Thursday, April 30, 2015

College Park, MD - Kiss & Ride

Sometimes I have some pictures left over that don’t seem to fit into any other blog. Or else, I forgot to put them in. So, I’ve decided to include them here.

First is a sign near the Metro stops that puzzled Gary and me for a while although we figured we knew what it meant. We asked a bus driver what it all meant and he blushed, laughed and then pursed his lips and made a kissing sound. Yep, it’s a lane for quick drop-offs, where the wife or husband just drops off the spouse and drives on. ‘See ya, honey.’
My second picture is of some cat paws embedded into the granite of the Capitol floors. Look, here they are - embedded. Well, the story is that the Capitol was built over a den of black cats and the den was ultimately destroyed. The legend is that the mother cat now roams the hallways looking for her little ones. And, the story gets even better: it seems that the ghost of this cat appears prior to a tragedy: President Lincoln’s assassination, the 1929 stock market crash, the death of President Kennedy, and so on. Well, I don’t know about all these myths but I do know that I saw the cat prints on the floor.
Picture 3 is of Gary meeting a kindred spirit. We were in Saint Augustine visiting one of the many historic sights and we met this fellow, all dressed in period finery but holding a very recent donut.
While we were in Arlington National Cemetery, we saw a pump handle made in - you guessed it - Iowa.
We liked this license plate. Since Washington DC really has no representation in the Congress, the citizens have adopted this license plate - repeating the one of the rallying cries of the 13 colonies.
Segway might not have revolutionized the world like it originally thought it would, but it certainly has revolutionized tour guiding. We see Segway tours all over while we tour.
We were next to a mother and her 3 young kids when we all saw this car. The mother said, ‘What’s that?’ and her older son said, ‘ That’s Shock Top Beer, Mom.’ The mother was shocked that her son could name a brand of beer, ‘How did you know that?’ Maybe from TV?
I thought about including this about a month ago and don’t think I did. But, if I did, don’t read this. We have a map on our RV to mark the states we’ve been to: ones that we have stayed in >2 nights and have had some adventure in. On the other hand, Gary likes this map, the one with the states that we haven’t traveled in. I look at the past and put the states we’ve been to on our RV map while Gary looks to the future to see where we need to go. (I’m not sure how I’m going to get the Hawaii sticker on our RV.)
We did see this license plate, though.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

College Park, MD - Busted at the Capitol

So, how many of you have gotten busted at our Nation’s Capitol? No one? What a dull lot. And, actually, Gary and could count ourselves among you up to today - but today we got busted. The Security Guards found the contraband and we were in trouble. Ah - h - h, you all know that’s not true. We’re pretty straight arrows but we did have an unusual adventure.

Several days ago, I called the office of our Representative in Congress, Kristi Noem, to ask if we might be able to get some tickets to tour the Capitol. Sure, how about Thursday at 10:00? Sounds great and we were up early, on our train early and into town in time to have a second cup of coffee. Here's is Rep Noem's office. Check out that red bag that Gary is holding - it becomes important later on. 
We got to the office by 9:45 and the rest of our 5-person tour was there. They tossed their water bottles and we carefully stowed our coffee cups in our backpack and Rachel our guide then led us through the labyrinth of tunnels to the basement of the Capitol. We got some special badges and headed on down another tunnel. Then - we got to the Security Point. This is the Capitol and they are thorough. They don’t just wand your bag, they take everything out - everything. And, there they were, alone on the table with everyone staring at them: our sandwiches and protein bars for lunch. Contraband. Verboten, NOT ALLOWED. NO FOOD in the Capitol. Oops. The guards stuffed it unceremoniously back into the pack and Rachel took our pack back to her office while we waited. Oh, shucks. We didn’t mean to cause any trouble. It’s just two turkey sandwiches with lettuce.

