Sunday, February 19, 2012

The joy of relics

In recent months I have shied away from keeping my blog current. It seems I have resigned myself to the idea that a daily exposition of my memoirs would only serve as a benefit to those suffering from insomnia. With little refute to this accusation, I decided that I would need to do something about it. Yes, I am willing to take full responsibility for my boring life and accept that only I can remedy the problem. One such antidote and the one I will write about today; volunteering to help preserve history.

It all started when my Dad (Steve version. Yes, I have two) found a museum in Hood River, OR. This Museum, WAAAM (Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum) impressed him so much on his first visit that he immediately decided he needed to become a volunteer. He also felt it would be much more fun to share his new found joy with somebody he knew so he convinced me to volunteer with him. Myself, I was pretty much born a fan of anything that has a motor. From as far back as I can remember, if it has a motor and goes, I love it and want to ride or drive it. I love the smell of exhaust fumes in the morning. It's that smell, that gasoline smell. Smells like...victory! 

My Dad and I front of a Model T Depot Hack
This museum is known as a "living museum". All the artifacts are still operable and occasionally operated. On the second Saturday of every month they pull out some of the displays and fly & drive them. My first chance to volunteer came on the 2nd Saturday of February. One of my duties for the day was to help promote rides on the Model T Depot Hack. Due to the chilly weather, not too many rides were given. Most of the men returned with big smiles and most of the women returned shivering. In all, it was great to see the Model T in action.After Model T duty, we were put on dusting duty. We were actually asked to go behind the ropes and touch each and every exhibit. That's right, I know you're jealous.

1928 Boeing 40C
  This Boeing is the oldest Boeing that still flies. It was completely rebuilt from just a few salvageable parts taken from a wreck that sat in the wilderness for 75 years. 

There are about 200 exhibits in 2 large hangers

1932 Locomobile
This car sold in 1923 for about $10,000. At the same time a new Ford Model T was selling for about $300.

Along with cars and planes, the exhibits also cover some military equipment, motorcycles and even a display of old cameras. 

If you ever find yourself in the Columbia River Gorge area, I would highly recommend stopping in Hood River and visiting WAAAM. If you can schedule your visit for the 2nd Saturday of the month, all the better.

Hope to see you there!!!


  1. Sounds like a good field trip idea. : )

    1. if you like old things that go vroom vroom, chug chug, thump thump, it's the place to go!

  2. Red, I feel like I know you through your parents (Donna and Russ) and your web posts. It's never boring, I too have doubts about what I post, since my life seems to be infinitely boring lately but I just slog on through, and people seem to be somewhat interested. Looking forward to more posts from you.

    1. Thanks Kate! I plan on trying to spend more time writing. I have fun doing and it's an inexpensive hobby.

  3. Good post Red. It certainly looks like an interesting museum and we will definitely visit. Your write-up piqued my interest and I'm looking forward to more posts from you in the near future. Enjoyed the photos.

  4. Why didn't I know about this in 2010 when we came through that area. Well, this just gives me another excuse to plan a trip up that way again. I really do want to ring that bell. And an important thing to remember about blogging is: we are your friends and friends know that some days are pretty mundane. But that's okay. We still want to hear from you and know that you're hanging in there.

  5. Hi Red,
    Your mom suggested I check out your blog. I have to tell you we are so excited you wrote about this gem in the Gorge!! We are members there and get over as often as we can which isn't too often these days. Any times friends or family come to see us and we haul them over there. I get tired after a while and take my Nook and go out in the foyer where the nice, comfortable couch and tables are, grab a cup of coffee and a goodie ( well not any more but I use too) and just relax and people watch. I bought Joe a book in the gift shop. Jimmy Stewart, Bomber Pilot. Jimmy Stewart is a favorite of his and the book is about his time in the service and flying. He loved it. We will ask if you're there the next time we go over.

    Looking forward to following your blog now that I know the connection. We are also looking forward to meeting your mom and Dad. We live in Milwaukie. (actually Oak Grove area)

    ~Betty and Joe