Showing posts with label Durham Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Durham Museum. Show all posts

Monday, October 01, 2018

Treats for kids . . . of all ages

There is only one demographic that enjoys soda fountains -- where one still can find them -- more than grown-up kids.
That would be kids who still happen to be . . . kids.

Fortunately, one of my favorite places in Omaha, the Durham Museum, happens to have one of my favorite things -- a soda fountain. The soda fountain is scarcely changed from the days when it was the soda fountain and "travelers' needs" shop at Union Station, the Durham's previous incarnation.
VERILY, the only thing better than grabbing a hot dog, a sundae or a root beer float at a soda fountain is grabbing a hot dog, a sundae or a root beer float inside an early-1930s Art Deco masterpiece of a building.
That's my opinion, at least. I can't speak to the architectural sensibilities of soda fountain aficionados under age 7.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

All-American fascism

I just spent a lot of time contemplating this 1976 Pulitzer Prize-winning news photo at a Newseum-sponsored exhibition at Omaha's Durham Museum.

I suggest members of today's half-witted, mean-spirited "patriotic" lynch mob at Louisiana State University spend some time as well with this image by Boston Herald American photographer Stanley Forman. It didn't win the 1977 Pulitzer for spot-news photography for nothing.

The context differs between Boston 1976 and LSU 2011. The animating spirit, however, remains the same.

I hate it when my alma mater keeps living down to the 1974 Randy Newman song that so memorably references it.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Should old acquaintance. . . .

This is how the holidays roll in my city, Omaha.

Downtown, we have the Holiday Lights Festival. But at the Durham Museum in the old Union Station, you'll find the Mother of All Christmas Trees (above).

Yes, Omaha is an old railroad and cow town. Then again, that isn't -- and wasn't -- necessarily a bad thing.

THERE WAS grandeur in old cow towns, if only you looked for it. In Omaha, a good place to start was the fabulous art-deco Union Station.

And what's great about old railroad and cow towns all grown up is that, sometimes, we remember the grandeur in our midst and preserve it . . . restore it to its full measure.

Then, especially at Christmastime, we revel in glories past -- glories restored for the present and the future.

To many Americans on the coasts, cities like mine are "flyover country," hardly worth a mention or a thought.

Their loss.

THERE ARE many reasons to visit the Durham Museum all through the year -- in January, it's wrapping up a fantastic Smithsonian exhibit of the poster art of Nashville's Hatch Show Print from the past century.

It's not a poster show; it's the cultural history of the South and the country displayed through hand-set advertisements run off one by one on the printers' old letterpresses.

Ernest Tubb. Minstrel shows. Stock-car races. Johnny Cash. Porter Wagoner. Elvis Presley at the beginning.

But I digress.

THE REAL STAR at the Durham -- at the old Omaha Union Station -- when the cold wind blows and the days grow pitifully short . . . is Christmas. The whole holiday season, where the past is present and its glories point toward the future, too.

It's grand. It's parents introducing their children to the magic, and those children introducing their children to the magic some fine day when the present has faded into the rosy glow of "when I was your age."

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Happy New Year.