OK, that embarrassment is over and we got our tour. Long ago I remember when you could just walk into the Capitol and pretty much go where you pleased. Not today - you must be in a tour. But Rachel was good, she had a nice patter about what we were seeing and let us have time to take all the pictures we wanted. We toured the rotunda - and saw where they had covered a lot of it while they were working on it. Not only was the Capitol due for maintenance but the small earthquake they had a few years ago cracked some areas that they are not fixing. Bit white cloths covering parts of it now.
The paintings around the rotunda are awesome and these are all visible. Here you can see Columbus landing on the right and the artist continued around the dome until he got to the last thing he painted: the Wright Brothers and their plane on the left.
We saw the old Supreme Court when it was in this building and not in its own building across the street. We saw lots of statures, and we saw the old Senate and old House areas. In the Statuary Hall, where the House used to sit, are gold plaques on the floor where Presidents used to sit. Hey, here’s where Lincoln saw as a Representative, way back in a corner.
And, here’s a plaque for John Quincy Adams but there is a capitol myth about this spot - it even has a name - it’s called the Whisper Spot’. The story is that JQA always had his head down on his desk, as if he were sleeping. They all thought he was just a tired old man but he always seemed to anticipate the other party’s arguments. He always seemed to know what they were thinking. Well, Rachel demonstrated that at this very spot, he could hear what the other party was talking about on their side of the hall.
Sure enough, we all circled the JQA plaque while she talked on the other side and we could hear everything she said. WOW! Is this really true or just a myth? Hmmm, take a guess. Just a myth but a cute one and the one story every Capitol tourist remembers when she or he goes home.

JQA actually did collapse onto his desk one day while giving a speech. No one paid him any mind - just thinking he was an old man sleeping again - but, he didn’t respond when they shook him and called his name. He had actually suffered a stroke and died in the next room where they took him. The sofa he died on is still there - but it’s been re-upholstered - several times.

After our tour, we decided to stay and visit the House Gallery. What are the chances that we will hear a debate? What are the chances that we will get to see a vote? What are the chances that we will see a demonstration? What are the chances that we will see Senator Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, John Boeher, Illinois Rep Tammy Duckworth and lots of other Reps while we are there? Petty slim, right? Oh, no, we were incredibly lucky. We saw all of those things. Pretty cool.

The demonstration? Well, right in front of us 3 people stood, unfurled a flag and began to shout. Oh, wow, They were noticed, told to leave and were escorted out by the Security Guard. I don’t know what happened then but I’m sure that they weren’t invited to the coffee room for a snack. We had an exciting time in the House Gallery today.

Afterwards, we retrieved our lunch from Rachel’s office and walked out to a small garden area to eat it.

Quite pleasant. Sunny day, quiet area and we met a lady who was on her way to a lecture on Lewis and Clark in the Smithsonian. We talked and she gave us some ideas of places to visit that many people don’t.

We left the quiet of the garden and entered the pandemonium of the Air and Space Museum. I wonder what it is like on the weekends if it is this packed and this loud on a Thursday? Whoo-eee. Where are my earplugs? They are working on the plane Lindbergh flew to France but they also have the work visible.
Remember when they served meals on airplanes?
And, here’s what they wanted in their stewardesses.


Then, back to the Metro and back to the RV.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

College Park, MD - Manicurists and Demonstrations

Today, we stayed at home and relaxed (if you believe this, you haven’t been reading this blog), did laundry, bookkeeping, downloading pictures, blog writing and, yes we got our daily walk in too. You got it, a typical relaxing day in the RV with Nancy and Gary.

Meanwhile, it might seem as if the two subjects in the blog title might have absolutely no relation to each other but, no, they are both examples of our American way of life: both exemplify the best of America.

And, since we did ‘nothing’ productive, I’ve got an interesting answer to a question that has been nagging at all of you for a long time: why are manicurists Vietnamese? Isn’t that what you’ve always wondered? Well, maybe I’ve not been sitting around wondering why this is true but I have noticed when I walk through a mall that there are a lot of Vietnamese in the Nail Salons. And, today, with a little bit of time to read interesting stories on the Internet, I’ve got an answer - found o Yahoo news which got it from the BBC. So, to summarize:

It all goes back to Tippi Hedron, the actress. About 40 years ago, she was very interested in helping Vietnamese refugees in and around California where she lived. She visited a refugee camp near Sacramento and met with a group of 20 women, trying to figure out a trade that they could do to support themselves and also be able to send money back to Vietnam to help their families. She suggested several trades: stenography, typists, seamstress but they were more interesting in looking at her fingernails.

Then she had the ‘aha’ moment as in ‘aha, they could be manicurists.’ And, she brought in her own manicurist and got a local beauty school to volunteer trailing so that these women could learn how to give a perfect manicure. These 20 women all learned and it just grew from there. And, Yahoo says ‘today, the nail industry is worth $8 billion, and 80 percent of nail technicians in Southern California are Vietnamese (51 percent across the U.S.). Many of them are direct descendants of the 20 women Hedron met with that fateful day in Sacramento, according to the BBC.’

