Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cool Stuff to do in Louisville: The Frazier Museum

A few weeks ago, I visited Louisville, and I'm finally blogging about it.

Upon breakin' my best friend's step-son out of Fort Knox for his Family Day Pass, we decided that there'd be more to do in Louisville than the area directly surrounding the base, so we meandered our way down to that town. Tony's goals for the weekend were pretty simple: eat a bunch of stuff that wasn't completely healthy, and sleep in big time. We succeeded admirably.

We ended up in a hotel over near the airport that was just a few minutes down the freeway from downtown, and another few minutes from the University of Louisville. Being in the area of a University means lots of cheap eats, and the manager at the hotel recommended the 5th Quarter steak house. Turned out to be an excellent suggestion.

Saturday, after a trip to Crack Barrel, we planned to hit the Frazier International Museum, and then wander across the street to the Louisville Slugger museum and factory. Except that we never made it across the street. Turns out that the Frazier is stocked, on three floors, with armor, flails, maces, broadswords, pole arms, pikes, lances, voulges, spears, rapiers, sabers, pistols, revolvers, rifles, carbines, cannons, and some really kick ass dioramas, or tableaus as they seem to prefer to call them. We ended up spending about five hours there, and if they weren't closing, I think I could have spent a few more. This place was everything I love: sharp pointy stuff and things that go BOOM!

They had a really cool exhibition that was done shortly after we reached the third floor. Two living historians gave a demonstration of swordsmanship by way of acting out the scenes from Romeo and Juliet. The point was to describe the fights as they might have actually happened between the Montegues and Capulets, two families that were more or less at war. In addition to acting out the dialogue, they also explained the weapons, even going so far as to tell us something I didn't know: the derivation of the term "swashbuckler". It comes from a fighting style that was common at the time of the Romeo and Juliet. the "swash" refers to the slashing, cutting style of swordsmanship, where the "bucker" refers to the small, round shield used with the weak hand that has that name. Those guys were really, really good. A tip of the ATS hat with the "Kill Bad Guys Like a Champion Today" patch on the back to them.

This is the Armada tableau, depicting the English kickin' the ever lovin' crap out of the Spanish armada. Tactics made the difference once again.

This next one is from the Battle of Balaclava, more famously known as "The Charge of the Light Brigade". Professionalism in the face of blundered leadership. Note the wild eyed look on the face of the horse. They did an excellent job with this one.

This last one I included as much because I thought it was extra cool as for my friend Matt E. who's a big, big fan of the movie Zulu. The Battle of Rourke's Drift. This photo is not, in my opinion, the best angle to see this scene:

The tableau photos are from the Frazier's website. Those are some great quality pics! Much better than I'd be able to do with my digital camera!

After spending all day at the museum, we wandered around a bit and took a drive down River Road. We found Joe's Crab Shack, and despite the crazy long wait-no doubt because of the 50 top they set before us-we ate more than we should have again...which was one of the stated goals. Again, success. The aforementioned hat drew the attention of the manager as he was walking by. He stopped, took a long look at it, and said "That's what I thought that said. I just wanted to be sure". I just grinned and told him "It was a gift from a friend." He left with a disconcerted look on his face. lol!

Sunday meant we had to get him back to base, but we had enough time to hit Crack Barrel again, and went to see "Fighting". Decent movie, but we saw it more because there was nothing else we wanted to see than it being the first choice. :) I dropped Tony back at Fort Knox, and eventually found my way back home. The best news we heard was that somebody got caught by a Captain at Kentucky Kingdom in civilian clothes. The order was Class A's or Class B's all weekend. Oops!

We had a great time, and I'm really, really proud of that young soldier. He's still got about a month of AIT to do, then it's off to Texas to be a Cav Scout. He's a smart young man, and a self starter. He's going to do great things in the service.

He's got another graduation coming, so I'll be up that way in about four weeks or so. I'm really looking forward to that one.

1 comment:

Fire said...

I'm looking forward to it, too.