Tag Archives: Classic Car Museum

 2022 Road Trip Part 8B

2 Nov

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Day 8 Continued (5/23/2022)

After that quick ‘Trip to the Past’ I left Paduca and headed back north 50 miles on SR-13 to visit the Gateway Classic Cars collection located in O’Fallon, IL.  This is a fabulous collection of beautifully restored cars, ranging from the 1930s Hot Rods to the present-day Muscle Cars.  I never get tired of drooling over the finished product of someone’s ‘Dream Car.’  I’ve been there and know how hard it is to sell that car you have put your heart and soul into restoring. 

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

Now it was only about 15 miles west on I-24 to where I had planned to visit the old 1831 Campbell House Museum located in the Lucas Place neighborhood in St. Louis, MO but they were closed by the time I got there.   Just a few blocks away I stopped to see if the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was open.  They weren’t, so it wasn’t far to where I checked out the Moto Motorcycle Museum.  This museum is the private collection of famous architect, Steve Smith, and displays mostly motorcycles made before 1975, and mainly from European countries.  It is a beautiful collection of motorcycles with names not commonly heard of in the United States.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

On the same block I noticed the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum, and stopped to take a photo.  They were closed also, so I headed a few blocks to check out the Laclede’s Landing Wax Museum located not far from the Gateway Arch, adjacent to the Mississippi River.  This museum has five levels and displays over 250 wax figures of some of the most famous persons in history, including movie stars, presidents, world leaders, religious leaders, and inventers just to name a few of the categories of wax figures.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

By now I was getting hungry, so I gave Greta (My Garmin) the address for the Blueberry Hill Diner located in the Delmar Loop district across from the Ackert Walkway leading to University City.  The Blue Berry Hill is a longtime pop culture–themed diner where live music is played several nights each week (Not tonight – Bummer).  They advertise that Chuck Berry walked across their stage, in their ‘Duck Room’ over 200 times.  I enjoyed an order of their famous French Dip, accompanied by a lot of Chuck Berry’s recorded music in the background, while I ‘people watched’ the crowd who came and went.

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

After that exciting experience, I walked across Delmar Blvd to take a photo of the bronze statue of Chuck Berry that guards the entrance to the Ackert Walkway leading to University City.  I was amazed at the crowd of people filling the sidewalks on either side of the street.  They consisted of people of all ages dressed in every conceivable type of clothes, from shorts to dinner attire.  What a sight that was!

Photo Credit; Bill Lites

Greta was again employed to take me to tonight’s motel there on the outskirts of St. Louis, and she did a good job.  After I got checked in and got my things into the room, I recorded my day’s activities, and went to bed.  I had to get up early as I had reservations for the first timeslot at the Gateway Arch tomorrow morning and wanted to get a good night’s rest.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 4

26 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 4 Monday 10/22/2018

 

After breakfast this morning I headed north on U.S.-41 & I-75 to visit the Sarasota Classic Car Museum located just south of the Sarasota International Airport.  I had been to this museum several years ago, but wanted to see what kind of new additions they had in their collection. This is a very large museum with 100+ beautifully restored antique and classic cars dating from 1885 to the present. The docent informed me that this is the second oldest continuously operating antique auto museum in the country.

 

 

Just down the street from the Car Museum is the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Ca d’ Zan Ringling home, and the Ringling Circus Museum, all of which are part of what is now the rambling 66-acre Ringling museum complex.  John Ringling came to the Sarasota area in 1911 and purchased 20 acres of Sarasota Bay waterfront property.  John built his magnificent new 32 room palatial summer home (Ca d’ Zan-Venetian for “House of John”) in 1926, and he and Mable moved into the house in 1927.  (Google “Ringling Home-Sarasota” for some interesting details of this mansion, whose design inspiration was taken from the Ringling’s love of the palazzos of Venice, their favorite vacation city).

 

 

DiVoran and I had visited the Ca d’ Zan Ringling home and Art Museum some years ago, and I didn’t have the time to visit all of the museums again today.  So I took a photo of the entrance, and headed for the Ringling Circus Museum, which is what I was really interested in seeing on this trip.

 

 

After John and Mable moved to Sarasota in 1927, John proceeded to buy more land, around his original 20 acres, in order to have all the necessary space to move the winter quarters of his Ringling Bros. Circus to Sarasota.  As a natural process, and with the inspiration of Ringling’s first Director, Mr. A. Everett Austin Jr. the Ringling Circus Museum was originally established in 1948 as the Ringling Museum of American Circus.  Over the years the museum has grown and now displays artifacts (such as performers’ wardrobes & performing props), lots of memorabilia (such as 19thcentury circus posters & rare circus handbills), and exhibits (such as carved parade wagons & a human cannon) related to the history of the circus in America, specifically the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.

 

 

In 2006 the Tibbals Learning Center was added to the museum, which displays the marvelous 3,800 sq. ft. (44,000-piece) miniature model that is a re-creation of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus combined shows from 1919-1938.  Absolutely Amazing!

 

 

Next I headed north on U.S.- 41 & SR-684 to visit the Florida Maritime Museum located in the historic fishing village of Cortez, just south of the Palma Solo Bay.  This small museum is housed in the restored 1912 Cortez Schoolhouse, which is now a part of the Cortez Nature Preserve.  The museum displays artifacts, model boats, and memorabilia, relating to the growth of the local and Gulf Coast fishing industry from the city’s founding in the 1880s.

 

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

 

Bill

 

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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