I’m really excited right now because first, we’re on our way to a fun-filled four day July fourth weekend at Avila Beach with the Purnells. And second, we get to pick-up my latest vintage poster that I had framed in San Luis Obispo. Yes, three hours away seems a little far to have things framed, but no one gives better artistic advice and has a perfectly curated wall of just enough framing choices than Ken at the Just Looking Gallery.
So my latest purchase is this poster of middle eastern architecture from the 1930’s Egyptian Railway system. I bought it because the colors are phenomenal, I’m celebrating getting off the train once a week, and it reminds me of our Rose Garden neighborhood. Well, and I may have a bit of a thing for vintage posters. I only have two at this point so it’s not like it’s a problem or anything…
This poster reminds me of our hood because we are also neighbors of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, known to most fourth graders within a two-hour field trip radius as the Mummy Museum. As a kid I think it was an annual Happy Valley pilgrimage. It turns out that this little neighborhood gem houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. It seems it also attracted a number of Rosicrucians to the neighborhood, as evidenced by this crazy cool 1920’s style house further down our street. It has two Egyptian cat statues on either side of the steps and at Halloween they put a real full-size coffin on their front porch. It’s amazing.
My other piece of evidence is that at our first house, there was a crazy old French lady that lived behind us. Her name was Andrée. She told me that’s the female version of André. She also told us she moved to San Jose because she was a Rosicrucian. One time she threatened to kill James. She had dementia. I had to call the po-lice on her keister, or should I say, derrière. It was for her own good, really. She finally got the care she needed.
As a little boy, my brother Geoff was creeEEeeped-out by the mummies. At some point around Halloween he asked my mom, “Is there weally a skeleton inside ouw bodies?” When she confirmed his worst fears, he violently shuddered from head to toe.
A few weeks ago, I needed to pack for my week-long trip to Colorado and so James decided to take a walk with the boys to the Rosicrucian Museum. He got to the front and read the prices:
Kids 5 and up: $5
Kids 4 and under: Free
One look around and James knew they wouldn’t be there long. The ticket taker asks, “How old are they?”
James replies, “Four-and-a-half and two-and-a-half.”
Jake immediately exclaims, “I’m not four-and-a-half!”
Fortunately the ticket taker had a sense of humor. James only paid for himself and barged on in. I still find it hard to believe he’d begrudge our neighborhood mummy museum $5… but he is saving up for that outdoor couch he wants for the backyard.
Later that afternoon when they return home I ask Nate, “So how was the museum?”
He tells me very seriously, “I don’t like the Mommy Hole.”
“What?” I don’t even want to know what he’s referring to. Turns out he’s talking about the replica of a mummy’s tomb that you walk down into.
His eyes get really big, “Too scawee.” And then he shudders.