Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
Ripley's Believe it or Not!
Now Open at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park
For the first time since the California Pacific International Exposition of 1935, San Diego is host to a collection of Robert Ripley's strange and hard to believe finds as he explored the world. Beginning this month and for the rest of the year, you will have a chance to see Ripley's beloved artifacts in person at the San Diego Air & Space Museum at Balboa Park.
I attended the opening reception of the exhibit, and got to peruse the Special Exhibition after hours. I'd forgotten how massive this museum was, how filled to the brim with air and space awesomeness. I could hardly get David past the Apollo 9 capsule. "Look at the bottom, that burnishing is from burning back into the atmosphere," he said. Then, as he stared in amazement through the window, "Can you believe three astronauts spent ten days together in that small space?"
Finally, I was able to drag him into the main atrium, where I knew I could enjoy a glass of wine and chat with museum representatives before heading in to the exhibit.
Inside the exhibit, we were all amazed by the micro-miniature sculpture by Willard Wigan. Called "One Small Step," this sculpture could only be viewed by looking through a microscope -- it's of Buzz Aldrin, and it's placed within the eye of a needle. David got these two shots: one of the microscope as it appears to the naked eye (as we stood there looking at it) and the other, with the lens of his camera looking into the microscope.
Among the many interactive galleries and exhibits are human oddities (such as a life-size replica of the Lizard Man), tribal artifacts (including a real shrunken head), wooden vehicles, and even a coffin made to look like a classic car.
There is so much to see that this Diva wasn't able to process it all in one visit. So I'll be going back soon. I did make time, however, to seize the photo opportunity by the gift shop and get shots of myself and David flying a fake plane.
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