April 16, 2008

Three Generations Experience Newseum Together

The Herman family poses on the Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Ave. (Mike Olliver/Newseum)
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The Herman family poses on the Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Ave. (Mike Olliver/Newseum)

The Herman family head to another level of exhibits. (Mike Olliver/Newseum)
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The Herman family head to another level of exhibits. (Mike Olliver/Newseum)

The Herman family participates in one of the interactive exhibits. (Mike Olliver/Newseum)
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Sometimes, too much of a good thing actually can be a very good thing, according to the Herman family of Bellevue, Wash.

After three hours touring the Newseum on its second day of operation, Michele Herman said the experience was "incredibly interesting." Herman visited with her mother-in-law, Ruth, and nephew Nick Tselentikis, along with her son, Greg.

Taking a look around the vast atrium at the heart of 14 exhibits and 15 theaters, she said, "You can't possibly read everything that's here."

From taking a 4-D time-travel adventure, to testing their knowledge of the First Amendment, the family took its time and tried to cover as much of the Newseum's exhibits as it could.

First stop was the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, where they watched "I-Witness," a 4-D film experience through journalism history. They also rode up the world's largest hydraulic elevator to take in the view of the U.S. Capitol on the Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Avenue. Along the way, they chatted with a reenactor portraying 19th century author Margaret Bayard Smith, a friend of Thomas Jefferson. In Today's Front Pages, Greg Herman, 14, noted his hometown paper, The Seattle Times, was on display.

As the family stopped at the 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast, the exhibit hit home for Nick Tselentikis, of Kent Island, Md. His mother was working at the Pentagon when it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. He remembered that she was able to get out quickly and had to walk from Virginia to Washington, D.C., to his grandmother's house.

For Ruth Herman, 72, of Washington, D.C., whose grandchildren call her "Ga," the museum gave her a chance to share her life experiences. When the family passed eight concrete segments of the Berlin Wall, the adults made sure to show the teenagers the structure.

"You guys should [see] this, you don't remember the Berlin Wall," Michele Herman told her son and nephew.

"It reminded me that things that are so much of my experience aren't a part of theirs," Ruth Herman said.

When the tour was done, Tselentikis said he would definitely recommend the Newseum to his friends.

"I'm happy that I didn't get to see everything. At most museums, you go once and you're a veteran. Now I can come back and see more stuff," he said.

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