Happy Thursday, darlings! Suze here. In case you didn’t get enough of my vacation pictures last week (click here for Holiday Road, Part One), here are a few more.
The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn Michigan. We had actually planned to go no farther than Toledo, but when we realized just how close we were to another state, we decided to take a detour into Michigan. And are we ever glad we did! It saved us some money. If you’ll remember your Seinfeld episodes, returnable soda bottles are worth ten cents in Michigan, not a measly nickel like everywhere else! So we stopped at a grocery store and returned a soda bottle, thereby doubling our money almost instantaneously. Honestly, it was like magic. Much better than the stock market, and it kind of makes you think in a different way about your investment portfolio.
We traveled on to the Henry Ford Museum. This place was huge! I’m talking acres of interior space. And not at all boring, as I’d feared. Yes, there were lots of antique cars, and strange, giant machinery, but there was also an original Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. Further in was an old-fashioned diner, complete with red pleather booths, a counter with chrome stools, and a waitress with purple hair and a nose ring. She made that traditional uniform look edgy, I tell you. I had a yummy chicken pot pie and a bottle of cream soda (call it “pop” when you’re in that part of the country).
Now, in addition to being an entrepreneur and innovator, Henry Ford was also a collector, and the museum has continued to acquire some pretty amazing things after his death. Three things there struck me profoundly, and here’s the first:
That is the actual chair in which Lincoln was assassinated. It’s in a Plexiglas case, but you can get right up next to it. The dark area on the upholstery is either bloodstains, or residue from hair pomade–I found a couple of conflicting stories. For my kindred-spirit history nerds out there, on the evening of the assassination, the chair was brought into the presidential box at Ford’s theater from the apartment of Harry Ford for the comfort of the president. After the assassination, the U.S. government took possession of the chair. Later, Harry Ford’s widow petitioned for the return of the chair. She was successful, and promptly sold it for $2,400 in 1929 to Henry Ford (who does not seem to be any relation).
The Rosa Parks bus. This is the actual bus on which Rosa Parks was riding in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat to a white person. You can board the bus and listen to a recording of Ms. Parks talking about that day. I had goosebumps as I listened to her words, and I wondered if I would have had the courage to do what she did.
The limousine in which Kennedy was assassinated. The long black limo is no longer a convertible. After the assassination, the car was modified to include a top, bulletproof glass, and armored plating. And then it was painted black and put back into service as part of the White House fleet, carrying presidents up through Jimmy Carter. Really. Subsequent presidents got back into that car. At the Ford Museum, it is fenced off, but you can get within a few feet of it. As I approached, a chill ran through me and I felt nauseous, feelings that did not go away until I left the area. Make of that what you will. But I can tell you that as I passed the car again later in the museum visit, the same thing happened.
How about you? Have you ever seen an object that affected you profoundly, physically or emotionally? Visited any good museums lately?