Saturday, May 26, 2018

DC TRIP: I Meet a Movie Star

And this is it. 

When I was a kid, I saw this cool movie co-starring Charles Bronson, and have been an X-15 fan ever since. Pretty sure I buillt a model of it, too. At the Air and Space Museum I was almost close enough to touch it, and was itching to climb into the cockpit. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Forgotten Books: BILL CRIDER'S Intro to The Body Looks Familiar / The Late Mrs.Five by Richard Wormser

I've been reading this book, and it's mighty damn good. Bill Crider said pretty much the same thing (far more eruditely, and with a lot more words) in the Introduction he wrote last September for this new Stark House edition. So I'm going to shut up and let Bill tell you about it. (The fingers in these pics belong to my wife Irene, and if they're dirty it's because I interrupted her gardening to hold the book.) 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DC TRIP: I Meet Davy and Dan'l

That blather about Davy creating a road show is false, and makes me wonder what else the National Gallery of Art is wrong about. The play, "The Lion of the West," featured a character called Nimrod Wildfire, clearly based on Crockett, but Davy had nothing to do with it. It opened in New York in 1831, four years before Crockett left Congress. When it played Washington, Davy was in attendance, and exchanged bows with "Wildfire." 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DC TRIP: Space Stuff

A replica of Sputnik 1, a beach-ball sized dingus the Russians threw into the sky back in 1957. This is a replica, as the real thing burned up on its way home. One of many cool things we saw at the National Air and Space Museum.

A replica of the first US satellite, launched in 1958. This baby was less than seven feet long.

This is the honest-to-gawd capsule that took John Glenn into space in 1962. Mercury Friendship 7 is about half the size of a Volkswagen bug. Said Glenn, "You don't get in it, you put it on."

The guys NASA crammed into this little deuce coupe were so uncomfortable one of them got out and took a walk. Gemini IV was launched in 1965 and stayed up there four days. 

This Lunar Module looks like it was slapped together by McGyver out of aluminum and tin foil. The first one went up on Apollo 5 in 1968. This one, built for a second mission, wasn't needed and was used for ground testing. 

NASA used this Viking Lander on Earth, to simulate the actions of identical ones sent to Mars in 1975. It's about the size of an SUV. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

DC TRIP: Civil War Generals

I was pleased to meet these guys at the National Portrait Gallery. The one above, old Bobby Lee, was a surprise. He looks unlike the photos and other paintings I've seen. It was apparently done from life in 1864 or 65.

Sam Grant

"Stonewall" Jackson

William T. Sherman

George Pickett

Joe Johnston

Phil Sheridan

Monday, May 21, 2018

DC TRIP: Folks we met in National Harbor

Yeah, we're back. Our hotel was in National Harbor MD, across the Potomac from Alexandria. It was about an hour by bus and Metro to DC, but we ran into some interesting people. You may even know a couple of them. I was mighty disappointed that Davy Crockett was not among them.