Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC

I was traveling for work recently, and ended up having time to stop at the Ava Gardner museum in Smithfield, NC. It had been something I've wanted to visit for years, but it's just slightly too far away to be a convenient day trip. It was fabulous! There was a film room that played a 15-20 minute movie about her life. The main exhibit room had displays of her actual dresses, jewelry, different possessions she owned, and tons of pictures. There was a "library" with over a dozen paintings of her, and a video of her on the game show "What's my Line" playing. A fair amount of people were visiting the museum that day. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but I would have been a little heartbroken thinking that no one cared enough to visit her museum besides me. The museum definitely focused on the positive parts of her life, and stayed away from most of the scandal. Even though that might not have been completely realistic, I'm glad the museum chose to do it that way. 

The gift shop had a lot of fun souvenirs that were reasonably priced. I bought a set of cards with her photo and quotes. They even sold moonshine jam! If anyone is interested in making a trip, they are having a film festival and various activities October 4-6. I'm not sure if photos inside were allowed or not, but I only took one goofy picture of me in the front.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My most unbelievable family story ever

My mom and I went to see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at a movie theater that plays retro movies every week. Half way through she leaned over and made a comment along the lines of, "Grandpa measured her at Harvard, I think." I did not know wtf she was talking about so I just assumed she was making a joke that went over my head and didn't really think twice about it. After the movie she said that either Jane Russell or Ava Gardner went to visit Harvard, and the anthropology club took her "scientific measurements" and gave her a human skull as a gift. Um, WHAT? The only thing crazier than that story is the fact that this was the first I had heard of it, ever. That's my grandpa on the right. This post might also be a good time to mention that he was also friends with Fred Gwynne, who played Herman on The Munsters and also went to Harvard. I've heard that story since I was a kid though. I wonder what other stories my family is keeping secret from me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

US Post Office Museum in DC

I have no excuses for not blogging since January(?), I'm just a terrible blogger. Recently I spent my spring break in D.C. Nothing went as planned, but it was still fun to do something different. I had planned on going to the Sewall-Bellmont House Museum which focuses on women's suffrage. They were doing renovations and only gave tours by appointment. That was not mentioned on the website, so if anyone is interested in going, call ahead! I look forward to going back to it sometime.

Instead I ended up going to the US Post Office Museum, mostly as a "joke" because it sounded like the most boring topic for a museum ever, so naturally I had to see what it was all about. Luckily, I could not have been more wrong! There were so many old photos, stamps, and models of cars, trains and planes. There really was a lot of vintage/retro goodness to drool over. They even had exhibits about the Titanic and the Hindenburg, which I never would have expected. They had a lot of hands on activities that would be good for kids. It really was a fun museum. Going along with the "bad blogger" theme, I did not bring a camera, so these are just a couple stolen phone pictures of a cute mail dog, and me being silly.