What a great story about how to succeed in America.

Now, how about the demonstrations? A few days ago, we went into DC to visit a few museums but also to check out the Supreme Court - where they were hearing arguments for and against Gay Marriage. We thought it would be a great opportunity to see something we have only seen on TV. And, did we ever.

By the time we got to the Supreme Court, the sidewalks in front were filled with demonstrators - from both sides. It was a peaceful demonstration of what makes democracy in America work. Both sides were present, both with signs and chants. Both peacefully exercising their American rights of free speech.

The police were out but mostly in the background, except for these two.

We hung around for a while, reveling in the very American activity of demonstrations and free speech.

There you have it - 2 examples of America at its finest. Sometimes I wish that stories like these could get more attention on TV and radio than stories about how dysfunctional things can often be. Are the stories about dysfunction important? Absolutely, but let’s have a bit of balance.

‘Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. ‘
                                                                                         Father Larry Lorenzoni

Monday, April 27, 2015

College Park, MD - 'America's Attic'

Up early to get into town to visit some of the Smithsonian Museum. Hmm, that worm didn’t taste too good but, at least it was fast and we are on our way.

Washington DC is filled with museums, all part of the Smithsonian Museums, sometimes nicknamed ‘America’s Attic’ as in lots of artifacts. There are museums for every taste: art, history, aviation, newshounds, stamps, old documents, you name it, there is probably a museum for it. Altogether there are 16 museums and the zoo. We’ve been to Washington DC about 6 or 7 times and have seen several of these museums in previous visits. And, they are all free. (I’d probably not open a small private museum that you had to charge for entry in Washington.) But, they all begin with an interesting British character named James Smithson. And, why in the world would a British citizen leave his entire fortune to America? Well, that’s why he’s so interesting.
He was born secretly, the illegitimate son of a British nobleman and a wealthy British widow. He attended college, was every interested in science, and conducted quite a few scientific experiments. He stated in his will that his fortune was to be left to his nephew and his children. But, if his nephew had no children, it was to be left to the United States to found ‘at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men.’ Well, he died in Genoa, Italy in 1829. His nephew then died in 1835 unmarried with no children.

Firstly it took the United States a year to decide if it wanted to accept this gift (incredibly, some members argued against accepting the gift) and, when it decided in the affirmative, Smithson’s mother had already presented a claim. We sent one of our best diplomats to England who gave Smithson’s mother a life annuity and then moved the bequest through the British Court of Chancery in 2 years (some cases had been in Chancery for 400 years and still were not settled.) It was brought to America in gold sovereigns worth $508,318 and then invested in shaky bonds that soon defaulted. John Quincy Adams argued in Congress that we should restore the funds and 8 years later, President Polk signed legislation creating the Smithsonian Institution. Count the years: the nephew died in 1835 and we finally in 1846, 11 years later the Smithsonian Institution was started.

Well, then, what about his body? Seems that the town where he was buried decided to close the cemetery and called the US to see if we wanted his body. Hmm. The Smithsonian Institution wasn’t sure but Samuel Morse (of telegraph fame), a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, was emphatic that Smithson’s body should be here in the US, went over to Italy and escorted it back here to the US.
It started out in what is called now ‘The Castle.’ Here is where America began its museum. I remember coming here back when I was 13 when I visited my aunt and uncle in Washington. I remember seeing lots of things but one thing I remembered was the pendulum hanging from a 52’ high cable suspended from the ceiling down through a round opening in the second floor, with a 240 lb brass globe at the end. A row of candles was set upon the first floor and the motion of he pendulum over the course of the day, as it knocked down the candles one-by-one, demonstrated the earth’s motion. I didn’t understand the earth’s motion nor how this demonstrated it but I was fascinated by the movement of the pendulum, wanting to wait until the next candle was knocked down. It was mesmerizing. But this is gone.

I asked today where this pendulum was and was told that it had been removed because it was French - invented by Foucault, a Frenchman. Can’t have French things in the Museum of American History. But, I said, the whole museum was donated by a Brit. Ah, yes, a bit of irony wasted on the board.
We hung around here for a bit looking at their exhibits, paid our respects to Smithson, whose tomb is in the entryway and then headed out to visit some of the Smithsonian Museums. We visited the Postal Museum first since it was on our way and learned a bit about the history of the postal service. We then visited the American History Museum where we saw a lot of artifacts relating to American History. This building is huge and filled with artifacts. Interestingly, you enter on the first floor which is cavernous and has mostly a gift shop and a cafe. Oh, yeah, there are some glassed-in display windows along each side of the room for that tiresome history stuff. One window held a slide rule - the same brand that I had when I was in college - but I didn’t have a cool yellow slide rule.
And, the centerpiece this month is the carriage President Lincoln rode in to get to Ford’s Theater.
However the upstairs is cram jammed full. We saw the Star Spangled Banner in a darkened room with a sign saying ‘no photographs.’ And, wouldn’t you believe - a guy next to me looked stealthily around, whipped out his smart phone, took a picture and then scuttled out. Can you believe it?

