Saturday, June 18, 2011


All of a sudden I have a full two weeks' worth of work to do in about four days, so I should really be upstairs in the workroom sewing, but I thought I'd post here instead, go to bed early tomorrow night and get a really early start on Monday morning.

When I was in junior high school my parents got the brilliant (really) idea to save DIMES for a super family vacation.  We decided we wanted to go to Chicago.  It took over a year to save up enough dimes, but we did it!

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry.  There were lots of cool things to see!  There was one hall about human development and they had an egg cell mounted in a display somehow and you could SEE it!  There was a separate display case for each week in the development of a baby from this point all the way to 40 weeks, when the baby is ready to be born.

There was also a thing about sound waves, where you could stand at one end of a tunnel thingy and whisper and a person with his back to you could hear you all the way on the other end, about 30 feet away.

And a mockup of a coal mine (but after having been to a working face I can say that the real thing is much more interesting, even if your guides fib and make you walk the slope out).

But the thing I remember most is the captured Nazi U-boat.  You could climb down through the hatch and walk through it; all the signage and lettering was in German.  It was interesting in a creepy sort of way (or is that the other way around?  Anyway it was very fascinating).

Fast forward to sometime last year when, at a used book sale, I picked up a copy of Clear the Decks! by a retired Adm. Gallery, who was the skipper of a "baby flattop" aircraft carrier, the USS Guadalcanal during World War II.  Anyone who has even a passing interest in military history, World War II history, the US Navy, or military anecdotes would LOVE this book. Admiral (ret.) Gallery tells how they trained the pilots to fly at night and many other facts about the Atlantic theater of the war that most of us don't have any direct knowledge of.

The last part of the book details how the Guadalcanal captures and tows home a Nazi U-boat!!!!  When I first realized what was going to happen in this part of the book, I started reading really slowly and carefully, absorbing all the details, wondering all the while if this would end up being the same submarine I'd walked through so many years ago.  What do you know, it is the same one (actually it's the ONLY U-boat ever captured by the Allies during the entire War).  At the very end of the chapter it tells how the U-boat was towed to Chicago and placed on exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Some other time - with pictures, if I can find them and get them scanned into the computer - I'll tell about my visit to a REAL working coal mine.  Hope you enjoyed this brief trip down Memory Lane with me!


  1. You'd really love what they've done with the u-boat exhibit. My family went there right before Christmas and WOW! They built a whole new wing of the museum for it. As you walk through there are vidoes that tell the story of the capture and all they did to keep it a secret. There are interactives and artifacts and so much information and history. It's an incredible exhibit - you could spent an afternoon just going through it!

  2. I'd heard they had redone the exhibit, but you're the first person I've heard from who has actually seen it. Looks like I may need to get out the gallon jar and start saving dimes!