Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fredericksburg, Texas

The most famous son of Fredericksburg, Texas is Chester W. Nimitz, the hero of the Pacific theater in World War II, and the United States' last 5-star admiral. The Pioneer Museum has a small display on Nimitz; Nimitz's house is now a museum; and Fredericksburg is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War.

But by signage alone, you'd never know the the Nimitz Foundation runs the museum. Indeed, you'd never know that the museum is about Nimitz at all, because everywhere in Fredericksburg the signs read

National Museum of the Pacific War
George Bush Gallery

"Oh no, he's not from here," the woman in the Fredericksburg Visitor Center tells me of Bush. She's so earnest about telling me what a hero he was that I don't have the heart to point out that Fredericksburg already has a bigger, more important, and more interesting war hero of its own. When I ask the Museum security guard why there is so much emphasis on Bush, she brushes me off.

The only place that actually reads Nimitz Museum is the museum gift shop, on Main Street. The "National Museum" is the entire collection and gardens; the museum itself is the Chester Nimitz museum.

Or was, since it's now closed, and only the George Bush Gallery, and the gardens, are open.


Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your writing and wit, but I also wanted to tell you that your photography is as compelling. It would be interesting to put it all in a book upon your return. Thank you for sharing so much.


Mario Bruzzone said...

Oh thanks!

In this case, though, I can't take the credit...The museum has those amazing works of unintentional art outside. All You have to do is point the camera in the right direction..

L said...

That's incredibly funny (the bush photo)
When are you getting to Michael?

Mario Bruzzone said...

I'm in Michael's lab right now!