|From Behind My Eyes - The Adventures of Tim Stubbe||
I Woke up in the morning to a light rain falling. So light, that I decided I’d ride to the Fredericksburg
train station and take the train into Washington D.C. My reasoning was that I could at least see the Smithsonian Museums. I arrived at the station and covered my bike and walked to the station. Not knowing when the train would be there or when it would leave. I entered the station just as the VRE (Virginia Regional Express) pulled in. I purchased my ticket and climbed on board. Riding the train
to DC took about 75 minutes, ending at Union Station. Boy people that do this every morning are GRUMPY!! I guess I’d be grumpy too if I wasn’t retired and had to do this every day.
I climbed off the train and walked out of Union Station, pretty much lost. After asking some directions from a DC Metro Policeman, I started my trek to the American History Museum about ½ miles
away. I light drizzle accompanying me as I made my way there. Passing several iconic buildings as the U.S. Capitol, Attorney General, National Archives, and FBI buildings. Construction on the Capitol Mall, was everywhere actually damping the image of the Capitol for me. I walked down Constitution Ave where police bagpipers were tuning up in the morning rain, apparently nothing stops for weather in D.C.
Finally getting to the Museum of American History I entered after a brief body cavity search, just kidding, actually they just looked into my camera bag and let me in.
The Museum of American History 4 stories of it was immense so I climbed the stairs to the top to work my way back down. Start with the first exhibit “Wars in American History” A period from the French
Indian War to Afghanistan. There I found uniforms worn by English and Amercans a restored French Gunboat, pressing on to the Revolutionary War letters from Washington, Maybe the most interesting was the Civil War with a large stuffed horse ridden by “Stonewall Jackson”.
I then progressed through the largest portion of the exhibit, WWI & II with many artifacts from that timeframe, then Korea and the Viet Nam war (been there done that). The next exhibit was Jefferson and his stance on Slavery, some interesting artifacts there also. Then on to a Colonial Exhibit, with a suit worn by Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson’s Bible.
Although some might find it interesting, I passed on the dresses worn by the First Ladies and progress to
the Industrialization of America, where there were some of the great inventions of the 18th and
19thcentury. Edison’s first phonograph was quite interesting. Several of the sections were closed and new exhibits were being built so after wandering the halls, I moved up the street to the Museum of Natural History. I got some pretty bad pictures here. 1. Stonewall Jacksons Horse 2. Jefferson's Bible 3.Benjamin Franklins Suit.
There at the Museum of Natural History, I saw something I had seen when I was 13 years old when my parents brought my Sister and I to Washington in 1960. There in the middle of the center of the entry hall was the Elephant that so mesmerized me when I was 13.
It seemed like every school had brought kids there that Monday morning and not very interested in seeing stuffed Lions, Tigers and Bears, made a fairly quick exit in order to see the Air and Space
Museum. This of all the museums was really exceptional since this one had more exhibits in it than I could remember from my 1960 visit. I can remember the Wright Brothers, Spirit of St Louis and WWI &II aircraft. Real Space flight had not be achieved then so it wonderful seeing things like John Glenn’s
“Freedom 7” space craft, the first to orbit earth, the first Russian/U.S space docking modules, A full size replica of the Hubble Telescope. Moon Landers, Mars Rovers and Space Suits that had been on the moon. Very Fascinating stuff. The WWI bi-planes brought me back to my love of history and I thought of ships without all the technology they have today and marveled at the pilots that flew them by the seat of their pants.
Picture 1. Freedom 7 2. Spirit Of St Louis 3. Soyouz U.S docking Modules 4. Hubble Telescope
The WWI bi-planes brought me back to my love of history and I thought of ships without all the technology they have today and marveled at the pilots that flew them by the seat of their pants.