Return to Visit SF-88, being restored

SF-88 Museum Looted Spring 2013

by National Park Service
This page may have served its purpose. (August 2014)

Table of Contents:

Summary (currently serious questions) under active development (2014)

  1. Is there a public National Park Service (NPS) standard for restorations???
    Or is it up to the taste of individual NPS managers/employees??
    Could/should a quick summary of goals/exceptions be available to casual visitors?
    "This site portrays the years xxxx to yyyy except:
    - Public toilet
    - Little museum in xxxx building
    - Type of equipment from top of ridge to west brought here
    - ... "

  2. Does everything in/at a particular restoration be required to be proved to have originally at that particular site?
    Example, none of the displayed portable equipment, including missiles, launchers, vans, radars, test stands, ... are known to have been used at SF-88.
    - The originals are untraceable and have probably been scrapped.

  3. Should a restoration include a museum ???
    Should the museum be in the restoration area ???
    Example, at the Winchester Mystery House, the museum/gift-shop is not part of the house, but an added building on the grounds.

  4. What is a restoration is a contentious problem -
    - example - should asphalt be used as road material in "restored" Colonial Williamsburg?
    - the original roads were dirt/mud -

  5. There are several proposals/ideas for a "solution" for SF-88 museum "problem", including:
    - separate on-site (in the generator building? - the original generators long gone)
        - - folks are looking for original type generators to put in there -
    - or off-site (buildings across the road)?

When I visited SF-88 in September 2012, its little museum was a delight. When I visited March 2, 2013, little was left in the museum. Just about anything that could be picked up by one person has been removed to parts unknown.

Large items such as the decommissioned Nike Hercules and a launcher area cabinet remain.

This would maybe be a police matter, except for the rumor that a senior NPS person took the items "for cataloging". (The original note left after the "raid" said the items were taken for cleaning. It turns out this was a "cover story", governmenteese for "lie".)
I wish she would return the taken items to the museum, they are sorely missed.

The taken items are very useful to docents to "interpret" SF-88,

  • SF-88's place in the scheme of things, (the maps help show the area air defense)
  • the use of various items to further the goals of SF-88 - such as the alignment telescope below,
  • and the life of the troops stationed there.
  • books available for further research if the guest is interested.
Without the above aids, docents are left with lots of hand waving - similar to the usual politicians we vote for -

To me, the later tale that the items were taken for "cataloging" seems suspect. How can contractors catalog items they cannot identify? (Governments usually hire contractors to do the work. Someone else to blame if blunders are detected.)

Taken and Remaining
Although I post many pictures of SF-88 (See tour of SF-88), I didn't post pictures of the little museum itself, leaving that as a pleasant surprise for visitors.

Happy Day - Nov 2019, Stephan B of the Netherlands, ex-Nike cook, now electronics hobbiest, while asking a question about his 705A rectifier tube, found these two pictures on maisonbisson TUBE SF-88 and rocbolt TUBE SF-88

Items Taken
Items that I (Ed Thelen) remember being in the museum and now "missing" are:

  1. A collection of (maybe 40) shoulder patches. Five of those patches were purchased by me for Bud Halsey, from NAMFI, in appreciation of his help in planning my Crete (NAMFI Nike Firings) Trip Summer 1998

  2. Several "scrap books" of pictures of SF-88 and other Nike sites.

  3. Several Nike oriented published books such as
    - "Rings of Supersonic Steel", by Morgan and Berhow
    - "The Last Missile Site" - specific to SF-88, by Haller and Martini

  4. A large (about 2 feet by 3 feet) map of the U.S. with markers indicating the location of Nike sites in the U.S.

  5. A large (about 2 feet by 3 feet) map of the S.F. Bay Area with markers indicating the location of Nike sites in the Bay Area.

    This image is an approximation.

