Museum

All posts tagged Museum

My posts have gotten pretty irregular, and they are going to stay that way for a little while. I’m trying to focus on getting more detailed research done and preparing for conferences and the like. I do need to learn to build a better balance between blog posts and in-depth research (such as shorter, less detailed posts) but I haven’t found that balance yet. I’ll get there.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Conception Bay Museum for the launch of the poetry book Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart by Heidi Greco. I snuggled in with the pirate Peter Easton and enjoyed an imagining through journal entries and poetry of Amelia Earhart’s last days.

 

Peter Easton, a well-known pirate who often used Harbour Grace as his base. Photo by author.

Greco fell in love with Earhart’s story, and has researched her life and the stories around her disappearance. She uses this information to follow what might have been Earhart’s thoughts as she and Fred Noonan find themselves crashed on a small sandbar, Noonan with severe injuries, and Earhart with a severely injured ankle. Greco allows Earhart to expresses herself with short journal entries, poems, and dreams, exploring her life from the first plane she ever spied, to her marriage to George Putnam, to her childhood and relationship with her sister, to her solo flight from Newfoundland, to her friendships with Katherine Hepburn and Eleanor Roosevelt. Through dreams the wanderings of the mind, Greco explores some of the theories as to what happened to Earhart as she attempted to fly around the equator. She looks at Earhart finding herself in a Japanese prison camp, in a witness relocation scenario, in an institution, and simply as an excuse for the United States to explore the Pacific Islands. Some of the poems and journal entries are so powerful that they will bring a tear to your eye and cause you to mourn the loss of Earhart.

 

Heidi Greco reading from Flightpaths at the Conception Bay Museum. The camera insisted on focusing on the sunflower, brought by Greco as a reminder of Earhart’s Kansas. Photo by author.

What made Greco’s launch even more powerful was that she choose to launch it in Harbour Grace on the anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s solo trans-Atlantic flight. Most fitting, she read the poem “Grace” about that flight which even mentions “With a gifted thermos of homemade soup tucked beneath my arm,/ I ducked into the cockpit, smiling and waving”, a wonderful touch that I feel shows Newfoundland hospitality at its finest.

Artifacts of aviation in Harbour Grace, including the log from the Harbour Grace Airfield. Photo by author.

After the reading, it was wonderful to explore the museum. I have been there before, and will be there again. The museum showcases so many important parts of the area’s history, not just Earhart but the Harbour Grace airfield and Harbor Grace’s role in the Trans-Atlantic Air Race, the Kyle and its search for Old Glory. With so much history beyond aviation, the museum looks at the pirates in the area, the fishery, government, and life in Harbour Grace.

Outside the Conception Bay Museum in Harbour Grace. Photo by author.

While at the book launch, I did have the oppotunity to meet many wonderful people from the area whom I only knew through facebook. First, the ladies of The Moose Curry Experience who post great recipes and have helped me with in the field identification with a tweet or two. I was also talking to Florence Button who runs the museums in Carbonear. I will admit I haven’t been into the Railway Station Museum, the Rorke Store or the Post Office Museum, but will make a point of visiting them the next time I am out in Carbonear (which is pretty regularly). Finally, I made arrangements with the wonderful folks at the Conception Bay Museum to let me check out some of their historic documents to get the research ball rolling on a history of Harbour Grace (one that might compliment Challenge of the Atlantic which is now out of print).

A picture of the Harbour Grace Airfield which was taken on a much sunnier day. Photo by author.

Overall, it was a great day, and I enjoyed spending my evening with a glass of whiskey and a wonderful book of poetry.

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This was originally posted on 10 July 2015, and because I lost all of my old content, I am reposting it. In my last attempt at a blog, I tried for part aviation, part travel, but now I’ll leave the travel stuff to twitter and my personal facebook. My plan this year is to stick to aviation related posts. The only two aviation posts that I managed to salvage are this one and one about the Cochrane Pond Hawker Hurricane, which I will also repost. There are a few posts from my first blog on blogspot which I will also eventually repost here. Sadly, I have lost any and all comments from this blog, including a wonderfully detailed one about Le oiseau blanc. I hope it is somewhere in my emails, but I don’t think so.

Anyway, we return to the Alberta Aviation Museum!

The Boeing IM-99B BOMARC missile outside the hangar that houses the Alberta Aviation Museum. Photo by author.

The Boeing IM-99B BOMARC missile outside the hangar that houses the Alberta Aviation Museum. Photo by author.

First posted on 10 July 2015 on planecrashgirl.ca

This museum has been in the news lately because they are in the process of acquiring a Lancaster bomber. When I was there in May, it seemed to be what was on everyone’s mind; what model, where it will be housed, what work will need to be done on it… It was all very exciting.

"Such is the way to the stars" written (also in Latin) outside the museum. Photo by author.

“Such is the way to the stars” written (also in Latin) outside the museum. Photo by author.

The passion of everyone involved at this museum shows, from our friendly greeting to an impromptu tour by one of the volunteers who didn’t even bother to finish his pre-shift coffee before showing us around. I have been to a couple of aviation museums, and I love seeing how each one shows the history and story of aviation. The Alberta Aviation Museum did not disappoint. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to get in! I had been trying to get to the museum throughout my holiday, and on the day I got back from Jasper, was dropped at the museum. Unfortunately, it was closed for a private event! But no worries, the next day a whole crew of us decided to go together and earlier in the day so we could spend as much time as we wanted exploring the museum.

Inside the Norseman. Photo by Shannon K. Green.

Inside the Norseman. Photo by Shannon K. Green.

The group consisted of five adults of varying backgrounds, and two young children, and we all enjoyed ourselves. The kids particularly enjoyed the strollers shaped like airplanes, and I enjoyed encouraging airplane noises while we explored the museum.

One also loved the "pretty lady" nose art. Not bad for 2 years old! (He also enjoyed the Disney nose art).

One also loved the “pretty lady” nose art. Not bad for 2 years old! (He also enjoyed the Disney nose art).

A cross-section of an engine. This was fascinating to see, and they hope to have it as part of the permanent exhibit soon. Photo by author.

A cross-section of an engine. This was fascinating to see, and they hope to have it as part of the permanent exhibit soon. Photo by author.

The Alberta Aviation Museum is located on the city airport property, which is now closed, in one of the hangars. This gives them a great deal of space to house a number of aircraft, plus space outside for some of their more modern features. The exhibits along the walls look at Alberta’s role in aviation and World War II. Such highlights include information about the first heavier than air flight in Canada, famous Albertan aviators such as Wilfried Reid “Wop” May, and Alberta’s role in Bomber Command. I’ll be honest, there was a lot of information, too much for one visit, so I’ll have to go back the next time I’m in Edmonton.

It was nice to see some of these aircraft whole. That certainly doesn't happen on my archaeological sites. Photo by author.

It was nice to see some of these aircraft whole. That certainly doesn’t happen on my archaeological sites. Photo by author.

De Havilland Tiger Moth

De Havilland Tiger Moth

Honestly, I had a great time in Edmonton, but this museum was a highlight. The staff were friendly and informative, and spent a little extra time with me when I told them what I do. It was wonderful to see the restoration area, especially the Ventura they are currently working on. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to restore the Ventura that crashed near Benton as they are restoring their Ventura. Some day it would be nice to open an aviation museum in St. John’s to compliment those scattered around Newfoundland and Labrador, and I certainly gathered a few ideas from my visit to the Alberta Aviation Museum. Can’t wait to get back!

The Ventura being restored. Photo by author.

The Ventura being restored. Photo by author.

 

 

 

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