Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mildred Visits the Cold War Air Museum

Without ever leaving Texas, you can visit London, Paris, Rome and Moscow. With a rich culture originating in many different countries, there are towns with worldly names all over our fair state.

So it should not be too surprising to find a contingent of Soviet, Cold War aircraft here as well. The students at Mildred High School, from Mildred, Texas, recently finished studying about the Cold War and their teachers brought them to see and hear about some of the artifacts of the Cold War.

One of the pleasures of volunteering at the Cold War Air Museum is having the opportunity to talk with well behaved young men and women who are the future of our country.

Tracie and Phil took one group under their "wing" for a walk-about and talk-about through the museum. One of the students seems to be taking a picture of Phil in the photo above. While Phil in fact qualifies as a genuine Cold War artifact, we generally refer to him as our volunteer coordinator. Phil also coordinates the community service credit hours for our student volunteers.

Museums use the fancy word "docent", to describe a "knowledgeable tour guide". While Phil and Tracie both certainly qualify as docents, we generally don't use such fancy language here and simply refer to the many pilots and students of history involved with the museum as our "Associates".

Bud took the other group. Dividing the 60 plus students into two groups made it easier to talk with individuals and encourage questions. This group got a look at the T28 associated with our sister museum while moving between our buildings.

The students toured both Hanger One, primarily used for display and Hanger Three, primarily used for restoration.

Hopefully there may be some future aviators (pilots) in the class. These young men are getting a look inside the cockpit of a Mach-2, mig-23 fighter.

Both groups asked many good questions. The girls were less shy about asking questions than the guys. Tracie, a Commercial Pilot and Helicopter Instructor, assured them not only that she flew as much as the guys, but that women make excellent pilots and have career opportunities in aviation.

We enjoyed a special moment of fun with several of the students trying on hats from our collection of Soviet gear. They even convinced one of their teachers to pose with them.

On behalf of the museum, we hope they enjoyed their visit and that it was beneficial for the students, teachers and the school.

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