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In Musings

By Lindsey

Rocket City Adventure & Big Introduction

On 03, Feb 2013 | No Comments | In Musings, Travel | By Lindsey

My boyfriend Matt and I live in different cities. He’s near Atlanta and I, of course, am in Memphis. This is a fairly new relationship but it does appear we will fly to see each other once a month. It’s a nice short flight, but clearly we will want to visit more than just 12 times a year!

So, this weekend we met up in a random city between both our homes. This time we picked Huntsville, Alabama.

Why? Well :: why not. We stayed at the Marriott flanked by rockets on all sides. Pretty wild drive up to the parking lot.

Our view from the hotel room :: cool!!

It was all intentional, though. We’d decided to do the whole science/history thing and tour the space center which is basically on the same property as the hotel. I’ve never been very interested in science or space. I know every one thinks space is cool, but I really don’t, well maybe I just don’t think about it all that much. However, I do think war weaponry, WW2, Germans and history are cool and I got a lot of that, much to my surprise. They should really market the museum better, if you ask me.

You see. Maybe it’s a history most know :: or at least most who were alive during that era. During the 40’s and the war Hitler had a team of scientists working on rockets – – missile technology. We knew that. What I didn’t know is that those same men who were responsible for the Nazi V-2 rocket, that rained down on Europe during the war, were also taken taken in by American troops at the end of the war, and were flown to Texas where they continued their research, this time for us. These former Nazis were essentially the true brain power behind what we now know as NASA. We can thank them for the Saturn V that propelled Apollo to the moon! Fascinating!!

The main man was a rocket scientist by the name of Wernher von Braun, a German.

Von Braun

His desk was on display

If he’s a household name I missed that dinner conversation. He’s all new to me. He and his team were initially taken to a base in Texas (their relocation was called operation paperclip) then moved to Huntsville where they spent many years putting Alabama on the map. Many of the German families still live in Huntsville. Matt and I were just shocked by the fact that NASA was essentially jump started by some Nazi leftovers.

Von Braun circled

He’s with nazis


All I can say is better we got the scientists and not the Soviets who surely were looking for them, too.

A mere 16 years later with the president

Anyhow, the museum dedicated a majority of the material to Von Braun, and the Huntsville people seem very proud of him. I imagine there were some confused people in the area during the 50’s, though. We went in this cute little bookshop that carried a lot of local books and one of them was written by a man who was a kid living in Huntsville during that time. We read through enough to find out that lots of people in the community then wondered if the gang of scientists were really German spies! Can you imagine the porch/coffee talk! Matt and I are both obsessed with all things Russian, German, Cold War and WW2 so this bit of history was a weekend-maker / non-stop conversation for us.


Also memorable was Matt’s fish dish at dinner Saturday night. He looked ahead and picked this very lovely place called Cotton Row for dinner.

The lighting inside was perfect, and the food was so good and rich. I had lamb and it was quite nice, however, Matt says his fish was one of the best fish dishes he’s had in a long time. What a statement! It also had a good creamy risotto. We’ve decided to go back to Huntsville just for that meal!

Now to some rather sad weekend news. As I walked out of my apartment to leave Saturday morning I saw something heartbreaking. Lydia the bird was dead. Her sister Leona was just crying above her in the cage. I don’t know what happened. My only guess is that she had been eating some of the painted wood off her cage and possibly the Chinese construction poisoned her. It is a very old cage. I know a bird is probably just a couple of degrees above a fish in terms of how wrapped up one would get in them. By that I mean, no I didn’t cry. It’s not as it would be if I lost Bridget, but it did break my heart. So much so that I had to call a friend to help me with her little body.

Lydia on the right


To make Lydia’s death a little crazier Matt and I had a marathon movie watching session Sunday morning   (now that I wake up naturally at 7 am there is lots of time ) consisting of Pet Sematary 1 and 2. Talk about crazy images.

poor poor Eward Furlong

He was such a cutie kid. Today hard drugs have hit him hard.
I prefer to picture him this way – the way he looked in Pet Sematary

I’ll close this blog by saying Lydia will will not be visiting pet sematary. Also, that Matt and I loved Huntsville. To have been there for such a short time it really was fun and authentic.

If you can think of some other interesting meeting spots between ATL and Memphis let me know! I suppose I haven’t said anything about where we met. He was just quickly announced as my boyfriend via my blog. Well, we met in Oxford when he was in graduate/law school at Ole Miss and I was finishing undergrad. We actually had a journalism ethics class together (Dr Adkins) in Farley Hall ( my favorite spot on campus) together and I thought he was dreamy. He was two years older than I was. We became very close friends until I moved to start my career in Meridian. It just took him a while to decide he liked me the same as I always liked him. Well, like nine years. Goodness life is funny. Bottom line I haven’t been with a person I considered or called a boyfriend in around five years.  He has a similar story. We are excited.

What’s great is that for two music people we naturally have a song/band/music genre for every outing….  this is from the Huntsville trip.

Tegan and Sara – Closer

This was my song for the drive to and from Rocket City

The xx – chained  (from the new album coexit)

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