vendredi 22 août 2008

Lawn mower museum

New Orleans is opening the first museum dedicated to lawn mowers. Below sea level lawns used to be the talk of the town but after Katrina things changed a little. It wasn't a question of weeding, using the right fertilizer or keeping the kids fingers from under the blades -mowing issues we all hear about- it was simply that the lawn wasn't there anymore and or the mower was gripped in rust! The museum, situated near the Jefferson Parish on a patch still in ruin, has a collection of thousands of machines and pictures of people mowing neatly green, cropped squares through the decades are astutely presented. We also learn about historical tid bits such as General Patton's Operation Cobra, where the U.S army used a quick fighting and maneuvering against the Germans thanks to lawn mowers enabling the Third Army to attack into Britanny and trapping several hundred thousand German soldiers in the Chamboise valley. (And that was before 4 stroke engines.)
We also get a handle on progress from the simple manual rotary blade models going way back to the 19th century to more recent models with four-way hydraulic joysticks and side-to-side emptying front-end loader buckets with easy adjustable high back seats with automatic suspension and color-coded controls and soft-touch steering and standard cruise control -not to mention a double 16 ounce integrated cup holder!
In some of the halls the sound of mulching is reproduced and one gets the feeling that slicing those green blades better known as grass is as inalienable as the American constitution. Only this right has been taken away from New Orleans so that's the reason, the 'mowtivaton', for the museum. All comments welcome.
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