Even after my trip to Hawaii I still have additional vacation days to take before I loose them. So I am taking off the next several Fridays.
So Friday I went to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Located across from the Ford Motor Company headquarters this collection of items from a turn of the century industrialist was the destination of every packed southeastern Michigan school bus for field trips.
The Village is a community of homes and workshops relocated from around the US showcased on next to one another on a historic walking tour. Ideal for education, I was apparently one of Mr. Edison’s dimmer bulbs as I thought his workshop was right next door to the Wright brothers bicycle store, and down the street from Mr. Ford’s barn where he built his first car. “Of course” I would say “these people are going to invent the light bulb, automation, and flying machines – the smartest people in the world are neighbors!”
Unfortunately, only the Museum is open in the winter. I spent my afternoon looking over a huge collection of cars including the original Wienermobile and the limousines of former presidents.
Reagan – 1972 Lincoln
Kennedy – 1961 Lincoln
Ike – 1950 Lincoln
The other great collection in the museum is of locomotives. They are huge! Take up the length of this enormous building and are impressive.
Oh and how can I forget the electrical exhibit? Impressive machines that make electricity and explore the sources of steam, coal, and wood. This thing has been at the museum for years. You turn a crank as fast as you can and the higher the lights on this tree go, the more watts you produce. A burly man lit the thing really bright and a swarm of kids kept coming up trying to match him. His daughters would swoon and say “daddy, you’re so strong! You made it go all the way to the top.” Then look to what must have been brothers with disappointment in boys that will never be their father.
Oh man – this other exhibit is called “Your Place in Time” and go decade by decade over the last century with general stuff to give a sense of the past. You know you are old when your childhood possessions are behind glass in a museum.
Then there is a section that is, well, out of place. It is “Home Arts” or the furniture section. Now I understand that furniture takes a great deal of skill and craftsmanship and creativity. The Chicago Art Museum does a great job of explaining and displaying furniture this way. But at the Henry Ford, it looks like a bunch of stuff from the basements of people I grew up with. Ben and Shaw even have the honor of owning the exact bed-set on display there. I don’t know which is more sad.
In the summer the gang gets together to go to the Frog Island Beer Festival. A huge group of Michigan beer vendors serve half a cup of special brew for a wooden token.
Kyle caught wind of a new Michigan Beer Festival in Lansing. Same great Michigan brewers, same price, more drink tokens with the one acceptation – it takes place in February.
So Hollywood and Kyle got me and we headed to Lansing, our state Capitol to see the twins. JW lives in Lansing and works for the Governor, and his twin brother JW drove out the night before.
It was cold. The band was great. The boys found some good beer and some bad beer. After several beers – there was some drinking and dialing to Ben and Shaw who couldn’t make it up.
A little drunk we went to a pub and the boys had a few more along with sandwiches. We met up with one of JW’s friends and re-discovered that JW is still the big man on campus.
It was a very fun time. Our waitress was very kind and according to Kyle “want’s” him.
At the end of the night, I drove snoring boy and farty the party boy back.