Just another soldier

by David Buchanan, Curator of Decorative Objects and Furniture

Museum curator David Buchanan served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1977.

I never considered myself a “hero”; just another who volunteered. Though I lost friends and classmates to the war in Vietnam, my personal experiences just lead to wonderful memories. I was an Air Force chapel manager, handling administrative duties thus freeing the Chaplain for spiritual duties. I was also his personal bodyguard. Because he was expected to liaison with the civilian religious leaders, I was one of the few who left the base for surrounding civilian communities.

I often wonder what happened to the wonderful people I met through those trips, like those running the leprosy camp (where I heard a Vietnamese Christmas carol sung to the tune of “Old Black Joe”), the Catholic priest whose French parents had emigrated to Vietnam and he’d been born and raised there, and the missionaries who ran the orphanage with many mixed race children from American servicemen.

Viet Cong mortars came in about once a month and, during the attacks, I was supposed to use the building’s earth-filled ammo box and sandbag shelter.  Instead I would just curl into a corner.  Pit vipers had been found inside our shelter during inspections and I’d rather take a chance with shrapnel than cuddle with a viper!

Honor Indiana’s veterans and active military personnel this fall at the Indiana State Museum. Heroes from the Heartland, a photo display, runs from Nov. 1 through Veterans Day, Nov. 12, 2012. Submit photos of your Hoosier Hero to kcreagh@indianamuseum.org and include the following information:

  • Name:
  • Date of service:
  • Branch of military:
  • Hometown or Indiana connection:
  • Submitted by:
Photos will be accepted through Oct. 25, 2012. Please view our 2012 Heroes from the Heartland photo album on Flickr.

Latino Culture and Flavor on the Canal! ¡Cultura de Latino y Sabor en el Canal!

by Marco Dominguez, Co-anchor of 13 Eyewitness News en ESPAÑOL

Hola! Sept. 29 is the event!

The Indiana State Museum is gearing up for an amazing Hispanic Heritage Month featuring its very first Latino Festival of the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will be a great day of music, arts, food and diversity. Everyone will get to mix and mingle as we party the day away.

Blog author Marco Dominguez loves his food hot ‘n’ spicy!

Consul of Mexico Juan Solana and I were invited to co-chair the event and we are having the best time leading the challenge to inaugurate a new downtown tradition. There are so many fun things being planned for the entire family to enjoy — from dancing along to salsa music to winning toys and other door prizes — the day will be packed full of fun. We have even teamed up with Radio Disney Indianapolis to present an experience you won’t forget.

Oh …  and did I forget to mention that the Consul of Mexico will be in the kitchen whipping up some spicy tacos and salsa?

So I ask you to please mark your calendar and come and have fun with us. Be ready to dance some salsa, eat good salsa and put some salsa in your life. How spicy do you want it? It is up to you!

Just enjoy a family day and hope to see you there! Los esperamos para un día familiar. Estamos seguro que la van a pasar muy bien!

Museum Adventure Camp

by Carrie Miller, Science & Technology Program Developer

Taking care of pioneer chores at camp.

Labor Day may mark the end of summer, but that doesn’t mean the adventures have to stop! I am so excited to be a part of the Indiana State Museum’s fall break Museum Adventure Camp in October! I know many advertisements use the slogan “there’s something for everyone” and, try as I might to find another expression for that same sentiment, I just can’t because it’s true at this camp! As a summer camp director, I was able to be a part of the Exploring Nature Camp and the Crime Scene Indiana State Museum Camp and while those are really cool camps, there were other awesome camps that I wasn’t able to be a part of. But with Museum Adventure Camp, it’s like I’ll be able to experience all seven weeks of summer camp in just one week of fall break! In designing this camp, I created a sort of “camp buffet” featuring five days worth of investigations, creativity, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the museum at work and much more — whew! I especially am looking forward to being able to switch from performing pioneer chores one day to preparing to muster into the Civil War army on another day and then helping to solve museum mysteries on another day. Because that’s what the camp week is all about — adventure. And every day will bring new adventures to campers in the form of “Oh’s, Ah’s and Ew’s!”

Camp registration is now open. Museum Adventure Camp is Oct. 8 through 12; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and open to kids ages 9 to 12 years old. Before and after care is available for an additional charge. Space is limited, so call soon to reserve your child’s space in Museum Adventure Camp. For more information or to register, call 317.232.1637, and be prepared to have a great fall break!