Mrs. James Baxter (Helene de Lanaudiere Chaput), 1st class passenger bound for Montreal

Have you been to the Henry Ford Museum? I can’t count how many times I was asked a variation on that question today. And the answer? Well… Drum roll… Yes, about a quazzillion times. But not recently.

If you are one of my regular five readers, you know that I did not grow up in Dee-troit City or anywhere near it. But Grandaddy and Bolette lived there and approximately twice a year, we would make the drive down to visit them for a weekend. If it wasn’t the weekend of the auto show, we would go to the Henry Ford Museum. We would ride in Grandaddy’s Caddy-lac. All three of the boyz would ride in the front seat and all three of the girlz would ride in the back. That was the rule. It was great! I loved sitting next to Bolette! We did not have seat belts. There was a rope-like thingy that was strung across the back of the front seat and I guess you could hold on to that if you needed to. The Caddy-lac DID have power windows! I did not personally own a vee-hickle with power windows until 1989, when we bought The Exxon Tanker Valdez.

We went to the HF Museum in those days because my old coot *and* The Engineer (aka my little brother) were CAR FREAKS! I can remember once when the parents were traveling to Dee-troit *without* us and The Engineer (at the age of maybe five?) told them in no uncertain terms that if they saw any Corvettes with the light covers OPEN (or was it closed, I can’t remember), they were to REPORT that fact! Say what? Anyway, we would go to the HF Museum and look at all the old cars. Was I bored? Hmmm… I remember always being excited about going there but I bet that I was bored after about the 30th old car. I do remember the train locomotives…

The last time I went to the HF Museum? It was a girl scout trip and by the end of it, one of the other co-leaders said something like, “I am a teetotaler but I’m ready to go to the BAR right now!” Yes. If I remember accurately, a couple of kids got sick and at least one pair of “best friends forever” got into a knock-down drag-out fight. I remember said co-leader [wearily] saying something like, “Mr. K and I have been hanging out with each other for 25 years and sometimes we argue but we still love each other.”

I went to the HF Museum today. I went with my work team. I think there were 25 of us altogether. The LSCHP arranged this event to celebrate of a successful software release and we saw an Imax movie about Russian submersible vee-hickles filming the Titanic from the ocean floor and retrieving artifacts. The movie didn’t make me toooooo dizzy and then we went through the exhibit. After a group photoooo on the “bow” at the beginning of the exhibit, (picture 25 baggy old software developers, systems analysts and the like) I floated through it, found out that my person (Mrs. Baxter) survived the tragedy (but her husband didn’t) and then slunk out the exit, hightailed it to the parking lot, and piloted the Ninja to the westbound I94 18-Wheel Slogway. Homeward bound.

I love the HF Museum. One of my very best memories of it is once when Mouse was a pre-schooler and there were hands-on activities and one was hand-sewing. The woman in charge of that activity oohed and aahed about Mouse’s precise little stitches. And now she is a fiber artist (among other things…). In general, I tend to like big museums in small bites. There’s too much in some of these big ones to try to see in one visit.

Of course, another entity named after Henry Ford that I am way too familiar with is the Henry Ford Hospital Hoosegow. It is a wonderful place too but I felt great gratitude that I was heading to the *museum* today.

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