Nice that the museums have lots of seating for those weary tourists who just need to have a few minutes off their feet.
However, by this time of day, they are closing and we headed back to the RV.

Loved this hat on one of the other bus riders. She actually makes her living out of making things like this and selling them on E-Bay.

‘Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.’
                                                                                                 John Bellingham

Sunday, April 26, 2015

College Park, MD - Monumental Misadventure

Our first day in Washington for many years and we are headed into town. If it’s cool and cloudy, we will visit a museum, if it is sunny, we’ll tour all the monuments. We had the directions for the trains and buses: take the 81 bus to the Greenbelt station but, since it is being repaired, take the shuttle to the College Park station and get on the Metro. Got it? Yep, we can get to the Metro - but then our problems began. Buying a ticket on the little machines. Hmm. Luckily there was a woman there to help us all. Then we got to the turnstiles and I got through fine. When Gary put his little card into the turnstile, some woman exited through before he could enter through. And she didn’t speak English. Confusion - we thought she had taken his fare and now he would have to pay again. But, again the helpful woman was there and straightened us all out.
We had an absolutely marvelous day in DC, walking around and seeing all the monuments and memorials on the Mall. I’ve been her at least 8 times and Gary has been here multiple times and I still thrill to see the monuments. And, we toured them all along with 50,000 of our nearest and dearest friends. Here’s the new WWII Memorial. Everyone likes to find their own state.

We hadn’t seen the Martin Luther King monument until today.
The Korean War Monument is almost ghostlike in its depiction of the soldiers in a war that has never been declared a war.
We had hoped to see at least a few cherry blossoms but, we were too late. But the Jefferson Monument is beautiful anyway.


We met an older gentleman, about 90, who used a walker to get around. He wanted a bench with arms so he could use them to help himself up but all he found were these.
Nice benches but he couldn’t sit down because he’d never be able to get back up.

Here are two parts of the Vietnamese War Memorial - one for men and one for women.

And then it was time to head home - I think that’s our train coming into the station.
So, who thinks that politeness had died and that courtesy has gone by the wayside? Today we saw two great examples of kindness to strangers. When we were on the Metro on our way back to camp, every seat was filled when two women with a stroller and a child got on. 3 men in the front immediately got up and offered their seats and stood the whole way back.

The second example: I looked down on the sidewalk and saw $6.00 there, a $1.00 and a $5.00. I told Gary who was closer to reach down and get them which he did - and there was no one around who could have lost these. Sweet. A minute later a young man caught up with us and asked if the $5.00 he had just picked up was ours. Nope, it was not. We all looked around to see who might have dropped this money but no one was around. So - we are $6.00 richer and he is $5.00 richer.

On the other had I was terribly embarrassed by the lack of toilet paper in our public facilities - especially when we have so many foreign tourists in Washington DC. Luckily I’m getting over a small cold and had lots of Kleenex with me. But the line of older Japanese ladies who came in after me - well, to have no toilet paper there was embarrassing. The sign on the entry apologized for the facilities and told us all that the next bathroom was up at the White House VC - about 2 blocks away.

Strangely, I’ve just had an e-mail from a friend who is traveling in Europe now and she tells me that the bathrooms cost money there. Hmmm. Ours are free but lack toilet paper, theirs cost money but might be fully supplied.

