How My Projector Remained at the Museum of Flight

I live near Portland and don't drive. My hearing has grown too bad to use telephones.

I presented at the Space Elevator Conference at the MoF in 2017.

Beforehand, I could not confirm that the museum's projector would work with my 1024x768 screen VGA output laptop, so I brought my own projector Just In Case. The museum's projector did work, so I left my projector bag under the table I was sitting at.

Soon after presenting, my best friend called to tell me his mother had died. I quickly made arrangements to leave Seattle the next morning, but forgot the projector bag under the table. It was not under the table the next morning, and nobody I talked to at the museum knew where it went. So, I left to help my friend. Friends are more important than computer hardware.

I called after returning to Portland. Still no projector.

I got a call months later, telling me the projector was there and would I please pick it up, it could not be sent.

I asked my friend's daughter, who lives and works north of Seattle, to drive down for it. She did, but after a long trip on slow freeways, the MoF was closed when she arrived.

Your open hours are overlapped by most people's work and commute hours, especially those with demanding jobs (no wonder they don't visit, or donate). I don't have friends in the Seattle area with lots of free time.

Anyway, C. Smith finally emailed, almost four years later. I was told museum policy did not allow donating the projector to MoF, or donating to another charity, or selling it - the only option was me picking it up, or discarding it. We finally agreed to have it sent ... about $20 postage, plus time and hassle for museum staff.

Hence my one-time donation, which I hope will pay time and expenses for returning two or three other lost items to others.

I could wish for more flexible and realistic policies, or better tracking of found items, but I cannot afford a large enough donation to command the attention of museum policy makers.

I hope MoF will adapt policies to Seattle realities. Potential big donors 30 years in the future are working impossible hours today; their limited free time doesn't overlap your limited availability. If they can't visit now, they will connect to more accessible institutions instead, and donate to those in the future. The "Apollo childhood" generation is aging and dying; who will replace them?


proj (last edited 2021-05-22 18:30:34 by KeithLofstrom)