Monday, May 19, 2014

Dear Ms. T. CAT,

Thank you for your recent interest in the Air and Space Collection at the Smithsonian. I am the curator assigned to answer your questions; so, in order,

1. Yes, that is the REAL Wright Flying Machine;

2. No, we never loan it out;

3. No, we don't loan out any of the Wright Flying Machines, including the 1906 one that crashed;

4. No, you cannot borrow Harriet Quimby's plum satin aviator's suit;

5. No, Harriet Quimby is not related to either Harriet the Spy or Ramona Quimby;

6. No, the glider models are not alarmed, but I remind you that 'borrowing', even inside the museum, is prohibited;

7. No, the glider models do not 'come with' the flying instructions and no, they are not for sale, even for 'one bijilion squillion dollars OR a lot of books';

8. It is a really bad idea to make any flight craft out of papier mache;

9. It is a bad idea to build wings, attach them to yourself and jump off something really high, including 'the GALLERY UPSTAIRS!!' which I suspect is the name of a local mountain. The middle ages saw a number of people attempting this. Most did not fare well;

10. For your interest in gallery security, I have referred your letter to Sgt. Smyth, who will get back to you;

11. Why, yes, I love Reuben sandwiches from Stan's and yes, I, of course have a pass to get into the Gallery at any hour.

Thank you for your interest in the Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian!


Dr. Tom Crouch

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