20. May 2013 · Comments Off on Mississippi Discoveries 2: The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,
These buildings looked like bongo drums to me.

These buildings looked like bongo drums to me. This particular part of the museum wasn’t quite open yet.

During our week in Biloxi this past March, Dave and I took a drive to Ocean Springs, which has done a fantastic job of rebuilding after Katrina’s devastation.

On the drive, we passed the most unusual-looking buildings near the Isle and Palace Casinos. There were three buildings in a row up against U.S. 90, each of which had very distinctive architecture.

The sign along the highway read “Ohr-O’Keefe Museum“…about which I immediately assumed was a museum featuring America’s most famous O’Keeffe.  But I was wrong.

While Dave was recovering from his eye surgery, I took a couple hours and paid a visit to the museum. Despite its unusual appearance, inside those buildings was some beautiful art!

The artist featured here is George E. Ohr, a Biloxi native who operated a very eccentric pottery shop. His standard pottery pieces began to take on some very wild appearances over the years. A large Ohr pottery collection is a permanent exhibit at the museum.

George Ohr was known for his wild mustache, and the sticker you receive with paid admission (to show that you’re a paid visitor) is of a giant mustache.

The “campus” to the Ohr-O’Keefe actually consists of five buildings total. You can read more about the architecture here, but I was intrigued by the modernist version of an antebellum “Shoo-Fly” to which one of the buildings was supposed to pay homage.

The roof of this building was supposed to be a "shoo fly" porch. If you read about the history of a shoo fly, you'll shake your head too.

The roof of this building was supposed to be a “shoo fly” porch. If you read about the history of a shoo fly, you’ll shake your head too.

The five buildings provide numerous gallery spaces of assorted sizes. I had the opportunity to see four different artists’ exhibits. All of the exhibits had local connections, whether it was the artists’ hailing from Biloxi, or in one case, the medium was wood scavenged from Hurricane Katrina debris.

In addition to the exhibits, one of the buildings is the City of Biloxi Center for Ceramics. A fully operational ceramics workshop was in use when I was there, with artists actively throwing on the pottery wheels.

A very non-moderist building stands on the campus. It’s the Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center, which features local African-American historical artifacts. The original building was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but has been rebuilt completely, thanks to numerous archives and photographs.

The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is about a 60-90 minute visit, admission is $8-10 per person and is on U.S. 90 just west of the bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

Enjoy more pictures from my visit to the museum here.

04. April 2011 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 7: Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

My sister Margaret and her 3 sons were in town most of last week.  It’s always really wonderful when my sister’s family visits.  All 5 of our boys are almost like a pack of wolves, they rarely fight, and Margaret and I can talk talk talk talk talk talk talk…..

Did I mention we talk?  We were up till 1-2am every night they were here…

Ironically, the weather was fabulous for the 5-6 days prior to their arrival, and on the day they left, it was once again sunny and warm.  They were greeted with windy, cloudy days, complete with a severe weather outbreak on one of the days!

But that didn’t stop us.  I’ll write about our chilly kayaking trip in my next post, but for now I’ll discuss the activity we did on the one day I took the boys out of school.  It thunderstormed most of the day, so we visited the Emerald Coast Science Center in Fort Walton Beach, which is about 30 minutes east of us.

It’s a small operation, probably about 2 hours total to see the whole thing.  And that was with 5 very curious, geeky boys.  They enjoyed it just the same, they were especially interested in the hands-on activities, such as the bubble tables and the interactive health and anatomy areas.

Enjoy some pictures from our afternoon.  After we visited the museum, we met up with our friend Lisa who lived nearby.  By then, the rain had stopped and the boys enjoyed a couple more hours at Fort Walton Landing park.

Just off Highway 98 in old historic Fort Walton Beach.

The kids didn’t seem to care that this “Hot Hands” exhibit didn’t really work anymore.

Playing with the Van De Graff machine.

This was fun…you open/close the mirrors to make the mice multiply.

Timmy trying to figure out how the color lights work for this exhibit.

The bubble room was by far the most popular area!

Quite a face, huh?

The boys were having contests to see who could make the longest bubble!

This had the makings of a really great picture, except for the little ones having their eyes closed….

So we suggested they shade their eyes and this is what we got….
27. January 2011 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 3: National Museum of Naval Aviation · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , ,
From 2011 01 23 Naval Aviation Museum Pensacola

This past weekend my parents came to visit, mainly for my youngest’s birthday, but I’m sure that Dad was super-excited to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola.

On Sunday after breakfast, we ventured the 30 miles west and arrived at around 11am.  We left at 3:45pm!  Everyone had a great time!  There was so much to see.

The museum is on the Pensacola Naval Air Station itself, which means you have to pass through a checkpoint.  The guard will check for an ID — such as a drivers’ license — and if you just say “I’m visiting the museum” you’ll be let through with minimal fuss.  You might be subject to a random search.  Don’t say I didn’t tell you!  It’s free of charge, always a bonus!

