Jeff, Max and I are retired. Several months ago we decided to start a ‘Boys Day Out’ to explore the local landscape. So far this has included visits to the Museum of Glass, the western art collection at the Tacoma Art Museum, America’s Car Museum, a retirement planning seminar, and the opening of a new Whole Foods Market. Here’s a report on last week’s adventure.
David Karpeles made his money in California real estate and started collecting documents in the ’70s. By 1983 he had one of the largest private document collections in the world and decided to distribute them to museums he established in eleven cities across the United States. This is truly an eclectic assortment. For example:
* The original etchings from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
* The official report of the Titanic rescue by the captain of the RMS Carpathia
* A paper tape of the first message sent by Morse Code
* The navigator’s log of the Enola Gay when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
* The written confession of Japan’s War Minister, Tojo, who ordered the Bataan Death March
Just across the street from the Karpeles Manuscript Library is the W W Seymour Conservatory, a Tacoma icon since 1908, and one of only three Victorian-style conservatories on the West Coast.
These adventures always involve food. As you can imagine, looking at documents and admiring tropical vegetation works up quite an appetite. Next stop, the Parkway Tavern.
Still time for one more stop so we head for the Foss Waterway Seaport. The Seaport is in a century-old wheat transfer facility, one of two remaining wooden warehouses originally built as a mile-long complex in 1900 to accommodate square-rigged ships that frequented the port during the early years of Tacoma’s history.