Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The National Corvette Museum

Coming attractions

September 17th takes us into Bowling Green KY for a tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant and across the highway, the National Corvette Museum.

The factory tour begins at 11:00 AM and no cameras, cell phones, or purses – back packs etc. are allowed. Thus – no pictures! We strongly recommend you watch the factory tour as presented by the National Geographic channel. It is an outstanding production and you will see far more than we did with a small tour of 24 people. Normally they take 80 people at a time!

Entrance to Museum

After the tour, we drive directly to the museum. The facility rests right alongside the freeway and sports a tall yellow “hat” with a red cone attached to attract attention. After parking, as we walk to the front door, we notice hundreds of engraved concrete bricks, several with names. Apparently these are to honor both business and individuals who have made contributions to this private charitable foundation.

One of many historic displays

Inside the museum, one of the first things we learn is where the name comes from. Both the Canadians and British rigorously defended the shipping lanes in the North Atlantic Ocean. These new anti-submarine ships were called Corvettes, French for “fast sloop.” Ten years later, Chevrolet decided to name their new fast sports car after these ships. The slide show at the end shows a picture.

Originally, the logo contained the checked flag and the American flag. Hours before the introduction of the car, someone remembered that the American flag cannot be used for commercial purposes. Since the car had a French name, the French fleur-de-lis was selected at literally the eleventh hour.

Remember these pumps?

There are several period displays featuring the Corvette. More can be seen in the slide show.

Of special interest is the World’s only Three’s Display; along one wall, displayed were the original 1953 model, followed by 1963, 1973, 1983 (only car in existence) 1993, and finally 2003.
Each sign tells the story of the car. Double click signs and pictures for the full screen versions. Use your browsers' back arrow to return to blog.

The beginning


The sixties


The seventies


The eighties

Only existing 1983

The ninties


The twentieth century


At the end of this display, is the Corvette nursery. This area is reserved for persons ordering their Corvettes and electing factory pick-up. Pretty snazzy cars these Corvettes. I should add that Bob was absolutely drooling. Concurrently, I had this feeling of relief that with a little luck, I will never have to buy a vehicle again. I’m very happy with what we have!

Museum interior

The “hat” section of the building contains specialty cars; cars with special colors that never made production, and some of the Indy 500 Pace Cars, and or replicas of Pace Cars. This is a fun and very colorful section of the museum to visit.

Bob hyperventilating!

Experimental colors

What do you think?

Pace car

At the end of course, is the required gift shop filled with everything Corvette. We managed to escape with two gift T-shirts. I told Bob he could forget about buying one. His sports car is our Honda del sol.

Gift shop
Try this slide show. You'll like it!

For further information: National Corvette Museum

Coming next: Join us for lunch in historic downtown Bowling Green!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lincoln’s Birthplace & Childhood Home, Visited 9/16/08

Website Photo

Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace lies about 3 miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky. The site lies on 116 acres of Thomas & Nancy Lincoln’s Sinking Spring Farm. We know he was born in a log cabin on this farm. Today, a symbolic birth cabin is enshrined in a Memorial Building. The 56 stairs leading up to the building represent his age at the time of his death on April 15, 1865.

Park Service Sign

View of stairs

Entrance to Memorial

The only item in this memorial is this cabin. Items representative of the time period have been placed inside.

Replica of birth cabin

Interior view

Another interior view

Tools of the era

Pathway around Visitor Center

The spring was the family’s water source and was called “Sinking Spring” as it was down in a hole.

Sinking Spring

Park Service photo of former Boundary Oak

Due to a land dispute arising from a cloud on the title, the Lincoln family moved about 10 miles away to Knob Creek, approximately 8 miles north of Hodgenville. The family rented 30 acres and lived there in this small cabin during the time Abraham was two until he was seven years old. It is here that Lincoln’s earliest recollections exist.

Park Service Sign

Official State Sign

The Knob Creek property fell into the hands of entrepreneurs who built a road house for food and drink in the 1900s.

Knob Creek Road House

Side view of Road House

Sign describing Lincoln home

Bob brings home a souvenir from the Knob Creek Home

Actual residence of Lincoln Family at Knob Creek

The Lincoln family ultimately lost the court case involving title of their Sinking Spring property and moved out of state.

Rail fence of era

In 2001 the site was purchased by the Preservation of Lincoln’s Kentucky Heritage Inc. and donated to the National Park Service.

For Further information: Lincoln Birthplace & Childhood Home

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wright-Patterson AFB Museum, Sept. 11, 2008

Website Photo

The world’s largest military aviation museum is located adjacent to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. It is an awesome place to visit with 3 distinct displays: the interior displays, the exterior displays, and the memorial exhibit area.

Museum Sign

Interior areas of museum

Museum entrance

Upon entering, you are greeted by Icarus, (a character in Greek mythology known for his attempt to escape Crete by flight, falling to his death) marking the beginning of the interior exhibits.

A depiction of Icarus

The exterior displays showcase many old, rare, and one-of-a-kind planes; including Hitler’s personal airplane and a typical high-rank transport plane used in WWII.

Exterior displays

Typical transport plane from WWII

Also outside, is the memorial section, containing dozens of benches dedicated to various squadrons. Several “old” soldiers were present this day (Sept. 11) complete with rifle salutes, to honor fallen comrades.

Dedicating a memorial

One of dozens of memorial benches

All the following photos are of interior displays. The lights were very low making picture taking challenging, at best.

The B-29 bomber was the actual plane Col. Paul Tibbits flew to drop the first bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.


Next is a replica of “fat man,” the second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.


The following is a display, one of many, of typical bomber art.

No comment!

The B-36 was the predecessor to the B-29. It is a huge plane with 6 turbine-prop pusher engines (3 on the trailing edge of each wing) and 4 jet engines, two per wing. It was heavy, unruly, and a nightmare to fly.


The B-1 bomber is the modern day version.


The Flying Wing, is today’s B-2 bomber.


Another view of the B-2

Wow! The SR71 - an awesome sight. Honey saw one fly over Nevada City in the early 1960’s. She said she was in the yard when the ground started to shake and this roar came from the sky. She looked up and realized it was a plane, but a very frightening one.


The F-117A is a stealth fighter. By the way, Honey finally figured out that if the plane starts with a “B” it’s a bomber. Planes starting with “F” designate fighters. Oh well, better late than never!


This ME262 was one of the first jet fighters manufactured by the Nazis. (They didn’t use Bs and Fs)

ME 262

The cartoon character Dennis the Menace on this F86 makes great airplane art.


This Russian MIG 21 is the US counterpart to the F86.

MIG 21

Lastly, the F16, still serving the Air Force today, proudly wearing the colors of the Air Force Thunderbirds.


The following slideshow consists of 181 photos, including those above, for you aviation enthusiasts. Enjoy!

For further information: Wright-Patterson AFB Museum