Monday, March 10, 2014

I Spy

Given my fascination with all things espionage, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go to the closing-weekend of the exhibit “Spy: The Secret World of Espionage” at the Reagan Library on Saturday. 

I’m a little embarrassed that even though the Library opened in 1991, I had not ever been.  Some of my family live in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, and I drive right past it on the way to my aunt’s house.  Anyhow, it’s in a beautiful location, overlooking the Santa Susana Mountains, and the Simi Hills. 

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     a piece of the Berlin Wall

Since we didn’t visit to tour the library itself, these shots were just taken while waiting in line for the exhibit.  The place was PACKED due to the last weekend.
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The Spy Exhibit was so much fun.  It offered a peek into how secret agents and covert missions shaped our history.  There were tons of gadgets and contraptions, most haven’t been on display before as they are part of a private collection of the founder of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC.  It also showed how technology has tremendously changed the way the spies operate.  The exhibit was set up in chronological order and most of the pieces were linked to significant events in history.

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spies 036Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

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CIA created maps of Moscow due to the inaccuracies in the maps produced by the Soviets and CIA secret versions of Dr. Zhivago. 

spies 053 spies 054There were a lot of documents and memorabilia from former Soviets who were spies for the US.  In a lot of the cases, they were found out by the disgruntled members of the CIA.  That seems counterproductive!
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At the end of the exhibit, there were voice machines, secret drop locations, interactive eavesdropping, hidden cameras, face disguises, and a laser maze!  My alter ego as an international spy was in all its glory.

With less than an hour before the Library closed, we raced to the Air Force One Pavilion to see Air Force One and Marine One.  In addition, they had cars from Reagan’s motorcade.   

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A panoramic of Air Force One

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While I’m indifferent about Ronald Reagan, I have to say that the Presidential Library is very nice – there are so many interesting things; things I never thought I’d see here in Southern California.  And the Spy Exhibit…well, in my next life I’m changing careers!


  1. I am shocked and speechless. So shocked in fact that I'll have to do some processing before I can truly do this justice. Oh, the place is on google earth, in and outside.

    1. Forgotten from the last comment :-)

      I just don't get it. Not the Regan thing, that I get. But the shrine thing. It's like Lourdes or Fatima.
      Are those chocolate figures.
      And 'we' ?.

    2. Ha ha, no not chocolate, bronze I believe. They're odd looking statues though, aren't they? The proportion is off.
      I was wondering what was shocking to leave you speechless. :) I commented, but it didn't post for some reason. What do you mean by shrine? The whole place? I would say there are those who are fanatical about Reagan, but I don't think this is all that different than the other Presidential Libraries. I did read that this one had been the most expensive to its date, but since, the Clinton library surpassed it. Not that I agree with spending that kind of money, but it's not uncommon anyhow. I will say, my lack of interest in it is why I hadn't visited before. The exhibit was worth a trip though. That part was terribly interesting.

    3. Shrine- A person with a narrow understandable vision. A lonely spot halfway up a mountain. Lots of followers.
      All that's missing are the candlelit processions and high-priests.
      Why aren't these places attached to universities or the Library of Congress.

    4. They do seem to be under the National Records agency. I'm not sure if you've seen this

    5. Oh and the post went missing when I edited for some typos and saved as draft instead of republishing. :)

    6. Wow, there're a THING. I thought they were an early version of a Selfie.

    7. Oh yes, definitely a "mine's bigger than yours" kind of place.

  2. I did a bit of poking about on the WWW. And it turns out Reagan and Nancy are that type that have bigger heads proportionally than the average bear.

    Did you know that a man was killed in the London with a poison dart

    1. I would imagine. That's probably the case with most of them in that level of politics don't you think? While maybe someone goes into government with good intentions, I would imagine at that level you're just getting into for your own ego. But I could be jaded. :)

      YES!!!! That was from the umbrella in the exhibit, in the 6th picture! Very cool. I mean, of course it was a terrible thing, but it's still pretty neat. :)

    2. No, and yes. But what I mean is their heads are bigger size-wise. They don't fit the Vitruvian principle where from below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man/woman.

    3. Bwaa haaaa! You meant literally bigger heads? I thought it was the idiom. :)

  3. Great pictures! I love that library because of the views. Going over spring break for the baseball exhibit! :)

    1. I've also heard, maybe even from you, that they put on a good field trip about government for the older kids. The views are amazing. I've always liked driving through those mountains. The baseball exhibit sounds fun. I bet that's Papa Steve's idea. :)