  6. A collection of interesting Nike system electronic vacuum tubes
    including an X band (10 gigahertz) magnetron (weighing maybe 15 pounds including the magnet) that I "lifted" fair and square from the Navy salvage/scrap yard at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in the 1996 authorized acquisition expedition.
    • In 1996 Bud Halsey made the contacts and secured the permissions for the 6 or 7 Nike site volunteers and a truck and a trailer to get spares for the SF-88 Nike site. This included lots of electronics chassis (snatched up before the scrap metal people from L.A. could snatch them up) and a spare LOPAR radar set as the antenna gears in the displayed LOPAR were getting noisy.
    • Good thing I didn't turn over my colorful 1996 China Lake passes to the museum, they would surely be gone too.

  7. A Nike Tracking Radar alignment telescope used frequently (?daily?) to align (bore sight) the Nike tracking radars.
Maybe someone can refresh my memory about other missing items -


  1. A nice plaque with picture of "Bud" Halsey, who poured so much of his effort and retirement pension into leading the restoration of this Nike site, SF-88.
  2. A crummy little show case with a Nike LOPAR hydrogen thyraton and a small unidentified tube in it.
  3. A computer drawer containing the course and fine time pots with gears, drive motor - too heavy for one person to haul away !
  4. A Nike Hercules missile opened for visitor inspection - too heavy for one person to haul away !
  5. Several Nike Hercules missile test sets - too heavy for one person to haul away !

Artifacts Gone forever?
Several SF-88 volunteers are meeting with Susan's representative May 22, 2013

"> I made an appointment for next Wednesday, the 22nd at 0900 to meet with Susan's guy to review the artifacts they took from SF-88 in order to identify what's mine."

Looks as though the other artifacts are gone "forever" into some black hole - and maybe referenced in some obscure data base :-((
     Of course there are rumors that the artifacts are being sold off as "government surplus" -

Feb 2014 update - still nothing - maybe the park service is waiting for us to die ???
I feel like the Native Americans - lied to by the U.S. government again and again and ...

For reasons unknown, we accept government officials lying to us, again and again.
We even expect it - when the Russians shot down the U-2 with Francis Gary Powers in it, President Eisenhower was sharply criticized by many academics and "journalists" for not following the cover story that Powers got lost on a weather monitoring mission in the near east. (Like lost by 1,500 miles)

Marketeers can "puff" their products. Presidential candidates can promise "open government" ...
The president can state "if you like your health insurance, you can keep it" and on and on ...

A young boy sat on a guard railing in Mt. Lassen Park, the fence collapsed, boy died, National Park Service lied and lied that it didn't know the guard railing was seriously compromised. newspaper story. The lying park service people will not be disciplined or inconvenienced for lying - that is not the policy. There is not penalty for lying (that I know of) - to restrain or discourage public officials from lying their heads off.

As far as I'm concerned, public officials and National Park Service management have no credibility, and don't expect any. Lower level folks might be more truthful to have personal credibility, and/or worry that people will laugh in their face.

Various museum philosophies
Museums are a wonderful means of looking at new things in the world, and to some extent self education.

I like to consider SF-88 a museum - for me and my family ( what did the old man do so many years ago ) and for others.

World history is full of unpleasant characters - Alexander "The Great", ... Julius Caesar, ... Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, ... Napoleon, ... Hitler/Stalin/Mao, ... and who is that in North Korea and who in Iran?
The struggles against these ( and many smaller scale thugs ) has been relatively constant and bloody.
I don't think these struggles "useless" -
     The struggles give the rest of us a better life -
     Or do wish your nation to build a city and harem for the entertainment of your emperor?
I don't wish to live under any of the above -

Should the past be available for study? There is the dictum:
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

An initial question is "Should the remnants of SF-88:

  1. be retained - preserved as abandoned by the army in 1974?
  2. be retained - as restored during the 1990s.
  3. or should the area be returned to pre-1954 status. grass near some old big gun emplacements?"
  4. ... maybe try to return the Golden Gate National Recreational Area to pre-Spanish status.
It is easy to argue for any of the above. - or several others - a fun exercise :-))
Let's choose b) above and move along with our discussion.

The most realistic Nike site SF-88 presentation would include a challenging guard and no visitor museum.
Most will agree that a visitor to Nike site SF-88 would rather have an informative visitor museum
      than a carbine bearing guard demanding proper papers.

Ezio Nurisio of the Nike Historical Society another view point
Subject: Re: comments and suggestions
Date: Wed, March 20, 2013 9:20 am
Cc: ...

