Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Places to Go, History to Study, People to Meet, A Country to Crisscross

A Floridian friend of mine is going to New York this weekend for her cousin's wedding, and once I shrugged off the envy I felt, what with The Strand in Manhattan, with its 18 miles of books, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum upstate in Hyde Park, I thought about all the states I must visit, mainly for the presidential libraries and museums they contain. It's quite a list:

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa

The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in Independence, Missouri

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum in Abilene, Kansas

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston (I also want to try New England Clam Chowder in the New England region, and I read about the Union Oyster House, also in Boston. I want to go.)

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum in Austin, Texas (It'll be my first time in Texas since August 2003 when it took two days to drive through on our way to Southern California. I don't remember much of it, except the heat)

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan (I would like to see the Library, too, so I'll make time for that when I'm there)

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas (I'll either spend a few days in Texas to cover the Johnson and Bush presidential libraries, or make separate trips. I just never imagined going back to Texas for anything, yet there'll I'll be for these)

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas (Especially important to me since I grew up during the Clinton Administration and want to see what I didn't pay a great deal of attention to then)

The George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas (This will probably be open by the time I embark on any of these trips, and I've got a lot of thinking to do about Texas. Cover it all in one shot or separate trips? I first hope to earn enough money at my full-time job, and from freelance work I want to pursue after moving to Las Vegas, and I'll think about it further when I feel financially comfortable enough to start planning these trips)

And then there's others not run by the National Archives:

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio

The William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Virginia

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts

I'm disappointed that there isn't a library for William Howard Taft, considering that he was President of the United States for one term, then eventually Chief Justice of the United States, and responsible for the Supreme Court building as it looks today. His life should be a museum as well.

And, of course, I want to travel throughout New Mexico, triggered by reading The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal. I want to see the entire state, just like I want to with Nevada. And I also want to go to Washington, D.C. to see the White House, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives building. Seems appropriate.

For now, before these extensive travels, I'll have Las Vegas to settle into and get to know intimately, and ransack the Nevada history sections at my future local libraries. Nevada (not just the Las Vegas Valley) gives off the feeling that you can try anything, and you should. I intend to. I'll grow my roots, I'll do research for the books I want to write, I'll visit all the casinos, I'll experience the Smith Center, I'll drive through Henderson and Summerlin often and stop at the shops that interest me, I'll attend a few UNLV Rebels basketball games, I'll go often to the Pinball Hall of Fame on East Tropicana Avenue, and more. I'll finally physically live the way I do in my heart and mind. It'll start with the Las Vegas Valley and it'll eventually extend to the rest of the United States.


  1. I want to see more of the libraries, too. I feel I must warn you that I thought the Eisenhower and Hoover libraries were unusually boring, and they are in the middle of two nowheres. As for the Lincoln library in Springfield, I lived there when it opened. It's really not much of a presidential library. The museum has very few original items. The most interesting items are locked up in a vault because they're so fragile, and and gift shop prices are outrageous.


    1. I'll still chance it, since I want to see those libraries, and the worst that can happen with them located in the middle of two nowheres is that I get to see more of this country.

      The most I want from any presidential library gift shop are a few bookmarks. I couldn't afford those prices, especially not at the Shrine to Ronald Reagan, I mean, the Reagan Presidential Library.

    2. Oh, I would like to visit the Reagan Shrine. I loved him. When you finally reach the Lincoln experience, be sure to eat at my favorite restaurant in Springfield, which is downtown, across from the Old Das Kapital building. I sure wish I could tell you the name, but of course I can't think of it. However, I have faith that you'll find it. It's very near a bookstore (used books). For dessert, have the chocolate cake with the orange flavored icing. In fact, have two pieces. Eat one for me. It's driving me crazy that I can't think of the name of that place. Now I have to see if I can find it online.

    3. I just looked through a list of the names of every restaurant in Springfield. My restaurant isn't there, and I just remembered it was called The Feed Store. I bet it closed when I left. Oh, well. You should try The Jolly Tamale. I never ate there, but the sign amused me. The "tamale" on it resembled an extremely happy penis.

    4. You would love the Reagan Shrine. He still has enough worshippers to keep the donations flowing in that the library looks as pristine as it does, with a lot of expensive exhibits.

  2. It's there! It's still there! I found it! The Feed Store! You must eat at The Feed Store! And I must stop using exclamation points : (

    janie, who will never again eat at the feed store

    1. Thank you for that, Janie. That's a huge help, since I've only thought as far as the Union Oyster House in Boston. I hope The Feed Store will still be open when I finally get to Springfield. I scrolled through the menu and those sandwiches sound incredible!