Saturday, September 20, 2008

Field trips


I get around in my van, affectionately dubbed the "Mother Ship," which is equipped with hand controls, but I don't go far because I have no sense of direction and a fear of getting lost. I have enlisted friends and family to accompany me on my field trips, either in the Mother Ship or by air (in which case I use the manual wheelchair rather than my scooter "BeBe"). Here is a list of some of those companions and adventures:

Jody Arlington went with me to the Library of Congress to see an anthropodermic book (more about those later); to a local taxidermist to learn how his craft would apply to the human body; and has taken me to many cemeteries, galleries, and museums in the Washington, D.C. area.

Cris Hastings has gone to West Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee with me to see mummies; North Carolina to meet a carnival showman; to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia many times; and to Paris to see the catacombs, Musee Fragonard, and Pere LaChaise! She and my mom Donna Gritman drove me from Connecticut to Vermont to see the largest granite quarry in the world...

Maddy Biggs flew with me to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to see one of the premier documented human skeletal collections in the U.S. Katina Stockbridge and Janice Lane took me to a funeral museum and crematorium in rural Virginia. Chris Sweeters has accompanied me to the National Library of Medicine and the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

My sister and brother-in-law Melissa and Nicholas Heilweil brought me to the San Diego Museum of Man when I visited them in Santa Monica--and Melissa gave me a copy of Death in Yellowstone during a family trip, turning that into a field trip, too!

My dad and stepmother Jim and Sarah Quigley have accompanied me to Illinois to see Dickson Mounds, BodyWorlds, and the Museum of Funeral Customs; to Florida to see a forensic lab; to a funeral home in Indiana to see a mummy; and to Boston to make a presentation.

Thanks, everybody! And thanks to those I may have inadvertently forgotten~