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Monday, September 1, 2008

Civic Fest worth checking out

I spent this morning over at Civic Fest, which bills itself as a very Minnesota celebration (whatever that means). For those of you who have not been following it, Civic Fest is a family-friendly "multimedia experience" focusing on local and national history, including the American presidency. Among the traveling exhibits are a miniature recreation of the White House, historical documents (including the Declaration of Independence), a display of first lady gowns, a mock Oval Office and a very impressive collection of historical memorabilia. The exhibits, which are at the Minneapolis Convention Center, have been timed to coincide with the Republican National Convention. It's a great way to share in the convention excitement, catch up on your history and have some fun. There's definitely a lot there of interest to lawyers, plus lots of entertaining stuff for kids and other family members. I'd encourage everybody to attend.

I was there in the capacity of a volunteer, having responded to Mayor R.T. Rybak's call for local citizens to pitch in. Most of the time I spent directing folks onto the Air Force One exhibit and stationed at a prototype of Ronald Reagan's presidential limo. My favorite comment came from a precocious little girl who stuck her head by the open door of the frequently mothballed limo, took a deep whiff and exclaimed, "It smells like my grampy."

In any event, here are two pictures I took during off periods on my iPhone. The first (at left) is of the message informing members of the public that one of the electronic speakers at the presidents' exhibit was experiencing technical difficulties. (Poor Dick Nixon still can't catch a break.) I like the fact that whoever wrote the "pardon" message apparently had a sense humor. (If you can't see the writing, click on the photo to make it bigger.)

The second photo (at right) is of a Lincoln impersonator who circulated around the exhibit hall. Someone said to me that this faux Lincoln was in fact a little taller than the real McCoy, but the hat used was a bit shorter, so it all evened out. I have no idea if this is actually true, but I like the symmetry if it is. In any event, I could not hear what Lincoln was saying to this woman standing in line at the miniature White House. Perhaps he dropped by to tell her to make sure she checks out the Lincoln bedroom. (File that one under great presidential pickup lines.)

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