Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘NASA’

Famous Endings Museum – Largest Funeral Memorabilia Collection in the World

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Toland-Herzig Funeral Home in Dover features Famous Endings Museum.

What better place to have a Famous Endings Museum than a funeral home. In Dover at 803 N. Wooster Avenue, the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home has an outstanding display of funeral memorabilia from people who have made a difference in the world.

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The entrance to Famous Endings gives a glimpse of celebrities.

The staff hopes that their presentation will perhaps bring back memories, or even a smile to your face, as you see some of those people who had a great influence on our lives.

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This cafe setting provides a place for visitors to sit and listen to John’s stories.

Here you will find the largest privately owned collection of funeral memorabilia in the world. Everything from funeral programs, photos, newspaper clippings, and prayer cards can be viewed. Most of the memorabilia is displayed in one large room, but it has spread out to the hallways and other small rooms throughout the funeral home.

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An excellent video by John Herzig helps explain his collection.

This is a rather recent collection started by John Herzig back in 1996. Up to that time, he had an autograph collection, but that was soon to change when he sent a request for the autographed picture of the late Joe Lewis, the boxer.

When he received the package in the mail, there was more than what he asked for. It included not only a picture, but also the program of the funeral ceremony. That was the beginning of his new hobby, which has evolved to over  2,000 pieces of funeral memorabilia on display today.

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NASA exhibit features Ohio astronauts with Judith Resnik highlighted.

Many funerals they actually attended under special circumstances. When John heard of the public funeral of Jack Kevorkian in Michigan, he suggested to his wife, Joyce, that perhaps it would be a nice weekend for a trip to Michigan. The next day after arrival, he told her they were going to the White Chapel Mausoleum for funeral services at 9:30. Her response was, “Have you lost your mind?”

His wife has patiently endured his many attempts to find funeral programs and memorabilia. Learn more about her tolerance as you hear about the 50th birthday trip to New York City that he promised her, or their stop at a celebrity filled cemetery in L.A. on the way back from a cruise. Joyce won’t soon forget these special trips.

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The family attended the funeral of John Glenn and display memorabilia.

The trips to funerals are usually family affairs. Often Joyce accompanies him but recently his son, Troy, went with his dad to a couple memorable memorial services for John Glenn and Muhammad Ali. Their programs are already in place at the museum.

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John and Joyce’s son, Troy, especially enjoys the sports heroes.

John Herzig enjoys hearing stories about people who have changed the world in some way. Those are the kind of people he has honored in his Famous Endings Museum. “Each person has a story to share.”

Among his favorites are people who helped others. They weren’t big Hollywood or TV stars, but people who made a difference… and he has their funeral programs! Millard Fuller,  a self-made millionaire at the age of twenty-nine, is a prime example. Fuller gave all his money away to start Habitat for Humanity.

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This large photo of William Greatbatch, inventor of the pacemaker, is surrounded by memorabilia of other inventors.

The collector placed high importance on William Greatbatch, who made the cardiac pacemaker, and Eugene Polley, inventor of the TV remote control and often labeled “Father of the Couch Potato”. This museum perhaps could be called the Influential Hall of Fame.

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Steve Jobs is showcased in their entrepreneur display.

Famous Endings Museum has special admiration for Frank Inn and his love of animals. He trained popular animals such as Arnold the pig, Lassie and Benji, who he saved from a shelter. Frank’s daughter recalls, “He could train animals to do things that most people didn’t believe.” Some of those favorite animals were cremated and buried with Inn.

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Invented by Eugene Polley, the first remote, Flash-matic Tuning, definitely changed our lives.

Some of visitors’ favorite exhibits are memorabilia from people who made us smile in the past, such as Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers. Comedian Leslie Neilson carried his sense of humor to his funeral. The packages of Kleenex he prepared for his funeral are on display there. They carried the inscription: “Stop crying. This is supposed to be a fun night. Love and laughs, Leslie.”

 

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This lantern from Lincoln’s funeral carriage has become one of John’s favorite treasures.

Several times a year, John schedules a “Night at the Museum” where he features a special person or group of people. Visit their Facebook page or website for details. The museum is free and open for visitation Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. It’s one of those places you have to see to believe and appreciate.

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured Herzig’s Famous Endings Museum.

Famous Endings Museum has been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and is a frequent stop for tour coaches…especially Mystery Tours! This museum makes us look at death differently. As Randy Pausch wrote about funerals, “You can either be an Eeyore or a Tigger.” At Famous Endings Museum, they honor the contributions and memories,  as they celebrate the lives of famous people.

Visit Famous Endings Museum in Dover just off I-77 at Exit 83. Take Ohio 211 east/ Tuscarawas Avenue. Turn left on Slingluff Avenue and then right on Wooster Ave. The museum is on the left side of the street.