Dear Ed:
In response to your email, may I offer the following:

The Nike Historical Society is not affiliated with any restoration effort, but is here to inform the public of the Nike Missile system and the role it played during the Cold War. In addition, we insure that proper interpretation of the missile system is adhered to and conveyed.

With that said, we are aware of what is taking place at SF-88 and agree with the actions taken by Ms. Ewing-Haley. When the founding members of the Society left the site in 2001 our mission was solely to restore, repair, and perform preventative maintenance. It is our understanding, that subsequent to our leaving, very little, if any restoration/repair was performed, and based on the current condition of equipment, very little preventative maintenance was done. Our mission, under Bud Halsey , was to restore the site as if it was still operational. When we left, though a lot was accomplished, it still remained a work in progress. Since our departure the Assembly and Warhead Buildings have become mini-museums and the interpretative theme of what these building were actually used for has been lost. Ms. Ewing-Haley's current assignment is to bring SF-88 under Park Service guidelines. In doing so items have to be removed, cataloged, and temporarily stored. The goal is to, once again, display these items, but in a format consistent with the aforementioned guidelines. (perhaps a dedicated museum separate form the existing structures at SF-88) Ms. Ewing-Haley also wants to document the restoration efforts undertaken by the veterans.

Our website, features a section on SF-88. It is somewhat tricky, but if you search that section you will find a page dedicated to the individuals who help restore the site. Unfortunately, we did not have your picture at the time or we would have included it. If you send us one, we will be happy to include at this time.

With regards to Bud Halsey. Our website features a dedicated page to him. His obituary is posted on the page.

Hopefully, I've been able to address your concerns, which we sincerely thank you for sharing them with us.

- - Mahwah Museum Mahwah Nike Base Exhibit Closing and Transfer -> Sandy Point
From: Richard Levine < levine1945 @ gmail . com >
Date: Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM
Subject: Mahwah Museum Mahwah Nike Base Exhibit Closing and Transfer
To: "Borg, Stephen" < BorgS @ northjersey . com >
Cc: Peter DeMarco < demarco763 @ gmail . com >
Mr. Borg,

I am the donor of most of the items, with the Mahwah Museum and John Goodwin also donating a few items.

We have several additional items in boxes at the Mahwah Museum to go through and organize for transfer to Sandy Hook at some time in the near future. These items could not be displayed due to space limitations.

My main contact with the veterans group is Peter DeMarco their VP. (Peter is cc'd on this email. He can be contacted for further information on their plans for a permanent exhibit) The group does volunteer work for the National Park Service at Sandy Hook. They are restoring the NY-56 dual Nike Base there, and lead visitors on tours of the base. Many of these veterans have served in the Army on various Nike bases including Mahwah.

It is our hope that they use the donated items, and additional items that they already own to set up the best and most unique Nike Base exhibit in the US. The few Nike Base exhibits around the country concentrate on the Nike missile installation itself rather than all the other aspects of the Cold War as had been done in the Mahwah Museum exhibit.

In the past, Peter has noted that his volunteer group is associated with a group of historians in Northern NJ. That group would include me, George Friedel, and Jack Goudsward all of whom worked on the Mahwah Museum Exhibit. We also participated in free-of-charge Nike Base presentations with Peter in the Greater NYC area, most notably at the West Point Military Academy for The Company of Military Historians.

The group at Ft. Hancock should probably make an appeal for funds donations so that they can restore their Nike Base generator building as a permanent home for this permanent exhibit. Could the newspaper assist in such an effort?

Again, thanks for all your help with the Mahwah Museum exhibit.


Richard M. Levine

- - Continued - Mahwah Museum Mahwah Nike Base Exhibit Closing and Transfer -> Sandy Point

Subject: Re: Fwd: Mahwah Museum Mahwah Nike Base Exhibit Closing and
From: Richard Levine < levine1945 @ gmail . com >
Date: Thu, July 04, 2013 6:27 am
To: ed @ ed-thelen . org
    That's not funny, but the veterans from Ft. Hancock noted that some of their 
donated items were removed and that they are trying to get them returned.
    On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM,  wrote:
        >> This is to advise you that on July 3rd officers of the veterans volunteer group 
        >> from Ft. Handcock at Sandy Hook came to the Mahwah Museum 
        >> to pickup most of the exhibit items from subject exhibit. 
Thanks for the update.

