Friday, June 27, 2014

Some Retro Moments

We visited two small museums in LA that took us back in time to a past that we remember.  To Oliver it was long ago, but to us, it was a walk down memory lane.  
First we went to the Autry Museum in Griffith Park.
It was a project of Gene Autry, a very well done museum of the West.  The current exhibit is about Route 66.  When we took our last road trip to CA in 1989 we had returned as far as St Louis on this iconic route.  The exhibit was excellent.  There were photographs,videos, artifacts and recordings from the 30s through the present.  There were videos of the dust storms in the 30s that sent so many families west.  There were recordings of Woody Guthrie songs based on his Dust Bowl trips.  There were old fashioned gas pumps from Texaco and Phillips 66 and a juke box with 120 different recordings of "Route 66." Right in the middle was a gleaming 1960 white Corvette with blue leather seats.  
There was also an interesting collection of paintings, Native American textiles and Hispanic religious artifacts.  And the collection of cowboy memorabilia included beautiful saddles, hats and guns.  Many of  the cowboy artifacts came from television personalities like The Lone Ranger, Dale Evans, Roy Rogers and others.

The next day we visited the Flight Path Learning Center which is a collection of artifacts from the history of air travel displayed in a low building near the LAX airport.  It is a small museum but very rich in material.  
The guides were retired airline employees who are passionate about their collection.  There were models of planes from the WWI biplanes to the Dreamliner.  The collection of uniforms seemingly from every era and airline is impressive.  The decades of style are almost as innovative as the airlines themselves.  One of the guides told us that for the 30s stewardesses were required to be registered nurses and even changed into a white uniform when they went on board.  The highlight was a visit to the Spirit of 76 DC-3 outside the building.  Oliver climbed in the cockpit in the pilot's seat with his grandfather as copilot.  


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