Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crowded Day, Interesting Guests

There were over 2,000 guests at the museum today. It was a steady stream all day with large groups walking in 20 minutes before we closed. It is interesting how many people are surprised we only stay open until 5 p.m.

My morning started out as a floater than working the Iwo immersion. One of the first guests I talked to was a young German man, probably in his 20s, who was going through the galleries in reverse. So I told him this. He looked at me confused and said something that sounded like, "I'm forange." My brain was working so I understood that as 'foreign'. So I tried again with another word for backward - reverse. I managed to communicate and I showed him where to start. I asked if he was German (I'm getting really good at identifying accents). He said he was and asked if I could hear that in his voice. I asked if he was here on vacation. He thought for a second and said, "Holiday". I shook my head - -holiday, vacation same thing. I wish I could speak some foreign language. Spanish especially.

In the afternoon, I worked with the front door Marines as a greeter. All three of us were constantly talking to someone.

One of our guests, whom I greeted but didn't recognize, was John Thomson Jr., the former coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, and his wife. I had no clue who they were and I treated them like any other guest. Yah, pretty much the entire cast of LOST could come into the museum and I would have no clue who they were.

One of our Marine Corps veteran guests walked up to me, very upset and wanted a comment card to lodge a complaint. Holy twisted intestines, Batman! A complaint. EEEK! When he said that, I found a comment card handed it to him and told him I was so sorry to hear he wasn't happy about something. One of the Marines asked if there was something he could do to resolve it. The veteran says, "Every darn thing in that gift store is either made in China, Japan or India! I want to buy one US Marine Corps item that was made in the United States." I breathed a sigh of relief and said, "Oh, I am so glad its that and not that one of us was rude to you or something." The veteran went on to speak his mind some more on the issue and I replied, "I hear you, but we don't do the buying for the bookstore."

To be honest, I kind of feel the same way the veteran does. However, I wonder, are any products made here in the US anymore? Yes, yes, material for another blog.

Sgt Maj Estrada (ret) also made an end of the day visit. He was wearing some really dark sunglasses, I think to be incognito, and was asking one of the other docents at the desk a question. The Marine standing next to me was staring at him, thinking "that guy looks REALLY familiar". And almost inpreceptibly, the Marine says, "That's Sgt Maj Estrada." Estrada lifted up his sunglasses and smiled at the Marine and made some comment about him recognizing him through the glasses. Estrada was the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps prior to Kent, who is the current Sgt Maj.

Ran into Sgt. Workman. He brought his son ( I can't believe how big he is already and so adorable!) to the Easter Egg thing they were having for kids at the museum. His book is going to be coming out sometime soon, I'll let you all know when I learn of it hitting the stores.

When I was working the Iwo Jima immersion, I had a group of 4 (husband, wife, baby, 5 year old daughter and husband's friend) that I put on the Higgin's Boat. As I was shutting the door, I heard the father (a young Marine) say to his daughter, "O.k. Kitten, here's the plan, when the ramp opens, you drop your gun and pack and we'll swim away from the beach, o.k."

Silly, but I thought that was a sweet comment. I'm sure if any parent were riding in spirit aboard a landing craft with their son or daughter as they entered a battle, would want to spirit their child away.

There is more progress at the Chapel. I'll post pictures when I have more time.

Have a great Easter everyone!

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