Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day.

Because my birthday usually falls on or close to Memorial Day weekend, today's holiday is one I always look forward to. Like many other American households, Loyola House traditionally celebrates Memorial Day with an afternoon cookout. The tradition continued this year, with the novices and staff (as well as numerous invited guests) gathering in the backyard to enjoy barbecued pork ribs, bratwurst, linguica (my contribution) and assorted side dishes. Despite sweltering heat and oppressive humidity, a good time was had by all.

A good time was also had by me and my parents during their three-day visit to the Motor City. Over the weekend I took Mom and Dad to a couple area attractions that neither they nor I had never seen, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The small but attractive Chrysler Museum is home to a fine collection of Chrysler vehicles dating from the early 20th century to the present. The much more expansive Henry Ford Museum (part of a even larger complex that also includes Greenfield Village, the Automotive Hall of Fame, an IMAX theater and a public charter high school) contains an eclectic, exhaustive and very well-curated collection of historical objects. The Henry Ford has an appropriately large collection of machines - not just cars and trucks but trains and airplanes - and many items associated with the development of American culture and society. The breadth of the Henry Ford collection is remarkable - the museum has the chair President Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot and the limousine President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was shot, the city bus that carried Rosa Parks into history and the plane that Richard Byrd flew to the North Pole, as well as a cornucopia of other artifacts both famous and obscure. Currently, the Henry Ford is also hosting the exhibit Baseball As America, a look at the cultural and social significance of America's national pastime. All in all, I found the Henry Ford Museum an enjoyable place to spend a Sunday afternoon. More importantly, however, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Mom and Dad. AMDG.


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