New Orleans, Friday 26-Oct

Melody was once again in her conference for the day, and I finally made it to the National WWII Museum. Ended up not doing very much for the rest of the day, deciding to take it easy.

National WWII Museum

I made it to the National WWII Museum earlier than the day before and there was almost no line. I started with the main pavilion which had exhibits on D-Day and various weaponry, as well as a variety of miscellaneous artifacts. There was also a special exhibit on Bob Hope and his USO tours.

The most interesting pavilion explored timelines in the European and Pacific theaters. A lot of work was put into each exhibit, from the atmospheric design putting you into recreations of venues to the effective use of multimedia in both clips and background movement. The stories did a good job of breaking up the whole arcs of defeating Germany and Japan, bringing in biographies of both famous and lesser-known participants.

I’m always on the lookout for how the Japanese-American internment and the 442nd Infantry Regiment are portrayed, and I think they did a good job at this museum. One room had various video screens with stories from internees, many of whom were quite young at the time but told stories of their parents. There were various 442nd artifacts, including a couple photo albums (but they were closed, so you can’t see the inside.)

When you purchase your ticket, you're given a card you can tap on certain video panels to follow the story of a selected veteran. Mine was about Ben Kuroki, the only Japanese-American to serve in the Pacific theater. He signed up for the Marines right after Pearl Harbor, but after not being called up, he enlisted with the Army Air Corps. Assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force, he participated in bombing runs over Japan.

After a quick lunch, I went to the pavilion with aircraft hanging from the ceiling. What was different with this exhibit were catwalks where you could look at the planes from above. There were three levels of them and were high enough that there was a warning for people with a fear of heights would be best to stick to the ground and second levels.

The last pavilion showed how STEM was used during WWII, such as a triangulation device used to estimate ranges or how fluid dynamics was used to improve airplane design. Of note was a slide rule in one of the cases which is the exact model my dad used and I now have.

Afternoon café, dinner

Having done quite a bit the previous few days, I decided to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. I grabbed a bus back to our room, loaded the day’s photos onto my laptop, then headed out to a café to process and upload them. I chose one about a half hour walk away so I could add a bit more exercise to the day, and ended up at a very eclectic local place. Wireless connectivity was pretty good and my battery lasted long enough, even with the heavy usage (my laptop fan spins up to a loud level while processing photos.) Melody had the charger with her, but with judicious use and supplementing with my tablet, I had plenty of power.

I was going to meet Melody at the conference hotel for dinner, so I walked back, dropped off my stuff, then hopped onto the bus. I was getting good use out of that day’s bus pass; they last for 24 hours, and I had gotten one the night before. Fairly recently they came out with a phone app where you could purchase and scan tickets and passes, but it was common for the scanners to either not be working or have trouble scanning the pass (you could show your phone to the driver in those cases.) I think I successfully scanned two or three times, and this was not one of them.

I had mentioned the night before that the Auction House Market was a pretty good lunch place, but since she didn’t have the opportunity to make it there during the day, we walked to it for dinner. Partway there, we saw a mass of people in a parade, but since it was so informal, we found a break and made our way across. When Tynor was in the city a couple years ago, he said his company paid $50 for a permit to have their own parade, so we figured parades are a common occurrence.

Having made it to the Auction House Market, we shared a poke bowl and seaweed salad. We also got a baklava and bird’s nest bar for dessert. Since we were close to the streetcar, we hopped on and before long we’re done for the day.