Jan 292016

We drove across the bay to spend yesterday playing tourist in Mobile, and if you’re ever in this part of Alabama, you really need to make some time to explore this historic city which was first settled by the French in 1702. But Mobile has also been under British and Spanish rule before Alabama became part of the United States and then saw the Confederate flag fly over it during the Civil War.

Our first stop was at the small but very interesting Mobile Medical Museum, which displays an interesting, if somewhat gruesome at times, collection of early day medical instruments ranging from bloodletting tools to amputation saws and forceps used in child delivery.

Medical Museum sign small

Among the displays was an iron lung. As a kid during the polio outbreaks of the 1950s I had a cousin who was afflicted by the horrible disease. I can still remember the terror so many adults had, even though us kids could not understand it.

Iron Lung small

But until I saw this picture of a polio ward at a hospital in California it never really hit home just how devastating it all was. Many people spent their entire lives in these machines, and Raven Christopher, the museum’s Executive Director, said there are a few people still alive who have been in one for as much as 60 years. I just cannot imagine that.

Iron Lung ward small

Raven spent a lot of time with us telling us about the early days of medicine in this part of Alabama. She was very nice young woman and we really enjoyed visiting with her.

When we left the museum we stopped at Battleship Memorial Park, home to the USS Alabama, which was launched in 1942 and saw heavy action in World War II.

Battleship Memorial Park entrance small

USS Alabama best small

The park is also home to the USS Drum, a World War II submarine that made twelve combat patrols in the Pacific, taking a heavy toll on Japanese shipping. There are also more than two dozen military aircraft on display at the park. We will have feature stories on the Mobile Medical Museum and Battleship Memorial Park in a future issue of the Gypsy Journal.

On the way home we stopped at Felix’s Fish Camp, an excellent seafood restaurant where we dined on our anniversary years ago on our first trip through this area. I had the blackened redfish, which was excellent, while Terry ordered sautéed white fish with grits cakes. She said it was some of the best fish she has ever eaten anywhere.

Felix sign

Felix Fish Camp small

Our last stop of the day was at Maeher State Park, located right on Mobile Bay. The park includes a 300 foot fishing pier, boat ramp, and 61 full hookup RV sites. Our friend Jack Allen recommended it to me last week when we were in Tuscaloosa, and the next time we come through this area we may give it a try. It’s a nice looking place.

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for today. We may do some more exploring, we may just take it easy and do nothing. Sometimes doing nothing can be a lot of fun.

So far over 200 people have entered our Free Drawing for an autographed copy of John and Kathy Huggins newly updated and expanded So, You Want to be an RVer?: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle. This is the guide to RVing that every wannabe, newbie, and veteran RVer should have on their bookshelf. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Tent camping couple romantic sitting by bonfire night countryside

Thought For The Day In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put “DOCTOR.”

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Playing Tourist In Mobile”

  1. Wander over to the Mississippi Dandhill Crane NWR. If you go on their web site you may be able to sign up for a Crane Tour. You’ll get to see habit it closed to the general public. Sorry Ton &Zi aren’t there this year to give you s personal tour but if you say hey to the Halls they’ll take good care of you

  2. Well I obviously wasn’t checking my spelling. Meant sorry that Ron & I aren’t there?

  3. I remember when a boy across the street had polio and ended up in an iron lung sometime around 1949 or 1950. Fortunately when his younger sister got it they knew what to do. This was what Mom referred to when she wanted my brother and I to come in out of the summer heat and take a nap. Fortunately the boy only ended up with a limp.

  4. I have been on the battleship Alabama and was impressed because when I was in Nam the battleship Missouri was firing over us to targets up in the mountains. The range on those big guns is astonishing considering when they were first used. I have not been to the medical museum but I will next time I visit Mobile. The last time I was in the VA I found out that blood letting is still used along with Maggots and Leeches. Old medicine is now new medicine.

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