Tuesday, 16 December 2014

DAY 06 - Louisiana Hospitality


Day 6 was our first drive beyond the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We headed East to the town of Tyler, Texas, then on to Shreveport,  Louisiana before returning to stay overnight at Tyler. The purpose for this journey was two-fold; firstly we were keen to check out two aircraft Museums, and secondly (and most importantly) I wanted to meet Steve.

The sky today was a brilliant blue filled with hundreds of criss-crossing aircraft contrails that you will see in many of the photos. The temperature was very cold outside, I believe we hit a maximum of 13 degrees C.

Today's route (Approximately 330m/530km)
Driving along the I-20
The aircraft museums we visited were the Tyler Historic Aviation Museum (tylerhamm.com) and the Barksdale Global Power Museum (http://barksdaleglobalpowermuseum.com)

The Tyler Historic Aviation Museum is a little treasure on the grounds of Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. The staff were very attentive, even though David kept on referring to me as a member of the Royal Air Force (...I mean, do I look like a Brit?). We were kindly escorted around by two Docents one being an ex-Corsair Pilot who flew off Aircraft Carriers in the Korean War and the other an ex-B-52 Pilot. The aircraft collecting although pretty small was very impressive and the models and displays inside were equally impressive. Here's some shots of the Tyler Historic Aviation Museum collection.

We then headed over to Shreveport to Barksdale Air Force Base and home of the Global Air Power Museum. We managed to get ourselves a little lost due to Bob (the GPS) and I disagreeing on a Highway exit number and some initial inputting error I managed. Thankfully a quick phone call to Steve and all was resolved. 

The Global Air Power Museum is actually situated on-base, so we had to surrender our passports as collateral to gain access. For the record, my Air Force ID counted for nothing. The museum has a limited amount of indoor exhibits (certainly no indoor aircraft), but has a great range of amazing planes outdoors, including the Royal Air Force Vulcan Bomber which I have never seen in the flesh. That, combined with a couple of B-52s, B-47, B-29, F-111 and heaps of other stuff made for a long and entertaining walk. Here's the pics:

Steve and I
After the Museum visit, we headed to Steve's home to check out his collections. I have known Steve for a few years through my diecast aircraft collecting and I must say that Steve's collection puts mine to shame. His 1/400, 1/200 and 1/72 scale aircraft collection takes up an entire room with over 600 models. He also collects diecast cars in both 1/24 and 1/18 scale all of which are in individual display boxes. Then there are his knives which were amazing. In fact, I would we were captivated to learn of the types and histories of the knives in Steve's collection. In fact we were in for quite a treat when Steve presented us with two collectors knives, one of which was so big that we thought that Australian Customs Officers would arrest us for carrying weapons of mass destruction into the country. It was so big that hollywood is going to have to refilm the segment in the movie Crocodile Dundee where Paul Hogan says "...that's not a knife".

After that we had a very late lunch of traditional Louisiana fare at Copelands of New Orleans. We ate Shrimp, Crawfish, Crabcakes and other great delicacies and were most impressed. We then said our goodbyes and headed off back to Tyler, from where we will then be heading down South West to San Antonio.

It goes without saying that Steve was a great host and tour guide and it was just fantastic to meet him face-to-face. We were very appreciative to have been the recipients of wonderful Louisiana hospitality.

Steve and I outside Copelands
The obligatory group photo/selfie
Copelands of New Orleans