OK, we’ve had the Monumental part of the day, now for the Misadventure of the day: getting back to the campground. Getting on the Metro was fine - Gary got through the turnstile fast - no one could steal his fare this time. Quiet subway ride back to the bus station. We got off at the College Park station since the last station on the line, the Greenbelt, was being repaired. We looked for the shuttle bus to take us to the Greenbelt, got on and rode the 15 minutes, getting there well in time for the 6:55 bus to take us back to the campground - the last one of the day. When we got off, one of the bus drivers told us that the 6:55 bus did not stop here but he could get us back to the College Park stop - possibly in time to get on the 6:55 bus from there. And we took a 15 minute shuttle back to College Park station. When we got there we found out that the 6:55 bus really did leave from the Greenbelt station and got a shuttle ride back to this station. This is the 3rd time that we have ridden the shuttle between these two stops. BUT - and you know what I’m going to say now - it was 7:20 and that 6:55 bus had long gone. Hmmm. Now what. Well there are lots of taxis there and we could take one of those. Let’s see: $4.00 for the first minute and the ticker keeps going higher from there. Or - we could walk. Gary checked his app for hiking and - voila - it was only 2.4 miles.

It’s not dark, we ‘love’ to walk, we’ve got a Smartphone with maps and we were off. Back before dark and two tired tourists. We’ll sleep well tonight.

It’s a Sunday when the schedule normally changes, the last stop on the line is under repair so this caused more changes, the bus driver didn’t know what he was saying - all combined to give us a mis-adventurous ending to our day.

‘At my age, ‘getting lucky’ means finding my car in the parking lot.’


Saturday, April 25, 2015

College Park, MD - Off and Running

Time to be on the move and we’re up early. We want to get our propane tank filled and they do it between 8 - 8:30 here. We ate breakfast, filled up and then hitched the Jeep up. Hmmm, sure enough, it’s too cold for our Even Brake to work - it likes temperatures above 45 degrees before it will wake up and work. We’ve had trouble with this for quite a while but, since we are usually in places with temperatures higher than 45, it doesn’t bother us that much. We’d replace it but it works about 95% of the time and new brakes are expensive. So, we’re off without a brake for a while.

OK, we’re off. Oh no, no donuts. And, Gary tells me, he’d like to get some fuel before we hit DC. And, that’s where Haynes Fuel Stop comes in: diesel fuel that is easy to get to and scrumptious Danish - one with cream cheese and one with strawberry. Can it get any better?

We stopped at a rest area and saw this sign, expressing an old feeling. My mother, named Virginia, loved this saying.
OK< full propane, full diesel and full tummies. Now, we’re off - oh, yeah, the Even Brake works now so we’re got our brake on. Easy trip to the NE part of DC, a nice 4-lane divided road through green countryside with farms, small towns and some horse ranches.

Until we hit the Beltway around DC. Ummm- a bit of traffic but no more than any beltway around a big city. It’s Saturday so we don’t have all the worker-bee traffic so that’s a plus. Of course, we’ve got all the family errand traffic. We got to our campground about 1:30, got to our spot and set up. There is a nice 2-mi trail around the woods around the park and we hustle to that before the 4:00 meeting for all the Newbies on ‘getting into and out of DC using the Metro and the bus system.’

Nice trail around the outside of the park. Since the park is at the crossroads of Interstate 95 and Interstate 495, the Beltway going around DC, the trail takes us close enough to the road that we can see the cars backed up during drive time. And, we can certainly hear those truck brakes. However, at times, you can’t see the park and can’t hear the highway traffic so it is a quiet walk. Care has been taken to make the trail but now, the park is expanding - as it probably always is - and some of it is a bit obscured by construction.
On the other hand, before you wonder if we’ll be able to sleep at night, let me assure you that it is not that loud, at least where we are staying. There might be places where the noise would keep us awake but not where we are. And, it is very handy to get to the highway if you want to drive somewhere.

The park is a very nice one, with nice level sites, a picnic table at each, a pool, a cafe, a fully stocked store with groceries, souvenirs, and RV products, and, wonder of wonders - the local bus stops here to pick up us to get to the Metro, the train into town. How handy. The campground has location, location, location and we’re paying $65 a night for this location. Whoo-eee. Much more than I like to pay. And, then, when we stay home every now and then in the RV and do laundry or bookkeeping or maintenance, we’re paying the same $65 to do those things.

Now, the meeting. All of us who arrived today, about 25 of us, are here and the leader orients us to the transportation, giving us maps, directions, times of buses and trains, and lots of information about buying tickets and using them. There was a lot of information, she spoke fast and I’m not sure about all of it but it will work out. I hope. Actually, I was in DC for 2 separate weeks back in 2008 for some work meetings (without Gary) and learned how to use the Metro just fine. So, I’m thinking we’ll be OK.

Tomorrow we put all this info to use.

‘I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.’