Ah, the human adventure -
Everything is more complicated and involved than expected and obvious.

Out here in the west, SF-88, a visitor sees a rather unified organized physical and verbal presentation,
with little evidence of

  • the level of effort
  • the many people and ideas
    over the past 30 years of preservation and presentation.

    Within the past year, NPS personnel have removed the artifacts,
    such as unit patches, pictures, scrap books, bore sight telescope, magnetron, ...
    which had been collected and presented in a room at SF-88.
    Even maps with little markers showing Nike sites in the San Francisco defense area have been removed, presumably to be stored elsewhere.

    And so it goes - life seems by definition turbulent -

    Thank you very much for your efforts
    Ed Thelen

  • - - Judge Judy, Duck & Cover
    -----Original Message-----
    From: ed < >
    To: Al Blank < Al_Blank @ nps . gov >; Greg Brown < gregorio_cafe @ comcast . net >; 
    Gordon Lunn < gordonlunn @ aol . com >; historian < historian @ nikemissile . org >
    Cc: Richard Levine < levine1945 @ gmail . com >
    Sent: Thu, Jul 4, 2013 7:26 am
    Subject: [FWD: Re: Fwd: Mahwah Museum Mahwah Nike Base Exhibit Closing and Transfer]
    > That's not funny, 
    > but the veterans from Ft. Hancock noted that some of their donated items 
    > were removed and that they are trying to get them returned. 
    I can just hear the arguments before Judge Judy  ;-))
    **   Plaintiff, (Jane Doe)  -  
         "I gave my precious xxx to the defendant (NPS) to be displayed to visitors !! "
    **   Defendant, (NPS) -
        "The plaintiff gave the xxx to me -
        "It's mine, all mine, I can do anything I want with it !!
        "And I have way more junk than we can/want-to show - "
    Donor intent and "rights" is of course not a new problem -
        likely a plague since the dawn of donations to museums -
    A bit of history ;-))
       The Computer Museum, in Boston,
           (now reorganized/moved as Computer History Museum, in Mountain View, Calif. )
       got low on finances in about 1990 
        and started selling donated artifacts to raise money.
       Many/most of the artifact donors got REALLY irritated
          about this mis?use of their donations !!
    (I don't want to sign this - Duck & Cover )
    PS And of course arguing about museum goals and methods is not new either.
        Time to hide back in my cave -

    - - I think you have hit the SF-88 nail on the head, and it's the same nail as Sandy Hook.
    From: Gordon Lunn < gordonlunn @ aol . com > July 5, 2013
    Ed, thanks for joining in on this I think you have hit the SF-88 nail on the head, and it's the same nail as Sandy Hook.

    The avowed intent of the GGNRA Museum Management Division is NOT to display everything that was there before.

    Instead of projecting an image of the "Nike Program" and/or "The Cold War" as was done before, they (Susan) are saying that only items that belonged to Site SF-88 will be displayed in the future, and maybe not all of them (for instance, in the case of uniforms, "preservation" takes precedence over "display."

    The Everglades NP Nike people have had this same problem in spades. I believe it's called "provenance."

    They also refuse to return items donated by the volunteers (unless they have your name on them) until "ownership can be uniquely established." Unfortunately for them (and especially for us) "Bud Halsey's Logbook(3?)" which was the primary (if not the only) document which was a "contemporaneous record of donations by volunteers" is among the missing (but talk to David about that.) Until and unless that (those) document(s) are found, then, there CAN BE NO returning of materiel to the volunteers who donated it.

    As for the map with red dots on it portraying the locations of CONUS Nike sites (and SF Bay Area Nike Sites) which were a valuable interpretation aid to the volunteers, that is being "reworked" to use a "less-busy)" map.

    Why that takes 6 months to do, and why the original map could not be returned to site use while the "improved" map is being prepared, eludes me. I have spoken to Susan about that on 2 occasions already but have only received excuses.

