Museum of Broadcast Communication

A break from the Colorado trip.

Our family sometimes listened to Chuck Schaden on Saturday afternoons when he would dig out old radio shows and for four hours or so entertain Chicagoland on the program called Those Were the Days. He did this from the 70s right up until 2009. Now someone else hosts it ( haven’t heard it since it changed hosts and stations). Often listening, we would hear them advertise the Museum of Broadcast Communications a place dedicated “to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain through our archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to our resources.”

And then there was my father’s obsession with Fibber McGee and Molly. He collected their shows and I think had tapes/cds of every single episode and often would listen to them. So I’m familiar with Fibber McGee and his closet and of the commercials for Johnson Wax Glo-coat – a product of S.C. Johnson. Being that we lived in Racine, I’ve been to the Johnson complex numerous times

So when I was talking to Ashley Alston, a friend from work, and discovered she enjoyed old-time mysteries, we decided to go.

Part of the museum is the Radio Hall of Fame. If you ever listen to the radio, at least some of the names will be familiar to you. Even Dave Ramsey is featured.

One of the people honored is Bob Collins and what WGN listener doesn’t remember the afternoon (2000) he was killed in a plane crash and his friends back at the station had to deliver the news.

The most interesting aspect of the museum is some of the exhibits they have: Meet the Press set, the security plan for the Nixon/Kennedy debates, an original Fibber McGee and Molly script and an original I Love Lucy script. They also have the gongs for the NBC sign-off.

One of the most fun things Ashley and I did, was each take a part in the I Love Lucy script and read a couple pages.

Is it worth the visit?  Yes, we enjoyed ourselves, but it is rather expensive ($12.00 for two floors of exhibits and a gift shop that is only open on Saturdays), so probably not a place you’d want to go more than once or twice.

Kid Factor: Even though there are some displays of kid shows such a Bozo, I’m not sure they would keep a child’s interest. Most of the unique displays would be of shows before a child’s time.

Oh – we didn’t see this being done, but you can call and make an appointment and they set you up as if Larry King is interviewing you. He asks the questions and then they edit the show so it looks as if you were really there answering. Sounds fun.

Rudy’s Bar-B-Q and a Sort-of-New Food

We ate at some fun places while in Colorado – one of those places being Rudy’s Bar-B-Q which is actually a restaurant based in Texas.

The place is rated #9 of 1,900 restaurants in Colorado Springs (on one scale I saw), so that’s a good recommendation.

This is one of those barbecue places where you order at the counter and then sit at long tables  and wait for your food … which was very barbequey and very good.

So for the new “food” part – Cream Soda is not really new – cream soda has always been my favorite flavor of soda and even when I go weeks without drinking soda (because of my iced tea obsession), I will break down and drink a creme soda.

But this cram soda was a mixture between turquoise and sky blue which made it pretty.  I never thought of soda as pretty before, but this soda was. And good.

 

Goldfield, Colorado

The second morning we were in Colorado Springs, we headed up a mountain to Goldfield, an abandoned … gold mine. The town was built in 1895 and within five years, 3500 people lived there. Actually people still live there – one description I read said the population is 49 which I thought was kind of funny since the forty-niners is a nickname for the men who rushed to find gold in California (not Colorado), so it has nothing to do with each other … still I thought it was funny that 49 people are left in this gold-mining town and yes, I know this is a run-on sentence.

Anyhow, the trail through the abandoned mine was beautiful!  Unfortunately, it is all to be destroyed because the guess is that there is still gold in them that hills and with new technology, they can find it. So I’m glad we got to go when we did.

Here’s a staggering statistic – $30,000,000 worth of gold came out of the mine by 1911.

Alas … we found no gold, but we did get some beautiful pictures.

Olympic Training Center

The first time I visited the Olympic Training Center, we saw many athletes training which is what you do at a training center. We saw some medalists in the wrestling gym and synchronized swimmers and some hopeful volleyball players. After we took our tour (last time) we walked around and Jacob ran up and down the center walk.

This time the security was tight. If you happened to get left out of one of the buildings (because you were last in line), you had to go back to the beginning and wait for another tour. After the tour was over, you could only walk around a very precise area.

And this time there was just one athlete actually doing athletic stuff. Kind of disappointing. When I asked, I was told it was because it was Saturday afternoon, a couple teams were at tournaments and I guess other athletes trained at night.

But still the description of the technology equipment was interesting. For instance, when a team was going Honduras, they were able to control the climate of the room they practiced in to mimic the climate of Central America. They can also tell if a runner is putting more weight on his right or left leg, by how it hits the track.

