Driving America and apple pie

I’m not going to lie. The biggest draw for my children when it came to visiting Henry Ford Museum’s new Driving America exhibition was the fact that now they would actually have the opportunity to eat at Lamy’s Diner.

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years they lamented over the fact that you couldn’t actually eat there. I heard many a-sigh over the plastic pie.

“Don’t you wish?” One would say.

“Yes. I wish.”  I would answer.

Well, the wish came true. Lamy’s Diner started serving food not long after the opening of Driving America. Good old-fashioned diner food (a la 1946) is on the menu – things like club and open-faced sandwiches, potato salad, soup, donuts and pie. Real pie.

Lamy's Diner

Clovis Lamy at his favorite spot behind the counter in Lamy’s Diner in 1946.

It’s almost like you can taste the nostalgia.

With that real pie, I recognized something even cooler about the whole Driving America experience: the interactive touch-screens, the movie theater, the comfortable car court, the hands-on elements, and the organization and accessibility of some seriously important artifacts.

Sure, I got that Driving America tells the story about us – the users of the automobile.

But it became so clear to me how the exhibition is so carefully designed for us – the users of the museum.

We want to get close to the artifacts, we want see them, interact with them, to know the stories behind them. We also want to share our own stories. And the folks at The Henry Ford have recognized that on a very profound level. The pie may have gotten the kids there, but it was just a slice of what made them want to stay, explore and ask to visit again.

If you haven’t gone to see Driving America: Go. If you have gone: Go again. And be sure to save room for a piece of pie.

A peek at the Lamy's counter

A peek inside as visitors sit at the counter for a real 1946-diner experience.

Kristine Hass is writer and a long-time member of The Henry Ford. She frequently blogs about her family’s visits to America’s Greatest History Attraction.

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