Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pilgrimage To The Smithsonian

OK, I admit it, I am sooooo gay! We spent our last day in Washington at the Museum of American History, home of the original Ruby Slippers worn by Judy G in the Wizard of Oz. OK it's just a pair of shoes, but still I had to see them again. They look a bit dingy, but still have a sparkle left in them.

We also visited Julia Childs' Kitchen, preserved in its entirety in the Smithsonian. They even had a tape of Julia trussing up a chicken running from her TV show. Damn, that woman used a lot of butter!

After a late lunch we made our way to the Holicost Museum. Any elation I had from seeing the Ruby Slippers vanished there. It's a wonderful museum, but it is well designed to have an overwhelming effect on visitors.

The heavy iron truss work that surrounds you and the slow descent through the madness of Nazi Germany to the final rooms with an actual box car used to transport Jews, Gays and Gypsies to the camps was very effective.

The room that got to me was one filled with shoes. Shoes confiscated from prisoner prior to their gassing and cremation. These are the actual shoes gathered from one of the camps and seeing all of them piled knee-high as you walk a path through them was intense. Each pair spoke of the owner and their absence.

If you miss this museum on a visit to Washington, you are short changing yourself.

Tomorrow, riding the Acella Train to New York City!

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