joy magnetism: Misty water-colored memories

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Misty water-colored memories

Magnet #546 - Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

You know how sometimes you have these weird, faded memories, and you're not always sure if they're real, or ever happened at all?

I've had one such hazy memory for as long as I can remember, and I could swear that I blogged about, because GoldenGait said something about it. (And of course, now I can find no mention of it!)

Anyway, the memory: I'm very little, and in this very dark room, with dark blue lighting and I'm eye-level with a diorama of some sort, and it's huge. We leave the room, and I'm in some darkened stairwell, with my mom and a little stroller, too.

In that stairwell, there's some sort of machine that makes wax blue toys and stuff, and I'm dying for one. My parents (the parents who used to take me to Toys 'R Us every week after playschool to pick out a toy, before the dreaded little sisters were born), my parents said no! (/spoiled firstborn)

So for years, I've always remembered that room. The dark. The blue. The dankness of the stairway. The toy I didn't get. But, here's funny. My parents don't remember that. At all.

I knew it was in Chicago. And I knew it was early days (either for me, or for my sister, since there was a stroller). But my parents couldn't tell me what museum. I'd always figured the Field Museum.

I was wrong!

During the Chicago trip, we had a girls' day out and visited the really, supercool Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, because of the Harry Potter exhibit (for DC sister), and because I wanted to see the Lego architecture exhibit.

So we went, and as soon as I saw the submarine MOLD-A-RAMA in one of the hallways, I just knew that this machine and museum were it! Dudes, I totally spent the two bucks to get that sub. And watch the darn machine work. First, it's not rubber, it's plastic. The machine pumps the liquid plastic into the mold, and then it quick dries, and it's pushed off the ledge and into the retrieval bin.

I know this, because I paid another two bucks. For a train. And then a tractor. I had a blast discovering those MOLD-A-RAMA machines. How freakin' delightfully kitsch! But, during our whole visit, I couldn't figure out why there would have been a dark diorama with blue lights. Besides which, where the heck was my blue toy that I've been waiting for going on three decades now?

While my dad was waiting for us outside, I was still wandering in the gift shop (of course), and I spied this magnet, and absent-mindedly wondered how I missed a castle. Then I saw postcards of the interior, and ding! I knew that was it!

Ya'll, I literally ran all the away across the museum to the Colleen Moore Fairy Castle (she was a silent film actress), and once there, it was confirmed as the place of my memories. You'll see my pics are a little blurry because of the dark, but also because I couldn't keep still my excitement! No joke.

It was superneat, and hella crowded with munchkins, so I didn't stay. They also didn't have the MOLD-A-RAMA for a blue castle, but I would bet money that they used to.

Oh, I dunno if what I remember was really a memory or not. And, my parents can still neither confirm, nor deny it. But I have to believe it. Otherwise, then that day was just creepy, huh?

In other news:
  1. I should have known MOLD-A-RAMAS are collectible, with historians and everything. Of course. joytheorem proven again: There's a following for everything in this world.
  2. I should have known MOLD-A-RAMAS are everywhere. And, they don't list the blue castle mold for Illinois. Which means that that whole day was just creepy. Unacceptable.
  3. Finally, you must, you must visit this museum. And here's 75 reasons to do so, from the Chicago Trib.

*runs into magnetpost*

OMG, OMG, OMG! It's true! It's true! Check out the Fairy Castle link at the side! It's from the Museum of Science and Industry. And it's BLUE! OMG!

Huh. Well, both sisters said this was in Wonderfalls. And I didn't believe it. But, here! Check it out starting at 5:31.

Pin It!


Elizabeth said...

Oh, that is too weird! I think I went to that Museum and saw those too when I was growing up. My Dad's sister and her family were living in Chicago then. And we went there - I think. Didn't Cinderella's castle have her carriage outside? Weren't there antique cars or carriages somewhere else in that Museum? That's all I can call up - but I think it was dark in there.

I don't even know the last time I thought about that before this post.

Tery Spataro said...

Joy what cool blog!! Yeah I love the Lego monuments. I read about the guy who created them a couple of years ago! Legos are for adults :-)

joy said...

Thanks, Tery!

I love the Legos buildings - *that's* the job I'd like.

Beth said...

I worked at the museum for two years, back in 2001-2002, so I can answer some of Elizabeth's questions.

Cinderella's carriage was in the court yard. The display room is kept dark, in part for preserving that artifact, and part to show it to dramatic effect.

There were antique cars in the room you walked through to get to the castle. There was another display of antique racers down in another wing too. One year during the employee picnic, the collections department was repairing one, and they took me for a ride in it!

Kerry said...

My parents took me to the museum once as a child, and I was enchanted by the castle. The blue Mold-a-Rama did indeed exist, because I had one. I kept it in my room for years, and added some sparkle by gently painting it with glitter nail polish.