Saturday, November 29, 2008

Visit a Museum

I don't visit enough museums. Then again, there are a bunch of things I don't do often enough. Museums, I feel, are repositories for memories and artifacts of everyday life. There are many museum types. There are museums for quilts, cameras, cars, prisons, farm equipment, airplanes, and, here in this post, ships.

This museum is in Bremerton, Washington. It is the Naval Museum of the Pacific! I visited it about...well, no, exactly a decade ago. This is an excellent place where nifty little items reside.
Want to know how a steam torpedo worked? Ever wondered what happened to Admiral Dewey's office chair? What about the ship's bell of the USS Washington?
There is also a plexiglass model, some fourteen feet long or so, of the USS Midway(CV-41). (Or there was, it's been 10 years)
Visiting this museum was, perhaps, a turning point for me. I had not decided to become a teacher, yet, but it ignited more than a spark of interest in things old. I began reading more about historic battles. Especially Admiral Dewey's part in the Spanish American War. I also read a great book about the exploits of the USS Washington because of this visit.
It was the first time I had been close to a mine, a depth charge thrower, and any number of items on display. It made these things somehow more real. I need to go back and see the museum again. I also need to visit the submarine museum in Keyport. I was there once...about 10 mintes before closing time. Needless to say, I missed the most of it.
So, here is a thought. I want everyone to visit a museum in the near future. See what these volunteers, because most of them are volunteers, are trying to keep alive. See what you missed because you were born too late. See what you used to work with.
Should you get the chance, visit the Naval Museum of the Pacific, take a few pictures, let me know how your visit went! I will post it here. It isn't everyday you get to see Admiral Dewey's Office Chair...or his couch.
[Update: work on the Exercise Coulee Crest post continues, I am still looking for more contributors, photos, and any other items or info that may relate to the exercise. If you would like to contribute to this blog concerning anything you have seen here, please say so in a comment and leave your e-mail address, I promise to respond.]

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