A Conspiracy of SilenceWell, it has been two weeks since Sam’s plaintive request for my blog. But I have been silent and incommunicado – traveling across the country on what amounts to a Cold War tour of the United States.
In Tucson, I descended into a decommissioned Titan Missile silo. The museum at the Titan Missile site has a distinctly Marxist interpretation of history as you can see by this snapshot.
What was it like to be stationed underground at a missile silo? I asked this question of the docent, who used to command the station. “Boring,” he said, to which I added, “Thank God.” He pointed out one added benefit of missile ennui. Many service personnel finished their graduate degrees while waiting underground for the final call. Ah, for the status quo frigis bellum.
While the CV boot to the car I borrowed was being replaced in Roswell, I toured the International UFO Museum. It looks more like a science fair in a high school gym than a museum, but I’m guessing that institutions that actively promote the idea of government conspiracies don’t get much grant money. Austin, Texas boasts the LBJ library, which I endorse favorably because it’s not only free, but because you exit the exhibit space next to a placard featuring a Johnson quote that states, in effect, “At least I tried.”
The 6th Floor Museum at the Texas Book Depository is enlightening. Now that I’ve been there, yes, I think Oswald could have made that shot. Besides, I don’t endorse conspiracies because someday I’d like to teach at an institution that’s not the University of New Mexico at Roswell.
On a Tuesday morning I walked into the Memphis Welcome Center and was greeted warmly by a grand dame of the Old South. Once I told her I wanted to visit the Civil Rights Museum (located in the old Lorraine Motel where MLK was shot), she refused to look me in the eye. “It opens at ten,” she assured me, staring at my shoulder. “And if you want a nice, leisurely tour of downtown you can take the trolley there from here.” They-ah from He-ah. She then gave me quite precise directions on how to do this.
Turns out the Civil Rights Museum is closed on Tuesdays. I suppose she knew this, but then again, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m not one for conspiracies.
And now, friends, I am warmly ensconced in the suburban Maryland home of a friend who made good with her law degree and is all the more miserable for it. Here I will do some DC-based research and writing until I leave again for Boston in two weeks. Congratulations, Sam, on passing your exams. In the words of my heroine, “so not the drama.” I had no doubts.