I had visited the museum with my friend Paul (of CrashPlan fame) in December 1998 when I was TDY* to Hurlburt Field for some training with my AF Reserve job.  There’s a lot of wonderful history in this museum, from the birth of Naval aviation in 1911.  They have several originals of “first” aircraft (like the first seaplane to cross the Atlantic), and they also have a collection of “last” aircraft, such as the last F-14 Tomcat to fly in combat.

In those short two years since I was there last, there were many changes to the museum, all for the better!

First of all, the museum made improvements at the front entryway, adding a nice timeline of all aircraft carriers, and they added a lovely children’s play area.

Also, we were able to take a bus tour of the “flightline” section of the museum, where aircraft were parked awaiting restoration. The bus driver/narrator told some great stories of each of the aircraft!

These aircraft parts were recently retrieved from the Great Lakes!
From 2011 01 23 Naval Aviation Museum Pensacola

Another big change was the addition of the “Hangar One” area.  This opened in mid-January 2011 and nearly doubled the indoor display space for aircraft!

????

Up above is the USS Kitty Hawk’s “Homeward Bound Pennant” which was flown on its way home from Japan for decommissioning in 2008.  

???? I took this picture below of the sign explaining how the “Homeward Bound” pennant works, but my Dad (a 30-year Navy veteran) explains is best:

“The red-and-white portion (the “fly”) of the Homeward Bound pennant is traditionally one foot long for each member of the ship’s crew.  If the air wing is included, this would be over 5000 feet!  The number of stars in the blue field is dependent on the length of the deployment.  The pennant is flown during the return leg of any deployment over a year in length.  Again traditionally, after arriving back in the States, the pennant is cut up and the blue portion is given to the ship’s CO.  The fly is cut into one-foot pieces and a section given to each crew member,

In Kitty Hawk’s case, she was “permanently” forward deployed, essentially home ported, at Yokosuka, Japan, since the decommissioning of USS Constellation.  The USA has maintained a carrier based there since the 1950s.  USS George Washington’s there now, the first nuclear-powered ship allowed by Japan to be based there.”

From 2011 01 23 Naval Aviation Museum Pensacola

This past weekend my parents came to visit, mainly for my youngest’s birthday, but I’m sure that Dad was super-excited to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola.

On Sunday after breakfast, we ventured the 30 miles west and arrived at around 11am.  We left at 3:45pm!  Everyone had a great time!  There was so much to see.

The museum is on the Pensacola Naval Air Station itself, which means you have to pass through a checkpoint.  The guard will check for an ID — such as a drivers’ license — and if you just say “I’m visiting the museum” you’ll be let through with minimal fuss.  You might be subject to a random search.  Don’t say I didn’t tell you!  It’s free of charge, always a bonus!

I had visited the museum with my friend Paul (of CrashPlan fame) in December 1998 when I was TDY* to Hurlburt Field for some training with my AF Reserve job.  There’s a lot of wonderful history in this museum, from the birth of Naval aviation in 1911.  They have several originals of “first” aircraft (like the first seaplane to cross the Atlantic), and they also have a collection of “last” aircraft, such as the last F-14 Tomcat to fly in combat.

In those short two years since I was there last, there were many changes to the museum, all for the better!

First of all, the museum made improvements at the front entryway, adding a nice timeline of all aircraft carriers, and they added a lovely children’s play area.

Also, we were able to take a bus tour of the “flightline” section of the museum, where aircraft were parked awaiting restoration. The bus driver/narrator told some great stories of each of the aircraft!

These aircraft parts were recently retrieved from the Great Lakes!
From 2011 01 23 Naval Aviation Museum Pensacola

Another big change was the addition of the “Hangar One” area.  This opened in mid-January 2011 and nearly doubled the indoor display space for aircraft!

????

Up above is the USS Kitty Hawk’s “Homeward Bound Pennant” which was flown on its way home from Japan for decommissioning in 2008.  

???? I took this picture below of the sign explaining how the “Homeward Bound” pennant works, but my Dad (a 30-year Navy veteran) explains is best:

“The red-and-white portion (the “fly”) of the Homeward Bound pennant is traditionally one foot long for each member of the ship’s crew.  If the air wing is included, this would be over 5000 feet!  The number of stars in the blue field is dependent on the length of the deployment.  The pennant is flown during the return leg of any deployment over a year in length.  Again traditionally, after arriving back in the States, the pennant is cut up and the blue portion is given to the ship’s CO.  The fly is cut into one-foot pieces and a section given to each crew member,

In Kitty Hawk’s case, she was “permanently” forward deployed, essentially home ported, at Yokosuka, Japan, since the decommissioning of USS Constellation.  The USA has maintained a carrier based there since the 1950s.  USS George Washington’s there now, the first nuclear-powered ship allowed by Japan to be based there.”

27. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

01. June 2008 · Comments Off on Marbles Children’s Museum in Raleigh · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Maryann did it again , she beat me to the blog, so we’ll start with her post.

Update: Here are my pictures! These are a combination of pics from my Canon Digital Elph and my iPhone camera. Can YOU tell which is which???