Sunday, September 16, 2012
I haven't posted much lately, but have been busy while making three short business trips. On one of them, I got to see my daughtger and grandkids and that's always a treat. And I thought I'd share an experience about the other two. One was visting the World War II museum in New Orleans. I don't know how many of you have been to New Orleans lately. It's a tragedy what Katrina and the incompetent levee building did to the city. But the tourist area is back and there's no better city to visit. Most places are in walking distance and the restaurants are wonderful and the French Quarter is always lively. And the beignets at Cafe Du Monde are always a treat. But it was my first time visting the World War II museum. New Orleans may seem like an odd place for the museum instead of Washington but the boats that landed at Normandy were designed and built there by a man named Andrew Higgins. The idea of having a landing boat in which the front flipped down seems so obvious but somebody had to invent it. And Andrew Higgins did. The boats were destroyed after the War but a group of veterans got the original plans and spent every Saturday for three years to build one to show at the museum. What surprised me is that they were wood except for the part that flipped down. The museum is a look at America in the War, a different time when the fate of Western civilization was at stake. It wasn't a perfect time. Racism and homophobia and sexism were just accepted. But we did meet the challenge. We are going through a tough patch now -- mostly self-inflicted because the one per cent is doing a good job of trying to return us to the gilded age -- but we don't face the type of threats we faced then. We have to deal with terrorism but not with threats to our way of life. Anyway, the museum has many interesting tidbits. For example, famed photographer Robert Capa took 106 pictures at Omaha Beach and all but 11 were lost in a photo lab accident. You can google the ones left. I could go on but if you want to read more about it, you can google it. And if you get a chance to visit New Orleans, don't miss the museum. And then I visited the Mall of American outside Minneapolis. It is a look at what America is like today. It has to be seen to be believed. It is built around what amounts to an amusement park. Seeing all the shoppers makes it difficult to belive the economy is sluggish. I'm actually not that much of a shopper but it is worth seeing. And there's a French place that has delicious chocolate croissants, which I love. And since it was the end of the day, they threw in some free croissants of a different kind. Basically, it is a fancy mall with a lot of bells and whistles. I will soon get back to my regular scheduling programming but I thought I'd share some of my travel experiences with you if you are interested.