The center sits on 35, acres and has 242 dorm rooms. Three hundred thousand meals are served there each year. I can’t remember exactly how much it costs for an athlete to stay there, but I think it is $50,000 a year,  Most of the cost is paid by sponsors. An athlete can live there for several years as long as they are active in their sport.

So, yes, I would recommend a visit – but maybe a weekday instead of a weekend … and know that there’s a limit to what you can see and do.

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Some inspiration.

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Some inspiration.

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Not a sign you see everyday.

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Not sure what Roger was thinking about.

 

New Food (Drink) – Water from Manitou Springs

DSC_0239.jpgIf you’re wondering why Colorado Springs is called Colorado Springs, it’s because of Manitou Springs.

Melting snow and rain from Pikes Peak and surrounding mountains soak into the rocks as the water flows downward.

Which means that there are eight springs in Manitou Springs – which supposedly have great healing powers and each one tasting different from the others.

People line up to get their drinking water from the springs because of its health benefits.

But why? Does it taste any different from any other water?

The town with its narrow hilly streets were packed on this Saturday afternoon. So Roger stopped the car, gave me his empty Pepsi bottle and I ran back to the Wheeler Spring.

A lady was there chatting with a group of people, obviously a tour guide who was finishing up what I can only imagine was a tour of the springs (which I had read were available). I waited patiently and was finally able to get some of the water in the bottle.

Interestingly, it has a touch of carbonation in it – but I didn’t really like it. Nor did Barb.

So I will give it a 2 out of 10 for the water’s uniqueness and I haven’t gotten sick since I tasted it, but I’m not sure I would credit the spring.

A Quiet Place

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The Castle

I knew about the Navigators and I also had heard that they had a beautiful conference grounds, but I never thought much about it. Then a few years back during the Waldo Fire out in Colorado Springs, their conference grounds at Glen Eyrie was in the news – with the fire getting a little too close for comfort.

So when Roger pointed at a road and said that was where Glen Eyrie was located, I asked if we could drive down and see it.

The place totally lived up to the reputation.

The focal point at Glen Eyrie is the English Tudor-castle. Back in 1871 General William Jackson (the man who founded Colorado Springs) built a large house for his wife Queen and their three daughters. Queen, herself, was credited with opening the first public school in the city.

But then Queen had a heart attack and her doctor told her to move to a lower altitude so she and the girls went back East and then to England.  The General visited when he could.

But when Queen died at age 41, the General took his three daughters back to CS, tore down the big house and built the castle in honor of his wife.  The Glen Eyrie Castle is on the National Register of Historic places.

Navigators got the property in 1953 – and now host more than a 100 conferences a year. Roger showed us just how close the fire had come – just yards away.

The Carriage House houses a bookstore and small cafe. The cafe sandwiches were extremely good – and everything was made from scratch. My iced tea was brewed and cooled as I waited and every single cucumber on my sandwich was carefully cut. But we weren’t in a hurry and lunch in the courtyard was relaxing and enjoyable.

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I didn’t realize how close Glen Eyrie is to Garden of the gods.

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My brother walking to the Carriage House

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Bookstore and cafe

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Diligently prepared hotdog.

 

 

 

Garden of the Gods – Part 3

We didn’t see any rattlesnakes as we were wandering through the park, but we did see a mule deer, and a mountain bluebird and a spotted towhee and a family of pigeons that lived inside one of the formations. We all laughed as we watched them crawl (wait, I don’t think pigeons crawl) out of the split in the rock – they just kept coming.

DSC_0201Anyhow, I think my favorite was the spotted towhee because as I was standing on the path taking pictures, a tiny little girl walked up and stood next to me. Quietly she watched me take pictures for awhile and then she turned to her father, “What’s she looking at, Dad?”

I told her there was a spotted towhee in the tree and her father lifted her up so she could see it. She reacted with quiet reverence. The dad then repeated the name to her and she giggled. Later the father asked me what another bird was  – a pigeon/rock dove. (I didn’t even have to ask my brother to identify that one.) I don’t think the man was from the U.S. or maybe he just hadn’t been around a lot of birds, but he was friendly and inquisitive and his daughter was cute as she hopped along next to me waiting to see what other pictures I would take.

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Roger got its picture jumping over the fence, but I wasn’t quick enough.

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A mountain bluebird.

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A columbine – but not a good one – it’s on its way to wilting which I guess all flowers are – but this one was a few steps closer than some.

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a southwestern prickly poppy

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