Day 6: In hostile territory
Tallahassee, FL to Panama City, FL
Today we visited the Tallahassee Automobile Museum which isn’t very accurately nicknamed. Besides the 150 cars ranging from 1894 to 2010 exposed on two floors of a vast warehouse, it also comprises a collection of die-cast miniature cars, knives, Steinway pianos, jukeboxes, boats, boat motors, fishing lures, sports memorabilia (baseball, football, golf), adding machines, brass cash registers, pedal cars, dolls, Native American artifacts, Batmobiles, motorcycles, brass fans, antique time pieces and spark plugs.
All of this because this museum actually is the personal treasure cave of a single man, DeVoe L. Moore. And while most of the museum’s collections were donations, it also displays some of Moore’s personal items like a series of panels about American Presidents. Are presented items and newspaper clippings about Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and… Donald Trump, who staged a political rally on the museum grounds. Both George Bushes are missing, as well as Barack Obama.
The political leaning of the museum founder is made even clearer a little further with a plaque inscribed with Moore’s own words about how the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s supposedly were an American golden age of free enterprise for all, while the 90’s onwards allegedly saw the advent of bureaucracy that purportedly stifled free enterprise, and that the USA apparently should go back to the basics of the Constitution instead.
This idea that regulations are bad no matter what seems to be central in Moore’s life as he helped founding the DeVoe L. Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences. “The Center’s purpose is to help students study how government rules and regulations affect free enterprise and property rights.” reads the DeVoe Moore’s bio page on the museum’s website. A couple clicks further, the History of the Museum page says “Our museum was born of DeVoe Moore’s need for a project and the red-tape of government environmental permitting inhibiting his ability to build new buildings!”.
We left the museum with a billion pictures of the many collections and a nagging regret that we somehow enabled such an asshole with our entrance fee. This only reinforced yesterday’s feeling of being strangers in the same country. We truly are in an environment hostile to progressive beliefs, and every reminder we encountered on the road, like Trump flags and more aggressive church signs about sins and choosing sides darkened our already dim mood. Thankfully, after a short road stage, we arrived at our place for the night: a moored boat!
Her friendly owner showed us around, especially the toilets that always are a challenge on a boat before leaving us to the gentle rocking, the water lapping and the creaking dock sounds for the night. Hopefully they will sooth our weary souls before we resume our journey in hostile territory.
Continued next page.