    The "New Jersey experience" is not reassuring. I think we need to discuss this further...


    a comment by Ed Thelen
    Note in the 5th paragraph above -
    • the NPS has taken the evidence of ownership
    • the NPS won't return donated but unused items unless you have evidence of ownership
    • but you can't prove ownership because NPS has taken the evidence
    "Catch 22" is not limited to the military or state department :-((

    Update - Susan visits SF-88 at monthly Open House Dec. 7, 2013
    "It was a cold windy day ..."
    and I was outside the BC van, giving my usual introduction to the IFC area and functions ...
    when I noticed Gordon Lunn and a lady approaching ...

    Soon Gordon is introducing "Susan, the museum curator of this area".
    My chilled, docent focused mind suddenly became aware that this was the (in)famous Susan, the center of the SF-88 artifact/little-museum storm. - OK -

    Susan seemed over 39 (I claimed to be 39 for about 25 years, until retirement) and about 5 inches shorter than my moderate height. I chose to step down off the concrete pad to be polite and to peer directly into her eyes - see her soul - or maybe play as Judge Judy looking for facts -

    She started out mentioning the former placement of the IFC and identifying the local buildings. I felt she did this to demonstrate that she was no novice concerning SF-88.
    She then made a number of points:

    1. In January, artifact donors could reclaim their donations.
      This would include signing a release to NPS for ?liability?
    2. A little museum would be established in a different building.
    3. The current buildings would be returned to Army occupancy appearance.
    4. Oral histories Nike of veterans would be taken and transcribed.
    I brought up a concern of the serious and unsightly corrosion (rust streaks down the sides of the vans) of the twist fasteners on the access panels on the outsides of BC and RC van. Measures (?painting?) should be taken to stop further damage. Susan considered that they should be replaced. (I declined to comment about the speed of government - unless involving taxation.)

    Post mortum:
    2) (above) past discussions involving others have mentioned the current generator building as the future home of the future little museum. This has the advantage of being handy -

    Update Jan 28, 2014
    Hi All,

    The meeting referred to is the day we will make loaned Nike artifacts available for return to owners at the Park Archives. It is not yet scheduled. We have been moving our museum collection for the past few months and just finished Friday, Jan 24. We will be getting this meeting on the schedule in the near future. It will involve only those volunteers who have loaned personal property to the exhibits at the Nike Site and who want that property returned. We will keep you posted with details as they are developed. Thanks for your patience.

    Susan Ewing Haley

    It could be worse - Feb 8, 2014
  • I dislike being lied to by used car salespeople and politicians.
  • I am unsettled being lied to by cops, "public servants" and National Park Service people.
    For some reason, the PC version of "lied to" is "mis-lead" - sounds like the hippy talk of the 1970s.
    Maybe I'm still an 82 year old small town kid, now living in the big city :-((

    As annoying as the above is, a person could think that many of the SF-88 NPS activities could be interpreted as a difference of opinion of the goal of the exhibits. There are many goals possible, many mutually exclusive. I can argue in favor of most of them but prefer being as informative as practical while preserving the "soul" - however to do that ?? :-))

    Lets say that a broom, plow, alignment telescope, ... had been normally kept in a closet, little shed, drawer ... but each had important uses in everyday life. How to portray "everyday" life with out exposing that equipment ?? Without cluttering up the scene ??
    Maybe the normally concealed items could be exposed in a little "sub-museum" which never existed at the portrayed snapshot in time ??

    However, the Brits at the Bletchley Park arena seem to have reached a new low, short of physical violence. Here is
    - BBC report and past and current "Disharmony"
    - a visit 15 years ago
    - my take about the uproar.

  • Government Promises ?? - Mar 3, 2014
    It seems a silly waste of time and emotion to monitor the "progress" of a "Government Promise".

    Just figure anything they say not worth flushing down the toilet.

    Letter from the General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Apr 28, 2014
    At SF-88 Open House, Saturday, May 3, 2014, volunteers present involved with the removed "donations" signed for the receipt of the following letter contained in individually addressed envelopes.

