(The 10th Edition)


Victor Edward Swanson,



    The reports and stories contained on this Web page have been put together with information taken from "The Victor Swanson Fabulous Files of Places to See in Michigan and Wisconsin" and with information obtained from operators and staffers of tourist attractions and from press releases, Web sites, and other sources.  The reports and stories are provided as a public service by Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press.  Almost all persons and entities, such as staffers of radio stations, may freely use the materials; neither AAA Michigan nor any employee of AAA Michigan may use, distribute, download, transmit, copy, or duplicate any of the material presented on this page in any way or through any means.

- - - Travel Thoughts for Everyone - - -

    Throughout the day, travelers of all types are using the main roads and freeways of the state of Michigan.  Travelers can be truckers, maybe those traveling through the state on the I-94 freeway to get vegetables and fruits to the markets in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and travelers can be families, maybe those heading to ski resorts in the Upper Peninsula, and travelers can be students making the trek back to colleges and universities after a holiday break, a summer break, or a spring break, and travelers can be retired couples, maybe those heading to scenic arboretums.  And, over the last thirty years, I have learned that travelers can be people from Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Mexico, and many other countries, hoping to see what the United States is or find out what the United States is.

    Since people from all over the world can be in Michigan to see what Michigan has, this edition of Michigan Travel Tips has an announcement, which, for instance, might stop you from driving a long way with children to a place that no longer exists.  In the middle of last month, I was thinking of writing a story about the Michigan Space and Science Center (at Jackson of the Lower Peninsula), a place that I had last done a story about in a radio report in 2002.  Then, a week later, I began to do research about the Michigan Space and Science Center to get new information or information that I did not know; the Michigan Space and Science Center had been opened in May 1977 and had held real space-related materials, some of which were a real Apollo moon capsule, rockets, and a rock from the moon.  I soon discovered the Michigan Space and Science Center was closed and no longer existed.  I now report to you that the Michigan Space and Science Center is indeed no longer at Jackson and that you should tell friends, members of your family, and others that they should not plan trips to the Michigan Space and Science Center and you must must tell them to discard any information from Web sites and travel guides, such as the current edition of the Michigan & Wisconsin TourBook of the American Automobile Association (or AAA), that indicates the museum does exist.

    I do have good news!

    The Michigan Space and Science Center is not gone for good!

    While I was looking for information about the Michigan Space and Science Center, I found no information in the major newspapers of the state that hinted that the Michigan Space and Science Center had been shut down, but I found a piece of information in wire service copy--a story put out on "The Associated Press State & Local Wire"--that hinted that the museum had been closed in 2003 and that the materials of the museum were now in the care of the Air Zoo, which is a museum at Portage, which is a city near Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo County, the Lower Peninsula).  I telephoned Renee Newman, the Marketing and Public Relations Director of the Air Zoo.  We talked a while.  She told me that the Michigan Space and Science Center was closed down in early 2004, and she confirmed that, indeed, the materials that were once at the Michigan Space and Science Center (at Jackson) now belonged to the Air Zoo.  Also, she said that, in a few months, work is going to begin on a new building for what will be called the "Michigan Space and Science Center."  The building for the Michigan Space and Science Center will be next to the main building complex for the Air Zoo, which was opened on May 1, 2004.

    Let me provide some background information here.  The Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum (or the "Aviation History Museum"), Kalamazoo, was opened on November 18, 1979, and since 1979, it has had held aircraft for people to see, such as a Curtiss P-40, and, for years, the museum has informally been called the "Kalamazoo Air Zoo" and the "Air Zoo."  The Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum still exists and has vintage aircraft for people to see, and it is associated with what is informally called the "New Air Zoo" and is really called the "Air Zoo" (the place at Portage).  The Air Zoo, which I have noted was opened last May, has such things as the "Sentinels at Sea (Flight Simulator)," which is an F-18 flight simulator, a real F-14A Tomcat, a Curtiss XP-55 Ascende, a 3-D theater that takes people inside the International Space Station, a 4-D theater, a lot of exhibits, an exhibit area for materials from the Smithsonian Institution (which is changed from time to time), and the "Century of Flight" mural.

    Ms. Newman sent press releases to me, some of which I specifically requested and some I did not.  I must report that one press release states that the "Century of Flight" mural, which will be the "World's Largest Indoor Mural," is scheduled to be completed on January 26, 2005, which, I add, will be a special day at the Air Zoo, especially for Rick Herter and Tony Hendrick, who made the 32-foot-by-800-foot mural.  Another press release notes that, from February 12 to April 10, the Air Zoo will have a traveling exhibit entitled "At the Controls--the Smithsonian looks at cockpits," which is an exhibit that has 20 four-foot-by-seven-foot photographs of cockpits, and, as part of the exhibit, visitors will get to go inside the cockpit of a real aircraft.

    The Air Zoo is at 6151 Portage Road, and it can be seen on most days of the year.  Admission is charged most persons (children who are five years of age or younger get to have fun at the museum for free).  The Web site for the Air Zoo is www.airzoo.org.

    Remember: Ms. Newman says that the Michigan Space and Science Center will be open in 2006, and when the museum does get opened, the Air Zoo, in essence, will be three main museums related to flight in the atmosphere and flight outside the atmosphere.

