Here’s how my Day 103 started:
It supposedly rained like three inches in Pensacola that morning, which seems like a lot. We were the top news on the Weather Channel that day. That’s right, The Weather Channel. Which, btw, has some good-looking on-screen personalities.
- The museum is actually on-base, which I thought was very cool.
- I think the one thing this museum has going for it that no other flight museum has is the Blue Angels practices. Which get canceled when it rains three inches.
- The museum has some usability issues, for instance: some of the displays are hard to read (see: “gling”); it was difficult to tell what the organization at the museum was meant to be — there are grouped displays, but their locations seem randomly selected; and some of the aircraft did not seem to have signs describing them.
- Dave, our flight line tour guide, was exactly what you want a retired-Marine tour guide to be. Well done, very entertaining.
- For some reason the four Blue Angels displayed in the museum (the old A-4s) are angled in a downward attitude. Seems sort of wrong.
- The other thing this museum has that I thought was unusual and pretty cool was the artwork. They got a ton of artwork and a lot of it rulz — especially the WW2 stuff, which covered subjects I always thought should’ve been covered on canvas, but which I hadn’t seen before. Wish the National Museum of the Marine Corps had had that (seems like it’d be the rightful place for some of these, for instance — or maybe I just failed to notice them there).
- I don’t think this museum quite nailed The Navy’s Big Moment (IMHO, that’d be Midway). I mean, they talk about it, but it doesn’t come alive or command attention the way you’d think it should. IMHO. Always IMHO.
But it was fun. Again, I thought it was particularly great that the museum was on-base.
It was also interesting to me that the base has its own lighthouse (what base doesn’t?):
Once I got over the lighthouse, I left the base and headed to Warrington, which is where my parents lived when my dad was stationed in Pensacola. This is what the house looks like now:
Anyway — big day of naval aviation. And it’s still sort of disappointing to go to these places where my parents (and siblings) lived before I was born and then to find them to not be stuck in the era in which my family lived there. I mean, how hard would it be for Pensacola to pull off 1961? Oh well: maybe next year.