Jon Crispin's Notebook

Nixon Library

Posted in History, Jon Crispin, museums, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 27/06/2017

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, CA opened shortly after Cris and I got together.  Her mom, Dorothy Smith, was one of the early employees and worked at the ticket desk and on occasion, the gift shop.  (We have an amazing set of Camp David whiskey glasses thanks to her.)

Nixon Library

 We hadn’t visited in over 20 years and thought it might be time to check it out again.  (And it is not too far from the In-N-Out in Fullerton.)  My memories of it were quite positive, as I thought it told Nixon’s story in an objective and realistic manner.

The hallway above leads to a reproduction of the East Room where he gave his farewell speech to his staff.

Nixon Library

The exhibits provide a good sense of context about what was going on in the sixties.

Nixon Library

Here he is in all his glory.  This is such an iconic photograph.  I always thought that the “Nixon’s The One” slogan left a lot of room for ambiguity.  I like how LBJ appears to be  giving him the hairy eyeball in this shot.

Nixon Library

Great examples of Nixon election ephemera are spread throughout the museum.  What is up with the “Protest! and Win! with Nixon”?

Nixon Library

Here I am sitting at a recreation of Nixon’s desk in the fake oval office.  This is kind of funny for me.  My childhood friend Mike Hogan’s uncle, Vice Admiral Robert Bruce Brown was the Surgeon General of the Navy and lived at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.  Mike and I used to visit in the summer and Admiral Brown once took us to the White House for a tour.  One of his best friends was LBJ’s physician and we got the whole behind the scene look.  LBJ was out of town, but we saw his beagles Him and Her.  Later, as we walked past the Oval Office we were asked if we wanted to sit at the desk, which of course we did.  Still wish I had photographic evidence of that occasion.

Nixon Library

Here are some more great buttons.  Right on, Mister President!

Nixon Library

An entire section of the museum is dedicated to the Viet Nam war.

Nixon Library

Including a giant pile of correspondence from people both opposed to, and in favor of the war.

Nixon Library

Here’s the Colt .45 that Elvis gave to Nixon.  There is an amazing and totally bizarre story behind this gift.  Totally Elvis!

Nixon Library

These fake balloons are meant to be from the convention after he accepted the nomination (for the second time, I think).

Nixon Library

I had completely forgotten what a total ass kicking McGovern got in 1972.  This map pretty much says it all.  I was so bummed on election night after having driven from Springfield, Ohio to Meadville just to vote for George.  I am pretty sure I got totally wasted that night.

Nixon Library

But then came Watergate.  I wonder if the White House phone number is still 202 456 1414.  I like the special buttons for Chapin, Haldeman, and Rosemary Woods.  “Hey Rosemary, can you erase some of that tape for me?”

Nixon Library

“Sure Mr. President, no problemo”

Nixon Library

And let’s throw in some dirty tricks too!

Nixon Library

There are some very good recordings of the taping system for all to hear.  And if you are a researcher, the library component of the facility has the entire collection.  Amazing.

Nixon Library

There is something about this photo of Bork.  It reminds me of a promotional still from a bad 1970s era TV show.  After both Richardson and Ruckelshaus resigned instead of carrying out the order to fire Cox, Bork carried it out.  I think it must be one reason the long knives came out when he was nominated to the Supreme Court.  The political world hasn’t really been the same since.

Nixon Library

There are a few more cool exhibits toward the end of the walk-through.  Here is Cris hangin’ with Pat and Dick at the Rose Parade.

Nixon Library

I like this life size cutout in front of the door of his first law firm.

Nixon Library

The gardens are really beautiful.  Off in the distance is the house where Nixon and his brothers were born.  When Cris and I were first together in Placentia, we used to drive over to see it before the site became a museum.  It was then occupied by the custodian of the elementary school (now gone) where Cris got her polio vaccine sugar cube. It had a sign on it that said “Private Residence”.  It is amazing that most of the furniture inside now is original to the family and to the house.

Nixon Library

You can also go into the actual helicopter that flew him from the White House lawn when he resigned, although it was closed when we were there due to the heat.

  Thanks for following, and making it to the end of this long post.  More suitcases soon.

Baseball / A Different Huntington

Posted in Baseball, Beaches, Jon Crispin, Nature, ocean, stadiums, Uncategorized, waves by joncrispin on 19/06/2017


Something is going on out on the mound.  The Angels lost to Kansas City yesterday, but it was a nice day for baseball.


It seems my two current favorite places in Southern California have Huntington in their names.  This is the pier at Huntington Beach.  It was just past noon today when I took this, and the morning haze had not yet burned off.  A lovely, cool day to walk on the beach.

Huntington Library

Posted in Art, Fish, Jon Crispin, museums, Trees, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 17/06/2017


I was back at The Huntington yesterday for my annual visit to the Blue Boy.  It is breathtaking.  It’s quite impossible to look at a reproduction and get any sense of just how amazing this painting is in person.


At the opposite end of the gallery is this painting by Thomas Lawrence which is commonly referred to as “Pinkie”.  I had never really paid much attention to her, but it is pretty easy to get lost in gazing at it.


It was very hot yesterday so I didn’t walk around the gardens for long.  There are lots of ginkgo trees on the grounds.  I grew up with one in my side yard in Meadville and clearly remember climbing it as a boy.  It was the only one I ever saw as a kid, and is still my favorite tree.


As I walked over a little bridge in the Japanese garden, these guys showed up thinking I might feed them.  Sorry I couldn’t oblige.

Pink Lady Slipper / Update

Posted in Jon Crispin, Orchids, Plants, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 09/06/2017


The pink lady slipper presence in the woods beside our house is very slim this year. I could only find 6 or 7, whereas in previous years there have been hundreds.  I’m glad a few were waiting on our return from Nepal.

I was given good news from my local ophthalmologist on Tuesday.  Dr Pratap’s work was successful; both tears are fixed and the floaters are beginning to resolve.  Thanks to those of you who reached out with your sympathy and concern.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Dogs / Thanks / Home

Posted in Animals, Dogs, Jon Crispin, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 05/06/2017


I walked Cris to the World Ed office every morning, and back to the hotel at the end of the day.  Kathmandu has a lot of street dogs, most of whom don’t seem attached to any particular person, although the ones we  regularly saw were in the same areas every day.  You would never want to try to pet them, and they mostly ignore you anyway.  We got used to seeing this pup twice a day near a shop, and she was one of the few leashed dogs that we encountered.  She clearly belonged to someone who cared for her.

Thanks to everyone who passed along good wishes in regards to my eye thing.  I really appreciate it.  We are home now and I see my retina guy tomorrow morning; I am really eager to see what he has to say.  The huge black blob is beginning to resolve a bit, which is encouraging.

More suitcase uploads coming soon.  Thanks for following.

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