Vacation Day 3

On my third day of vacation, we went to the Corning Museum of Glass. My grandfather used to work for Corning, which may be the reason why my parents took me and my brother there so many times when we were kids. It seemed only fitting that my brother’s kids should go, too.

Kids are always accused of having short attention spans, but it’s really the adults who lack focus. One of my nephews took 211 pictures in the museum and he would have taken more, he avowed later, had we not rushed him. While I’ve always been fascinated by both glass and archaeology, I started yawning almost immediately. The museum’s collection was too comprehensive for a one-day visit.

Some of the newer pieces were quite pretty. I love this glass tire, for example. I didn’t take note of the artist’s name at the time, but I believe it to be Robert Rauschenberg. The dark blob over the top of the tire is the reflection of my father bending over to look at it more closely.

Glass Tire

Another highlight for me was the glass harmonica. My hero, Ben Franklin, devoted some of his genius to redesigning the glass harmonica in the 1760s. The museum’s display included earphones through which to listen to a recording of one. It had a beautifully haunting sound.

We had been making such slow progress through the exhibits, we finally had to start shooing the kids along. We made it through just in time for the next glassblowing show. The glassworkers made a beautiful pitcher and then, to the dismay of the entire crowd, trashed it by throwing it into a bucket of water. Glass has to be annealed (cooled slowly) and they didn’t have any room left in the kiln. What a shame!

The gift shop was a letdown. They had some wonderful, exorbitantly priced items, and they had plenty of cheap stuff made in China, but not very much in-between. I bought a couple of small gifts, then got bored and went to the cafe, where I waited for everyone else to finish their shopping.

Faithful Reader and I took my nephews in our car for the ride back to the lake. Their musical tastes are limited mostly to classic rock, thanks to their father. I love classic rock, too, but I haven’t yet transferred that part of my music collection to my iPod. Since they complained, I amused myself by torturing them with other kinds of music—a little scat, some opera, and one John Mayer tune (listening to them sing along mockingly to “Waiting on the World to Change” is something that I’ll never quite forget).

Our children will be different. 😉

That was day three of my vacation. As soon as I can remember what we did on day four, I’ll tell you all about it.

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