Monday, November 16, 2009

short ride long history

My wife decided she would take a day off and drag me down offer me a trip to Springfield IL. the other day.
It was a great trip.  I was surprised by how interesting and high tech the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (opened 2005) was.  I would include more pictures but as you might expect, photography is limited within the museum.  Basically you can take pictures in the large rotunda type lobby.

When we entered this large lobby area, guides greeted and told us about the various parts of the museum.  The guide suggested we start in the "Ghosts of the Library" theater.  I was not expecting much.  Probably just a short movie about Lincoln.  Surprise - This presentation is amazing.  It uses a system called Holavision that make images, animated characters and objects magically float, as the live actor interacts with them.  (later I learned the only other place in the US using this technology is Knott’s Berry Farm)  At the very moving patriotic end of the show the actor dissolves slowly into thin air.

The walk through Lincoln's life includes various details about his successes, failures, dating, politics, and family life.
One thing that was clear - political attacks didn't start with Fox news.  There a section full of political cartoons of him and his wife.

Of course we know he had enemies.

The last stop on the museum walk was the recreated lying in state scene from Lincoln's last stop of his funeral trip.  I felt like I had gone to a funeral and was almost in tears.

If you are traveling through central Illinois leave time for a short stop at the Route 66 museum in Pontiac IL.

Route 66 started in Chicago and ended in California.  Within Illinois the original road is mostly gone but I-55 generally follows it's old path.  I age myself by saying I had ridden down the original highway many times growing up.

The reason I thought of stopping at the Pontiac IL museum was a story about this artist/hippie that has roamed Route 66 for many years.
Bob Waldmire says his 1972 Volkswagen van has been up and down Route 66 "more times than I can count." The van will go to the Route 66 Alliance museum in Tulsa, where it will be on permanent display. Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register

It's a sad story.  You see, Bob is dying of cancer and has been saying goodbye to his fans and followers for sometime now.
Inside the Route 66 museum we saw a mural of his and learned that he grew up in Springfield IL.   The Disney/Pixar movie “Cars,” (a favorite of mine) includes Fillmore, the VW hippie van modeled after Bob.  Bob has done murals up and down the "mother road".

A Chicago Tribune article (includes a video about Bob).

A link about the Lincoln museum

solar info link


Claudya Martinez said...

I want to go now. Great post!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I had no idea these existed! Thanks for an informative post with GREAT pics! If I'm ever in the neighborhood, I'll be sure to stop by.

You and your wide look good with the Lincoln Family!


Bill Lisleman said...

@unknown mami - thanks Illinois would love the tourist dollars
@JJ - thanks and don't you hate when you type to fast and the typo is another word so the spell checker doesn't catch it? It happens to me and I suspect many others. So "your wide look" (which is true BTW) I suspect was suppose to be "your wife look".

Pearl said...

Great post! And glad to hear that I'm not the only one who would choke up at a funeral held over a hundred years ago!


yorksnbeans said...

Great post Lisle! Sounds like your wife treated you to a great unexpected day!

Bill Lisleman said...

@pearl - funny but when a great man goes it's still sad even if it happened before you existed.
@yorksnbeans - yes she did and we also went out to eat. It was a nice day.

Rhonda said...

That is all really cool! A sad ending though....

I was in a wax museum in Vegas a few weeks ago, and they had it done up for Halloween as a haunted house. Freaky as hell, but I was disappointed not to be able to see any of the wax museum itself! It was totally dark with some "real" people mixed in with the wax. Definitely interesting!

Bill Lisleman said...

@rhonda - I enjoy wax museums. I have funny story about one in Myrtle Beach that I should post. Basically we scared the other visitors.

Siv said...

great post, nice pictures and the wax dolls were so authentic. Thanks a lot for sharing :=)

Kristina P. said...

Thos wax figures sort of creep me out.

BTW, your comment on my blog about the kilt totally cracked me up. When I first met my husband, he tried to convince me he was Scottish so he could wear a kilt on our wedding day, but his family outed him as not Scottish.

Bill Lisleman said...

@kristina - well I'm glad I gave you a laugh. There can never be enough of those going around. It seems strange to me that he would want to wear a kilt.

Bill Lisleman said...

@wonderful swede - thanks for sharing a comment.

kirsty815 said...

Sounds like you had a great day! I love museums, hubby... not so much! Love the pictures and the hologram thing sounded pretty cool!

lisleman said...

@rhonda - I enjoy wax museums. I have funny story about one in Myrtle Beach that I should post. Basically we scared the other visitors.

David Chase said...

Nice story about Route 66. Looks like a great museum too and one that I need to visit. I don't think I've been on the old highway but should strive to do so. I think Paul McCartney and current girl friend made the trip just a few years ago. He had a blast surprising people along the way.

lisleman said...

thanks. I should rewrite this post since after I changed my blog format the pictures are slightly too big. I could add some updates too. The Lincoln museum is worth a trip and the Route 66 is certainly worth a stop but you can get through it in less than a hour unless you are a big Route 66 fan.
I'll let you know if I rewrite it.

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