John Glenn Delights Audience during Charlie Rose Interview

New Albany's McCoy Center presents the Jefferson Series.

New Albany’s McCoy Center presented Glenn as part of The Jefferson Series.

Blasting off to outer space may be something we joke about, but for John Glenn, it was the real thing. Born in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn grew up in nearby New Concord. Always interested in science, there he acquired the determination and desire to enter the military and eventually become part of NASA’s space team.

Recently, 93-year-old Glenn spoke in an interview setting conducted by award winning journalist, Charlie Rose, at the McCoy Center in New Albany. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s life-long adventure in learning, New Albany Community Center conducts The Jefferson Series, comprised of interviews with great thinkers of our time.

Video showed history of John Glenn.

Video showed history of John Glenn.

Prior to the actual interview, a short video was shown covering Glenn’s childhood and many of his major accomplishments. This provided opportunity for the audience to get to know John Glenn better.  His interest in flying began when he was eight years old and his dad took him flying from a small airport near Cambridge. Glenn was hooked! He immediately went home and began building model airplanes.

When 93-year old Glenn came on stage, there was a standing ovation for this Ohio born, national hero. Throughout the evening, his recall of events of his life was phenomenal, as well as his ability to think about the future. His sense of humor often filled the auditorium with laughter during the interview.

In introduction, Rose proclaimed, “Glenn is one of the great national heroes of our time.” Although Glenn was very humble about that remark, his participation in the Marines, space program, US Senate, and education programs verify that title.

He flew 149 combat missions as a Marine fighter pilot where he was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Medal, The World War II Victory Medal, and four Service Medals. When asked, “Who’s the best pilot you ever knew?” Glenn quickly responded, “Me!” He said if you don’t have the correct training and attitude of being the best, you shouldn’t be a fighter pilot.

Charlie Rose interviews John Glenn, age 93.

Charlie Rose interviews John Glenn in 2015.

Then he entered the space program where he flew two missions. He was the first American to orbit the earth in 1962 on Friendship 7, and later in 1998, at the age of 77, Glenn volunteered for another orbital mission to experiment on the effects of space travel on the elderly. The second flight was another record setter, as it made him the oldest man to fly in space.

One of the favorite things to do on these flights is look out the window. Glenn described the beauty of the sunsets from space, where the angle of the sun’s rays makes all the colors of the spectrum visible. Charlie Rose told him, “You sound like a poet, not a pilot.”

John and Annie Glenn and Charlie Rose welcomed students on stage.

John and Annie Glenn with Charlie Rose welcomed students on stage.

The International Space Station holds special interest for Glenn, but it upsets him that we pay Russia $65,000,000 for each astronaut to be taken there. He obviously wants the United States to become more active in their own space program as the lessons learned are valuable.

Between those space flights, Glenn served as U.S. Senator from Ohio for four terms. Glenn said he had aspirations of being in politics since he was a youngster and credited his high school teachers for instilling that value. Doing something for your country is exhilarating. He reminded the crowd, “Every person here is a politician and part of this solution.”

Glenn thought for a few seconds when Charlie Rose asked him, “Which president do you admire the most?” Glenn’s answer, “Bill Clinton.” He said Clinton brought about good programs, and for the first time in a long, long time we were actually paying down the national debt.

When asked about his feelings on troops being sent to Iraq, Glenn quickly answered, “No, I would not have voted for the war in Iraq.” He said he had been through two wars and they were not very pleasant things. He was also skeptical that recent deployments of military advisors to Iraq will make much of a difference, since “they’ve been fussing over there for 2,000 years”.

Students in attendance had the opportunity to be on stage with the Glenns and Rose.

Students in attendance had the opportunity to be on stage with the Glenns and Rose.

Education has become a big issue for the future as we are now in a global competition. He credited his teachers for starting him on the right path and encouraged students to learn about their government through Civics class promotion. At the end of his interview, he asked all students to come on stage. At that time his wife, Annie, joined him and they had their pictures taken with the group.

Freeze dried ice cream added flavor to the road trip.

Freeze dried ice cream added flavor to the road trip.

There wasn’t a dull moment in the interview, as Glenn and Rose brought vitality to the stage while discussing past, present and future. Today you can learn more about John and Annie Glenn by stopping in New Concord at John & Annie Glenn Historic Site, where a visit earlier in the evening provided dinner dessert, Freeze-Dried Ice Cream.

Makes me proud to be from the same area where John and Annie Glenn grew up.

Visit the John & Annie Glenn Historic Site, located in Glenn’s boyhood home, at 72 W. Main Street in New Concord, Ohio on old US Route 40 between Cambridge and Zanesville. 

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