Tag Archives: Museum

Our World – The USS Batfish, Oklahoma’s WWII Submarine

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Logan and I ventured down to the town of Muskogee, Oklahoma to look at the USS Batfish. A World War II United States Navy Submarine that is on display there. The Batfish has a distinguished war record highlighted by sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76 hour period. You can read about the history of the Batfish and its war record here.

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The thing about submarines is how cramped they are even though they look big on the outside. They are a war machine after all designed to sink other ships and so everything is secondary to that. Above Logan is standing next to the diesel engines that powered the vessel. I know a little bit about those engines. They are Fairbanks Morse engines and they pack a lot of power in a small space. They have two crankshafts and each power cylinder has two pistons. The crankshafts are linked together.

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Above is an illustration of how it works. I know about them because when pollution regulations really started hitting the energy industry in the 1970’s, somebody figured out that you buy these engines  and derated the horsepower , then the the NOx emissions were very low. So a lot of old submarine engines powered natural gas compressors until manufacturers developed the technology to make new engines very low emitters of NOx. The thing I always wondered about was that the Fairbanks Morse engines were notorious for being VERY LOUD. I don’t know how the submariners could stand it.  (Sorry for the digression)

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I don’t think my 6’3″ son should sign up for the submarine service.

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The vessel is packed with dials, gauges, valves, and all sorts of gadgets. The sub is open and there are very few “don’t touch” signs.

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The sleeping areas are very small. These are triple bunks with very little room. They had cots over the torpedoes. They only had enough beds for half the crew. The crew had to share beds. Yuck.

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All the areas had double duty, dining table, game table, conference table.

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Not too many toilets either and they were not that easy to operate.

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The USS Batfish is part of the Muskogee War Memorial Park and they have a nice little museum and other information. Before you visit check out their facebook page to make sure they are open. There is a small admission charge. The place is run by volunteers who really have a passion for the submarine.

How did a submarine come to be placed in Oklahoma The Wikipedia entry for the submarine has the backstory. The submarine was placed on six barges and towed from the Mississippi River to Muskogee on the McLellen Kerr Navigation System, a 445 mile long water way with multiple locks and dams that has made Tulsa’s Port of Catoosa the most inland seaport in the country.

We had a good time and spent a couple of hours and I “found” a virtual geocache placed in the submarine.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Glass by Dale Chihuly at the Crystal Bridges Museum

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This past Sunday the family loaded up and ventured over into Bentonville, Arkansas to see the Dale Chihuly glass art exhibition hosted by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Chihuly’s art is amazing. Blown glass with all sorts of colors made into all sorts of shapes. Big pieces, little pieces, everything.

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As good as the art is, the presentation is also special. The setting, the lighting, everything is perfect. Not only the glass but the shadows and the reflections are part of the installation.

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All sorts of designs are his hallmark.

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They had some of his paintings on display along with three videos of him in action. His painting technique fascinated me. This isn’t some guy with a beret dabbing at a canvas. He paints directly from the tubes in big bold strokes. He drips paint from buckets, it is all very physical. They had videos of the glass being blown. Big burly guys struggling with the big pieces trying to get the color and shapes right. This is very muscular art.

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The exhibition has two parts “Chihuly in the Gallery”  and “Chihuly in the Forest.” The piece above seemed to hover in mid air and seemed alive as it shimmered in the sun. It reminded me of something from a Stephen King story. This piece contains over a thousand individual pieces.

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The art seemed a part of the forest, the woods and the glass complimenting each other.

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Once a week or so they have a nightime exhibit. I think that would be spectacular.

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I love this boat.

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And these two pieces.

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And not far away were two fawns. That is cool. I don’t know where mom was. They were in a safe spot.

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Afterwards we drifted in the town square of Bentonville to eat and came across Sam Walton’s first store and museum.

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They had an old time soda fountain with ice cream at 99 cents a scoop. Not a bad finish to a great road trip.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

The Gardens of Philbrook Museum

Saturday I dropped the kid off at his comedy improv class and I headed over to the Philbrook Museum of Art to wander the grounds. My MIL Nana bought the family a season pass and I love it because I feel that I can just pop in and spend an hour without thinking that I have to get my money’s worth.

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This is the Tempietto at Philbrook. It and the Praying Hands at Oral Roberts University are the most photographed scenes in Tulsa. I’ve taken my share of them. It is just so beautiful I never get tired of it. The guy in the pic had an easel and was painting. There were several other people out and about drawing and sketching the gardens on Saturday.

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And this is from the base of the Tempietto looking back to the house, Villa Philbrook it is called. I never tire of this scene either.

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And this was on the east side of the grounds. There were purple tulips (I think they are tulips) and they were just beautiful.

The gardens at Philbrook Museum of Art are a great way to spend an hour or two when the weather is good. Do you have a go to place that you never get tired of going to?

Linking with Our World Tuesday

 

Our World – Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum

Last week it was Spring Break for the kid so I took a day off and we loaded up his Grandmother Nana and off we went to Guthrie to visit the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum.

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They had a soda fountain. All it needs is stocked and plumbed up and would be ready to go.

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And it has all sorts of things with all sorts of colors.

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It is built like an old timey pharmacy, kind of narrow and deep. That’s the kid down there. His grandfather, Heather’s dad, was a pharmacist.  Charles is gone now but Nana had donated some items from their store to the museum and she wanted to go down and visit with the lady who runs it.

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While they chatted I learned that maybe medical marijuana isn’t anything new. But Cocaine??!!

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I’m old enough that I remember some of these things. Those old school syringes were brutal.

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These signs are before my time, thankfully.

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Hey look what I found? I wondered where politicians got their beliefs. You know what I think? Well I’m going to tell you anyway smartypants: They all use the same bottle. That’s what I think. Tell me I’m wrong, go ahead.

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And look at this Superb Manhood for a dollar a box. Well give me a case is what I say.

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The museum has an apothecary garden next door. We went out there. On the wall behind us is a plaque remembering Charles. He was a  great guy. He’s been gone some years now but we’ll never forget him. He was Logan’s best friend and fishing buddy and a great guy.

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RIP Boompa

Linking with Our World Tuesday