share what I am told is called 'content' on all of The Cowboy’s what I am told are “platforms” including the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Instagram,” Tim wrote in his first post on Instagram. “My team and I will also continue to protect and monitor the museum and grounds. Thanks, Tim We are required to smile in our official photos. Send.”

The museum closed on March 17, according to a statement, and is expected to reopen in April. As of Thursday, Oklahoma had reported 164 positive in-state COVID-19 cases, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our top concern,” Natalie Shirley, the museum’s president, said in a statement about the closure.

An exhibit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Peter Bischoff / Stringer via Getty Images

But lucky for us -- and the rest of the Internet -- Tim was there to lighten up the situation, posting photos of the cool artifacts in the museum’s collection like the hat and eyepatch the Duke wore in the movie “True Grit,” delightfully finishing the post with “Hashtag John Wayne. Lucas, my grandson, told me to use hashtags. Thanks, Tim.”

As charming as this Instagram novice was, he later admitted that he was getting the hang of hashtags.

"I need to use that pound sign from the phone," he wrote. "I’m learning! Here’s his costume from True Grit from 1969 courtesy of John Wayne Enterprises. #HashtagJohnWayne Thanks, Tim.”

Tim also used the museum's Instagram to give his grandchildren a shout out, when he posted a video of a display of Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story.

“Watched this movie with the grandkids,” he wrote. “Tried to catch them moving, Lucas and Keira. Thanks, Tim.”

He also posted snaps — inadvertently upping his star power — with celebrities like Kevin Costner and Sam Eliot.

Tim isn’t only learning about Instagram, of course. When someone suggested he post a “Tick Tock,” he obliged, putting up a photo of a clock from the museum's Andy “Warhol and The West Exhibition.”

Tim’s new position was the idea of Seth Spillman, the museum's chief marketing and communications director, who told CNN he didn’t expect the kind of response the former head of security would get.

"What we found was an authentic voice for the Museum," Spillman told CNN in a statement. "What we didn't anticipate was how much that voice would resonate with people during this difficult time. It's wonderful."