Posted by: susanideus | September 2, 2006

Seeing history

For Friday, our next day of tourism, we drove to College Station to visit the Bush Museum on the campus of Texas A&M University.  We travel new back-roads each day as we try to see as much as possible of our corner of the world.  Farm to Market roads and small state & county roads make for a much more relaxed drive than major thoroughfares.  So it was until we followed a sign off of Highway 6, pointing us toward our destination.  College Station is growing and changing, and trust me, they have the road construction nightmares to prove it!! 

It was a perfect day to visit — not many other folks around.  They offer an orientation film, and we also talked with an excellent docent.  We learned that we would be seeing the museum, and not the library.  The latter is reserved for serious scholars and historians.

The layout of the museum is wonderful; it obviously took great planning, as visitors wend their way effortlessly from one part of Bush’s life to the next.  The displays are impressive, to say the least — i.e., an entire fighter plane suspended from the ceiling and a fully restored 1947 Studebaker.  Exhibits are well-documented, from the correspondence to the newspaper articles to the many photos.  Many exhibits have audio clips available, some by a narrator and some by President Bush.  There is a mock-up of Air Force One and a replica office from Camp David.  An entire alcove was devoted to the display of the gifts from heads of state — extremely interesting as one sees what a particular head of state thought to be a representative gift to the American president.

I was especially pleased to see a wing devoted to Barbara Bush and her many good works.  She is an awesome woman, practical and down-to-earth with a special heart for those in need.  She used the power of the White House to champion her causes.  She has accomplished much with her literacy programs.  As a lover of reading and words, I must applaud her efforts.

The most impressive exhibit may not be within the walls of the museum but rather on the plaza out side.   It is a massive sculpture (12 feet high, 18 feet wide and 30 feet long)titled “dcp01269.JPGThe Day the Wall Came Down” and was done by Santa Fe artist Veryl Goodnight.  Our docent explained that the horses symbolized freedom and thus are shown coming over the ruins of the Berlin Wall.  History buffs will remember that the Berlin Wall came down during this Bush administration.  Inside the museum is an actual section of the wall, itself most imposing, complete with graffiti, donated by Germany to the museum.

Regardless of one’s political bent (and you’re not likely to see politics much discussed on this blog…), this is a worthwhile destination for anyone interested in American history.

On a personal note, I have a favorite whimsical photo from yesterday’s jaunt.  My husband  is a Texan through and through and the writing above his head says “I am a Texan and an American…bush-library090106-004.jpgwhat more could a man ask?”, a quote from Mr. Bush and absolutely Harold.  I plan to enlarge it and frame it!!  A trip to Rudy’s for wonderful Texas BBQ topped off our visit to College Station.

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