    Letter, side 1

    Letter, side 2
    The above sides, scanned, OCRed, checked, and converted to .HTML follows:
    (seal not reproduced here)

    United States Department of the Interior




    APR 28 2014

    Dear SF-88 Nike Site Volunteer or Docent:

    For many years, many dedicated volunteers have made contributions of time, energy and personal property to the Nike Missile Site, SF-88L, owned by Golden Gate National Recreation Area. These contributions have been very much appreciated.

    We are at a new stage in management and improvement of the Nike Site, which includes restoring the site to its historic appearance and implementing new exhibits and exhibit techniques to improve our ability to tell the important stories about the Nike defense program and the Cold War. In order to make these improvements, current exhibits have been and will be modified and improved. Among these improvements will be: increased accessibility for disabled visitors; improved safety, security and environmental controls for museum artifacts; improved labeling for artifacts on exhibit; and textual panels explaining various features of the site and operations there.

    Some artifacts either currently on exhibit or recently removed from display by the National Park Service are reported to be the personal property of current and former Nike Site volunteers. We understand that volunteers have requested return of their property in some instances and we are working to develop a secure and equitable method for this process.

    If you have personal property on display (or previously on display) or in any storage or work area at the Nike Site, we request that you advise us by letter of the nature of this property. Please provide a detailed description of the item(s), photos (if possible), and any documentation you may have indicating your ownership of the material. If you would like this item to be permanently donated to the National Park Service collection, please also indicate that.

    All written requests should be sent to the National Park Service, Museum Management, at the address below, where the requests will be reviewed and the identified pieces retrieved from secure museum storage. A list of all requested returns will be posted for your review after the submission due date. Requestors will be notified of a time and day when property can be picked up at the Park Archives and Records Center, 667 McDowell Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco. Questions may be addressed to our Supervisory Curator, Susan Ewing Haley, at 415-561-2804 or at email All requests for return of property must be postmarked no later than May 30, 2014.

    (second page)

    Going forward, all personal property at the Nike Missile Site will need to be registered through park staff with owner information, extent, location, and use. The property will be labeled so that ownership is clear and property is protected. We request that you respect this decision to protect your property from damage and liability, property for which the National Park Service cannot be held responsible. At the conclusion of this property review process, all unregistered and unclaimed property at the site will be assumed to be National Park Service property and will be managed accordingly.

    If you have historic Nike artifacts, documents or other memorabilia and are interested in possibly having these on exhibit at the site or other area of the park or available as part of our study collection, our Museum Branch staff would be happy to explain the process and assist you in entering into either a formal loan of your property to the park or in donating to the park's permanent museum collection.

    We thank you for your past and ongoing efforts to preserve and interpret the era of Nike missile defense, and SF-88 specifically, for the education of future generations.



    Frank Dean,
    General Superintendent

    Address written requests to:

    National Park Service
    Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    Park Archives & Records Center
    Attn: Susan Ewing Haley
    201 Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123

    My Response
    The following are my comments, which maybe somewhat unfair because:
    1. The above letter writer has not responded to my e-mail
      The reqest was sent via - May 5, 2014
    2. I am a museum and techie geek, take in most of the museums and radio telescopes available
      --- Munich Deutsches Museum, London Museum of Science and Industry, Beijing National Museum, ... Green Bank Radio Telescope, ...
    3. My friends and I are offended by the conduct of the "looting" of the SF-88 museum and subsequent handling by NPS management.
    4. I wonder why, the world over, totally unknowing, uninformed (?uncaring?) people get to make serious decisions without even consulting knowledgeable, hardworking volunteers/workers?
      This is not local to NPS, it is shockingly universal. (government, industry, museums, schools, ... )
    Anyway, lets start -

    > We are at a new stage in management and improvement of the Nike Site,
    > which includes restoring the site to its historic appearance
    > and implementing new exhibits and exhibit techniques
    > to improve our ability to tell the important stories about the Nike defense program and the Cold War.

    Better than motherhood and apple pie - or am I dating myself ;-))
    Of course, the devil is in the details -

    >> ... historic appearance ...
    devilish details - Ajax era?, which Hercules era? are you really going to put the radars back up the hill?? etc.

