Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reflections on The Henry Ford Museum

This post was originally written on Facebook.  I decided I should post it here.

We're back from Detroit. Took all 4 of our kids and 2 of their friends. A few looks as people tired to discern if we had 6 kids.

There are tractors at the museum along with cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks and one funky circular house. I as glad to see the farm machinery and surprised. I shouldn't have been surprised, for Henry loved the farm and had a big one near Techumseh, MI. Until the mid 90's one of Ford Motor's industries was the Ford and then Ford/New Holland agricultural machinery company. One of the tractors present was an Allis Chalmers 10-18, on old rare one that I've never seen before.

The location is interesting. One block north of the big Ford buildings on US-12 houses and schools are boarded up. Incredible blight and incredible wealth and incredible potential.

We didn't spend 8 hours at the museum, we had 6 kids with us, maybe later when they are adults we'll spend a couple of days. A couple of interesting things to see on President's day was a cot of George Washington's that he used in the revolutionary war and the chair Lincoln was assissinated in. Also in that section of the museum was the bus that Rosa Parks rode in when she said I will not move. A really great exhibit on freedom. They also had a band playing songs that Lincoln would have heard in period attire and with period instruments. They were good.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Detroit has great museums. That may be helpful, or problematic. In helpful terms it could reinvigorate the mind and spirit of Detroiters and others in Michigan to be creative. If they don't inspire in this way, if people only see in them accomplishements of the past, then they fortell a future of Michigan as a whole being a museum. I pray they are helpful.

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