Friday, April 24, 2015

Gloucester, VA - Steamboats

Let’s take a trip in the Way Back machine. Yes, I know, you all think that Gary and I live in the Way Back machine. And, yes, I will admit to a love of history and how it influenced how we are today. But, today, we did take a trip back, back to the day without cars, without bridges, without highways, when water was the major means of transportation, when steamboats plied the waters of the Chesapeake, bringing goods to hard-to-reach peninsulas from Baltimore, MD to Norfolk,VA, when tomatoes and other produce were transported to market, when weddings took place on the luxurious steamboats, and when traveling stage shows steamed from port to port with their entertainment. But, actually, those days are not so far back - the era of steamboats was really from the late 1800's to the 1930's when the last steamboat made one last stop at all its ports along the Chesapeake to say good-bye. Good-bye to its old passengers and and good-bye to an era.

Our stop today was in Irvington, VA, up one peninsula, across a bridge (natch) and down another peninsula to the Steamboat Era Museum, a small but lovingly put together and crafted and well-designed museum devoted to the steamboat era on the Chesapeake in all its ramifications. When we keyed our destination into our GPS, it said 10 miles as the crow flies, but then it figured out the route and it was 25 - gotta get around that little finger of water. VA is like that, lots of little fingers of water and you’ve got to go around them and get to the bridges. Our GPS is funny - it went one direction to get there and another direction to get back. You’d think that if it was picking the best route - coming and going would be the same. Nope, our GPS like variety.

Well, we got to Irvington and found the nicest little coffee shop with the best cranberry orange muffins. When I told the clerk that we’d take one and share, Gary snorted and I changed the order to 2. We were tempted to stay for lunch when we heard what the soup was asparagus and then we checked out the sandwich board. First you choose the bread you want and then the toppings. They had The California: spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hears, mozzarella and bistro sauce or the Black and Blue: roast beef, bleu cheese, spinach & Bistro sauce or the Rocky: classic Cuban with roast pork, ham, swiss, pickle and honey mustard. Salads like the Maine Squeeze: greens, walnuts, blue cheese and dried cranberries with raspberry vinaigrette or the Belle of the Bowl: greens, roasted red peppers, portabella with balsamic vinaigrette. I’m drooling even as I write all this.

OK, enough of the food. Let’s hit the museum. Very nice museum and extremely helpful docents. One has a mother who has been on the steamboats and ridden them. We began with a huge map at the entry to the exhibits showing all the steamboat stops along the Chesapeake.
Next was a timeline showing at the beginning Robert Fulton’s Clermont, the first steam vessel. Note that it still had sails - kind of a Plan B. What if the steam doesn’t work - ah, we still have sails and can get back to shore.
Inside was a model of a passenger steamship. There was even a bridal suite - had to have these since people wanted to get married on a steamship. Steward’s quarters, shared bathrooms, a lounge area with a bar, a salon area for relaxing, captain’s quarter and crew quarters.

In the main room was this marvelously detailed model of a steamship being made. In one spot was a little model man climbing up a little model ladder. In another was a group of men discussing the ship. Very detailed model of a shipyard.

Then the museum told the story of the canneries that were built along its routes. A life-sized model of a cannery, cans of canned tomatoes, a computer where you could hear stories from people who actually worked in the canneries or near them and what their lives were like. One guy told about how red the water got with all the tomatoes that were canned around it and waiting for the tide to go out to clean the water so he could swim. One woman spoke about earning 1 token for every pail of tomatoes she peeled - to a total of $.40 a day. Now, the catch was - you had to spend those tokens in the company store. Hmmm. and we’ve all heard about how that operated.
Finally, there was a section about the traveling playhouse. A steamboat that plied the waters and put on plays and other entertainments up and down the Bay. Big enough to hold quite an audience and they put a new play on every night. Remember, no TV’s, no movies, no videos and not many opera or play houses in many of these town and villages. This steamboat was their entertainment and they enjoyed it. Here you can see the rows of seats for the theater goers - with the state on the right.
Very sophisticated exhibits, intricate models of steamships, dioramas showing people of the time at work - all showing an immense amount of dedication and effort - a neat museum to visit.

I liked some of the cute information that they had put on a wall at the beginning of the exhibits.



Cute, eye-catching intro to the museum itself.

We also appreciated the steamboat paintings throughout the lobby but really enjoyed the whole museum.
But it was time to head on home. We leave tomorrow for a new campground up by Washington DC and it’s time to pack up and head on our way - kind of like a steamboat heading for the next port.

‘To save time, let’s assume I know everything.’