Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Went on a tour of a museum attic at the LNFU on Saturday.

It was amazing.

Even though it's in the process of being emptied out-which meant I missed out on a roomful of hippo skulls and a couple of whale skeletons, among other items-there was still enough stuff in there to thrill. And the atmosphere was of course spot-on: eaves; rafters; lath and plaster; wooden staircases to trapdoors in the roof; the original roof of one building hidden beneath the one created when a new building was tacked on.

Also: dust, lots of dust. Trunks covered in stickers from foreign lands and filled with the ephemera of long-dead explorers. A motorcycle. A giraffe head and neck mounted moose-style. A deflated elephant (really an elephant skin) under a table with one meat-and-boneless but still toenailed elephant foot on top. A bequeathed collection of antlers lining the walls and floor of a room off the room containing enormous plaster-cast vertebrae. A wall of taxidermied guinea pigs. A stuffed-sea-creature-section which included a dolphin, a walrus (plus some whiskery, tusky mounted walrus heads) and a beautiful manatee whose knobby schnoz was more sawdust than skin, owing to the ravages of time.

Even the staircase we took to get up to the attic was beautiful: white-painted wobbly wrought iron. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy ohboyohboy do I want to go back up there. I'm hoping that somehow the sheer force of my love for that space will cause someone to pull me from my current duties for a time and make me chief trunk-sifter.

I could tell who my fellow attic geeks were when, all of a sudden it seemed, the lights went out. The tour was over. If I'd had a flashlight with me I might have just hid behind a stuffed something-or-other and continued exploring. Luckily a couple of folks had cell phones, though, and they used their glowing screens to lead us back to the light of day.


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