    I have one more announcement.  I visited the Web site for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which is at Kalamazoo, so that I could see what is the latest information about the Challenger Learning Center, which exists as a place where people can pretend to go on space missions, such as to Mars or to a comet (particularly Comet Encke); the Challenger Learning Center has programs for students in grades five to eight (and their teachers), for corporate clients (programs identified as "corporate missions"), and for the public (on Saturdays and Sundays and a few other days of the year).  A number of pages from the Web site would not print out fully for me, and the problem was not with the equipment I was using; that is, headings on pages printed out, but other material, such as the text that provided information about when the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is open, would not print out.  (From time to time, I have come across Web sites that are not constructed properly so that all the material on the pages will print out when I direct a Web browser to send copies of Web pages directly to a printer.)  I telephoned the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and reported to a staffer that the Web site for the museum needed to be tended to.  If you go to the Web site for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and discover some pages will not print out for you, you will discover corrections have not been made to the Web site since I called the Kalamazoo Valley Museum (and you should not wonder if your computer equipment is defective).  You might back me up and call the museum to tell a staffer that you had trouble with the Web site.

    Keep in mind the Kalamazoo Valley Museum has programs in which people take part in from about one-hour-long to several-hours-long pretend space missions, either as crew members of a spaceship or as crew members of a mission control center.  The missions for the public are set up on the days (Saturdays and Sundays) of the events through a first-come-first-serve basis, and the missions begin at 3:00 p.m., and each mission lasts about 45 minutes, and there is a three-dollar admission charge.  The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is at 230 North Rose Street, between Eleanor Street and Water Street, and, generally speaking, the museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays, and no admission is charged anyone who wishes to see the regular exhibits of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

    Your special travel-news announcements cover:

    The Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Michigan Space and Science Center, Jackson Community College, Jackson, Jackson County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Your travel tips are:

    The Air Zoo, Portage, Kalamazoo County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum (or the Aviation History Museum), Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Your travel tip for someday in the future is:

    The Michigan Space and Science Center, Portage, Kalamazoo County, the Lower Peninsula.

- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -

Number One:

    Let's see if I can clear up some possible confusion with help

from The Hologlobe Press.  Portage is a city next to Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo has a "zoo."  It's not a zoo with animals, though.  It's

a zoo with aircraft.  The zoo is officially called the "Kalamazoo

Aviation History Museum."  Sometimes, it's only called the

"Aviation History Museum."  Over the years, it has also been

called the "Air Zoo."  Today, it is really the old "Air Zoo," if it is

going to be called a "zoo."  Now, go back to Portage.  In May 2004,

a new "Air Zoo" was opened.  The "Air Zoo" at Portage owns the

old "Air Zoo."  Of course, the new "Air Zoo" has no animals.  The

new "Air Zoo" has flight-related exhibits and materials, an F-18

flight simulator, real aircraft, exhibits from the Smithsonian

Institution, the "World's Largest Indoor Mural," and more.  Wow!

I hope that clears up any possible confusion about the "Air Zoos"

in the Kalamazoo/Portage area of Michigan.


Number Two:

    I have a special announcement that was put together by the

publisher of The Hologlobe Press.  In 1977, the Michigan Space

and Science Center was opened in Jackson, and, over the years,

it became a place to see real space exhibits and materials, some

of which were real space suits and rockets.  Now, listen carefully!

In early 2004, the Michigan Space and Science Center was closed.

It no longer exists.  There's good news, though.  The Air Zoo,

which is at Portage, now owns all the materials that were in the

Michigan Space and Science Center, and, this spring, work will

begin on a new building for the Michigan Space and Science

Center, and the new museum should be open in 2006.  Tour books

and Web sites hint that the Michigan Space and Science Center

still exits at Jackson, but the information is old.  So tell friends

and others.  And keep listening for news about a new Michigan

Space and Science Center at Portage.


Number Three:

    To help people from other places who are driving in Michigan

and to help anyone who is about to take a Michigan driver's

license test, I have this information about school buses in

Michigan.  When a school bus is stopped or is moving and when

the yellow hazard lights are flashing, you may pass by the school

bus, but you should be careful.  The hazard lights referred to are

not the overhead lights--those near the roof.  When a bus is

stopped and when the overhead red lights of the bus are flashing,

you may not pass by the bus, and you must stop no closer than 20

feet from the bus.  If a bus is moving and if the overhead yellow

lights are flashing or the overhead red lights are flashing, get ready

for the bus to stop, and get ready to stop your vehicle.  If a school

bus is on the other side of a divided highway or a boulevard-type

road, you need not follow the rules about the lights, so continue

on your way, and enjoy your safe traveling!


Number Four:

    While traveling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to a

well-known place, you could be so intent on getting get to the

well-known place so you can spend a lot of time there that you

miss seeing a unique or lovely not-so-well-known thing.  "The

Whispering Giant" is one such not-so-well-known thing you

might miss seeing if you are not paying attention on a trip to

somewhere in the Upper Peninsula.  To see "The Whispering

Giant," you have to be in the Wakefield area, particularly at

Sunday Lake.  In essence, "The Whispering Giant" is a statue.

It's a head of an Indian on a stone base. "The Whispering Giant"

is one of about five dozen works made by Peter Wolf Toth that

honor Indians and are scattered around the country.  When

traveling in the Upper Peninsula and the wind is whistling by that

open window, think of "The Whispering Giant" at Wakefield.  And

drive to enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan!


- - - Contact Information - - -

The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan  48128-0455
The United States of America

copyright c. 2005
File date: 10 January 2005

To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #11
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    click on: Travel #9
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    click on: Travel
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    click on: www.hologlobepress.com