    >> ... new exhibits ...
    self inconsistent with "historic appearance"
    more devilish details

    Lets skip more of this type of gore, and go to

    > Going forward, all personal property at the Nike Missile Site will need to be registered
    > through park staff with owner information, extent, location, and use.

    Indeed, and Bud Halsey (the NPS SF-88 Site Manager) is reputed to have done this. (I never saw the notebook.)
    Others report seeing the notebook before Susan looted the place.
    Other people report that Susan acknowledged taking the book, until a few months after the high-handed heist, at which time the notebook was no longer acknowledged.
    It appears we are in a "Catch-22" - NPS has taken the evidence - but wants us to produce the evidence which it has taken.
         - a detailed description - I'll try -
         - a 15 year old receipt - even the IRS doesn't demand that kind of record retention
         - a picture - I coulda/shoulda/woulda ...
         - hope Susan accepts a certain amount of hand waving - (maybe she can peek into Bud's log book?)

    > The property will be labeled so that ownership is clear ...

    Indeed, a serial numbered property tag to match the inventory listing !!
    I doubt that Bud Halsey did this - more intune with museum/inventory geeks ;-))

    > Requestors will be notified of a time and day when property can be picked up at
    > the Park Archives and Records Center, 667 McDowell Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco.

    "time and day" - GADS !!!
    I may be retired, and my time my own -
    but I HATE driving in San Francisco - especially that horse and buggy maze which is the Presidio
         - at 82 it ain't no fun no more !!!
    Can the artifacts be made available at SF-88, say at the monthly Open House ???
    Your organization is causing us considerable inconvenience,
        try to return 'em where they were "donated" ???????? OK ??
    I think Judge Judy would approve !!

    "I'm my own Grandpa"
    This whole sorry tale is so convoluted, so many twists and turns and mutually contradictory statements by Susan, that I was looking for a real world analogy. (SF-88 can't be real world, - maybe no museum is ;-)

    Suddenly the old song "I'm my own Grandpa" popped into my head - exactly the right thing !!!

    For those of you who are not elderly wrecks,
    and need cultural refreshment,
    I offer:
    "I'm My Own Grandpa", - Ray Stevens ( with family tree diagram)

    The whole thing can be regarded as a tragedy for Susan.

    • One can imagine that some years ago she was a bright eyed new NPS employee, hoping to do wonderful things for the people.
    • Years later, battered by the realities of a bureaucracy and the world, she makes a blunder.
      She removed the gifts and personal property of volunteers (passionate patriots) intended for the informal museum at SF-88.
    • She is unable to fast talk her way out of it.
      If she had just told the site manager
            a) There isn't going to be a museum
            b) Inform the donors/owners of the material of this
            c) Give them the choice, take your stuff away or formally donate it
      This whole mess would have been avoided.
    • Now her supervisor writes a letter to the irritated parties, trying to pour oil onto troubled waters.
    Maybe not tragic enough for William Shakespeare, but likely no fun for her.

    An almost Non Event, July 5, 2014
    According to popular rumor, I don't have hard copy -

    Frank Dean, General Superintendent, National Park Service Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is reviewing the returned requests.

    I didn't ask for the return of the 5 NAMFI patches that I gave to Bud Halsey. They are as useful lost in some NPS warehouse as in my drawer.

    NPS could do a A Really Nice Touch
    NPS could do a A Really Nice Touch
    (So many have worked so hard, so long - )
    When I "discovered" SF-88 in 1996, the large active restoration crew had already:
    • Made multiple trips to gather equipment
      (I got to go on the last, to China Lake Naval Air Station for spares :-))
    • Cleaned out A pit and gotten the elevator doors and missile elevator working
    • Gotten a launcher working - the last touch, getting enough power to it was in progress
      and gotten the big 60 -> 400 Hz converters from ?Pacific Bell?? for the required power
    • Gotten and cleaned up a number of Hercules missiles
    • Gotten the LOPAR radar to rotate, and van internal lights going
    • ... in other words, all that you see today was there almost 20 years ago
    Can you imagine the tens of thousands of expert and sweat hours to bring the site to that level ???

