joy magnetism: It's an honor to be here!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

It's an honor to be here!

Magnet #903 - W. S. Burroughs Adding Machine

I went on an impromptu DC family roadtrip a couple of days ago - 5 hours down on Thursday morning, 5 hours up on Friday night. So much fun!

Friday's itinerary included the "Design for the other 90%" sustainable development and the Da Vinci Inventions exhibit at the NatGeo Museum, the National Archives, the East and West Wings of the National Gallery - all before 1:45. And then American History museum and the Basilica by the time we left at 6.

I've never done NatGeo, but I plan on going back for any other exhibitions they have. The Da Vinci was totally cool, but man, all I could think of was how many of the inventions we saw Da Vinci use in the movie Ever After. (Shut it - you know it was a good movie.) It's scary though, cuz when you see his work, you have to wonder how unique his mind was to invent precursors to half of the machines we use now.

Learned a couple of new things at the Beatnik photo exhibition at the Gallery. They exhibited Allen Ginsberg's personal photos, complete with his personally handwritten captions to tell us the backstories. Amazing. I didn't know that Ginsberg and Burroughs (the grandson of the inventor of the adding machine on this magnet) were together, and lifelong friends. I didn't know they were pals with Jack Kerouac. Going through those halls, I really had to resist the urge to throw on a black beret, light up a cigarette, and snap my fingers.

I bought this magnet at the Archives - leftovers from a previous Patent Office exhibit. But, how cool is this drawing for the original adding machine?

The best part of the Archives though, wasn't the Declaration, or the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, or the Louisiana Purchase or Emancipation Proclamation - or shoot, even the Magnet Carta of 1297 that was shoved in the corner (even though it's older than our national documents by a good 500 years).

Nope. It was this little boy, about 5 or 6, and his very loud outdoor voice reverberating through the echo-y Archives Rotunda, telling the security guard - I'm HERE to see the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE!

And then in a much softer voice, he told the guard, It's an honor to be here! And promptly stuck his face in his mother's skirt.

Very sweet. Very humbling.
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