Sunday, October 08, 2006

The National Ornamental Metal Museum

Following the excellent lunch at the Beauty Shop, my dad and I headed back toward the river to see if we could find the National Ornamental Metal Museum. We ended up getting severely lost. If I haven't mentioned this before, I have to convey that the combination of my and dad's attempts to navigate in an unfamiliar area are truly comical. Of course, countless people can tell you that my attempts to navigate in a familiar area are comical as well, but it's usually on a much smaller scale and I don't confuse north and south quite as often as a I did a few years ago.
National Ornamental Metal Museum from the Van
Eventually, we actually found it. By then, it appeared that we would have a thunderstorm, so Dad went inside to check it out, before I even left the van. The buildings were quite dilapidated and there was even one guy on a ladder fixing the roof. It wasn't really what I expected for a "National Museum", but it was rather cool. When Dad returned with positive news, we headed across the street and inside. The lady at the front desk gave us an umbrella and recommended that we go out again to take a look at their view of the river, before it started raining. We weren't disappointed in the view, in the least, because the view was even better than the one at Tom Lee Park and were very close to the I-55 bridge. We also got to see a boat pushing a huge barge down the river, which I'd never seen before. A barge would get more than a little stuck in the Eno River. I'm betting canoes get stuck sometimes.
I-55 Going over the Mississippi River
Next we went to their blacksmithing forge. That was pretty nifty. We got the impression that they were more artists than people doing production work. They were working on building a sarcophagus for a blacksmithing friend who had recently passed away.
Finally, we went to the actual museum. They had lots of what I would describe as small sculptures made of gold and fine silver. They also had old gates and other decorative, but functional, work. I managed to resist buying earrings in their gift shop. They seemed very proud of their entry gate and I photographed it as we were leaving.
National Ornament Metal Museum Gate
An amateur radio operator had seen my license plate and left a note on my windshield while I was at the museum. It was nice to have a greeting from a fellow ham.
Gate Made in 1935

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