Spaatz museum and Mike's farm
Drove to Mike's farm and stopped in Boyertown to visit the General Carl Spaatz Museum. Spaatz was a 16-year-old local boy who took over the family newspaper after his father was pressed into service to help the town recover from a disastrous opera house fire which claimed 179 lives. At 18 he was backing out of an appointment to West Point when his father and a local bigwig and friend to President Taft intervened and convinced him to attend. He served during WWI and was stationed in England prior to our entry into WWII. He was in the Army Air Corps and rose to the rank of general and was instrumental in the bombing campaign over Germany. After the war, he was the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force after it was separated from the US Army. The museum was very well done and even kept Alesa interested and involved during the 3-hour visit. We had a personal guide who led us from room to room. A room for his early life, a room for an overview/timeline of his military career, a room as an introduction to WWII bombers and equipment to include a large diorama of an airfield, a replica of a bomber briefing room, a room where they are constructing a wooden replica of a B17 cockpit based on actual blueprints with actual instruments, a room showing a movie of a bombing mission where your bomber is shot down and you are the only survivor, a replica of a room in a French farmhouse used to hide and help downed flyers escape capture and a room of a German POW camp. Each room was well described by our guides who were clearly excited about this project. The museum runs actual interactive exercises where the participants dress in the equipment, attend an actual briefing and pass through the different rooms participating in the action and searching for clues for the next step. We then went through some static displays before leaving down a long "Hall of Heroes" which displays pictures and stories of local people and their involvement in the wars. There was also a section which told the stories of many, many celebrities and their participation in WWII. Very impressive and I could go on and on. We had lunch at a local restaurant before heading to Mike's farm. We had a tour of his progress and mowed some lawn before it started to rain. We also dropped off a generator we brought from Florida and weren't using. It was a great day and Lisa stopped over to the house in the evening for a visit and to play some games. Kudos to Mike for orchestrating a great day!