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Evil Jim

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11:59 pm: Day four: American history, naturally
Late late LATE! It's after midnite and I'm only now starting this entry. I hope to add more detail later but for now I should only do a sum-up as I need to sleep soon.

When we returned to the room we watched the vice-presidential debate and took time composing a postcard to Sheri. I still have a few more to write before week's end.

We skipped the Metrobus this morning and took a 20 minute walk to Union Station where we rode to the Smithsonian fore a mere $1.35. Went straight to the Museum of American History and spent the day there. Upon entering we were faced with the U.S. flag that hung for entire year after the 2001 attack.

A separate room held the Star Spangled Banner -- formerly in place of the Pentagon flag -- which is now under extreme measures for preservation. It is now behind a glass wall in a lab where the public can watch as specialists carefully undo the damage that has been done to it over the years. It now may be too fragile to ever hang again but I know it will still last many more lifetimes here. As I looked on, awed, I silently recited the poem to myself, glad for this opportunity.

We made a quick buzz around the first floor before rushing upstairs to see the real reason I wanted to come here: Harrison Ford's Fedora and jacket from the Indiana Jones trilogy!

On this high-note, I pause for the evening. I am sleepy.


Ok. Technically it is now Wednesday morning. Half the week is gone but I've only just begun on yesterday but anyway. . .

A moment of panic struck me when I found the "Pop Culture" area on the 2nd floor. Through a small gap I could see the glass case that held a Star Trek Phaser, Minnie Pearl's Hat and, of course, THE fedora and jacket, but the entire section was blocked off by cubicle-like wall panels. I peeked and poked around until I caught the attention of someone working back there who informed me that they were changing the cases so that much of the main area upstairs would feature sports memorabilia. MORE HORROR! Fortunately, my case would not be touched and a little while later I was using much memory attempting to take the perfect photo in annoyingly low light conditions with an unfamiliar camera. With all that (and Dad telling me that "this isn't a shrine, Son") I finally got a couple good photos at high quality that I can crop and zoom in later. That was the highlight of the American History Museum but other points of interest include:

  • An area devoted to transportation that had many classic cars and a several complete steam locomotives!

  • One GIANT locomotive had to be moved into place before the building was completed and that room was built around it.

  • I think the "Information Age" was a bit out of date but that wasn't surprising. I would have liked to go through with my computer-savy friends who would recognize most of the equipment

  • Saw 1/2 of Deep Blue and a video forever playing Kasparov's defeat over and over again. Poor guy.

  • In the maritime area we met an older fellow with a great sense of humor and chatted for a while. Dad talked him into coming to the Rock River Thresheree on Labor day and Syttende Mai in the spring. I swear, he can talk to anyone.

  • After four we left for the Natural History Museum next door to scope out the Hope Diamond. Took some great pics and realized that I'm going to spend a lot of time in the Gems and Minerals area. That's my mother's blood flowing strong in me there.

I'll write more about Tuesday when I can.

Continued
I sit here on the front steps of the Smithsonian Castle at approximately -- Wait! There's a clock tower directly behind me! It's five thirty-eight.

I'm waiting for my father as we split up earlier today so he could go to the Air & Space Museum's annex to see the Concord, Blackbird and Enola Gay. I went to the Natural History Museum but more on that later.

Continuing on October 4th, we were both tired after the American History Museum but not so much as the day before so I checked the map for ideas. I noticed the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden since neither of us were ambitious enough to hike to Jefferson's Memorial just yet ,even tho' Dad did mention it a couple of times earlier.

The sculpture garden was closed and gates locked tho' the large fountain in the center was still sending sprays from the circumference to its center. We could still see how nicely manicured it was and caught glimpses of the strange sculptures within: a brightly painted cartoonish 1/3 of a small house, a tangle of shiny girders, a blocky pyramid and a colourful guitar shaped object which I would later learn to be a typewriter eraser.

We were just discussing dinner when we came across a woman whom Dad had met in the American History building and they proceeded to have an extended conversation. -- This reminds me of the woman we met at lunch who is a marine and claims she actually knows people in the Secret Service. She noticed snipers on the White House roof the day before and not long later saw a helicopter and fleet fly over, presumably with the president aboard. -- I didn't have much to add this time and waited until they were done.

Walking back across the mall I found a black hooded sweatshirt on the ground under a newly raised tent. It didn't appear to be worth keeping but Dad picked it up checked it out. It was a perfect fit and he even found a few souvenirs in the pockets: reading glasses, a pen advertising a prescription drug and a couple credit card receipts. With the limited information on the receipts I think we may be able to find who the owner is. We'll do some sleuthing and try to return the garment once we're home again.

We then proceeded to the Metro station and took the subway to Union and got dinner to go. We were going to walk back to the room but tired feet, a cold evening and me in only a t-shirt & leather vest prompted me to hail a cab.

The vice presidential debates were on and I wasted an hour and a half on that instead of writing. I began the entry but ultimately needed sleep so here I am. Now with Tuesday's entry complete (with a few minor omissions like getting locked out of the room again) I can rest up, have dinner and begin Wednesday's entry. Dad informed me via Radio that he just got off the bus at the Air-Space Museum and is on his way. Over.

- E V I L O U T -

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