Day 4: May 2, 2011
The Infinity Room & Beyond
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

Even though I was having breakfast, I sat in front of the Alpha Cafe's twenty-four foot long back bar. Built in 1893, it's one of three this size made by the Brunswick Balke Collender Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. One was destroyed by fire and the other is reportedly somewhere in Arizona. The lunch counter in the back is somewhat newer but looks as if it might know some history, too.

The 1904 Wapa Theater is just around the corner from the Alpha. Built as the Brown Theater, it switched from vaudeville to movies in the 1930s. A web story indicates that the theater went dark in 2007 but it is alive now and showing first run movies at $3.00 a pop.

I was inside the Armstrong Air & Space Museum once before but that was back in the early 1970s not long after it opened. I believe I enjoyed today's visit more than that first one. That could be because the history is older or maybe because I am. The scene in the second photo really tripped some memories. A full sized replica of Sputnik I hangs from the ceiling. Below it is a picture of a young Neil Armstrong standing beside a big console TV. The TV looks very similar to the one I remember watching as a boy and, while I can't claim any resemblance to Neil, when that first satellite was launched by the USSR, I did look something like the kid in the photo The event was a biggie for me. I could sense unease and maybe even fear in my parents. An enemy half way around the world had launched something that was passing above our little house in the heart of North America and that was scary. They deserved to be uneasy. I wasn't traumatized. I didn't lose one iota of respect for my parents. But I think I did grow up a bit when I realized that there were things outside of my parents' control.

The screen of the TV in the photo has been cut away to show a movie of various space and rocket scenes. By pure chance, the scene I captured in my photo is of the adult Neil Armstrong gazing from his space helmet. The flag on the wall traveled aboard Apollo 11 and, although these actual units did not, so did cameras like the three in the cabinet. Thank goodness they got the size down before they started putting those things in cell phones.

The Infinity Room is one of the few things I distinctly remember from my first visit. I remember not being very impressed. A walkway passes through the center of a room where lights and mirrors provide an infinite view in every direction. If anything, the "technology" is even less impressive today than in the '70s but it is really kind of cool and I found myself looking forward to it. The exit, like that of any well designed museum, is through a gift shop where a rack of Estes Rockets stands among the books and tee shirts. They looked exactly the same as the ones that friends and I sent skyward in 1964 or so. I probably should have bought one. I don't think I've launched a rocket or watched a console TV since man landed on the moon.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]