    Also the continuing support of NPS and its GREAT site managers, Bud Halsey, John Porter, Al Blank
    (who have proved to be practical and sympathetic preservers and presenters of SF-88).
    And NPS has also provided various necessities, contract toilets, water, power, security, supplies, grass "trimmed", ...

    Over the years folks have died and some soured over multiple events and don't show up any more

    NPS could do a A Really Nice Touch
    The NPS could set up a "meeting" so that the various restorers, docents, ... can "have their say" on future policies concerning SF-88.

    Of course we all know that the say 35 people will have at least 45 firmly held, conflicting, opinions - which shift continually on hearing other ideas.

    But it would be nice if the NPS at least politely pretended to listen to the folks expressing their 50 cents worth (inflation you know). I offer to record and type up the various opinions - without names - .

    It would also be nice if the NPS could offer public ?posted? "guide lines" to an "intended restoration path" for the SF-88 site.
    (A present, from the outside, it appears a bit of a "random walk".)

    I think the above would be a nice touch
          - and maybe bring more good will into the people turbulence of the long history of the site.

    Dumbing Down - Everything
    I went to see the famous "computer scientist" Donald Knuth lecture on
    "Let's Not Dumb Down the History of Computer Science" - at Stanford -

    He was introduced by the president of Stanford University John Hennessy
    It was a Big Deal, any fire marshal would have written an auditorium crowding citation
    - people sitting on the floor around the podium, in the isles, and standing the back ...

    Knuth's point was that historians and history writers are
    - removing technical content (how it works)
    - and adding social content (how it is used, who financed it) -
    - to the exclusion of all interesting, useful technical content -

    It suddenly dawned on me that the looting of "our" museum was part of that general trend
    - which has been going on for a generation or two of "Dumbing Down",
    ie removing (in my view) any content that would
    - challenge a third grade student.
    - require more than a seven second attention span.

    Museum keepers have been discussing this since I was a kid -
    - now that museums are rated on head count,
    - rather than presentation or content,
    nobody wants to discourage head count by challenging anyone.

    In "our" case,
    - watching a big white missile go up and down
    - and some radar go round and round
    is regarded as attractive and non-challenging.
    Don't discourage/challenge anyone
    - might give them an (a term from my youth) inferiority complex.

    Maybe we can talk about this ?

    Maybe we are swimming up-stream ??

    -Ed Thelen

    The Saga continues ... - August 9, 2014
    Gordon Lunn
    I talked to some of you last Saturday about this.
    The day before, Friday 8-1, I attended the Archives Open House (invitation from Sarah Koenen-if you're not on her email list let her know) and ran into Susan Haley. She said all my artifacts had been identified, pulled, and packaged. She had to get the paperwork done but I could pick them up sometime next (now this last week) week. She would email me when they were ready.

    Midweek, having received no email, I called her office. Had to leave a voicemail. She returned my call Thursday morning (had to leave me voice mail), saying she had to work on their budget and was out of the office to be with her daughter before she went back to college.

    Long story short, they were not ready for pickup. Friday morning I called her back and asked when I could pick up my artifacts. She said "next week." Having been down that road before, I pushed for and got Wednesday 8-13 at 1100.

    For those of you with artifacts, you need to call or email her if you want to get them back. I would not have gotten this far if I had not gone into their building for the Archives Open House and asked.

    Good luck, Gordon

    Happy ending - I hope - but was this inane exercise the way to do it ??? - Aug 17, 2014
    From: Gordon Lunn < >
    Date: Thu, Aug 14, 2014 6:24 pm

    Ed, the other day you were asking how to get to the Archives...
    [ Click on the map ]

    PS Got my artifacts back!

    From: Greg Brown < >
    Date: Sun, Aug 17, 2014 2:42 pm

    I got my chair cover back from NPS.

    I asked Amanda Williford about scanning the manuals that they have. They said they will take the staples out of the manuals and they will scan them. No outside scanners are allowed, but you can take photos of the manuals. She said to go their website to find out what they have in their collection.

    Then use their reference and item number to request the manual that you want. Open monday 1-4 and thursday 10-1 Bldg 667 Mc Dowell Ave, near Crissy field.

    Greg Brown