On Monday I was invited on a tour of the 8th Wonder of the World:" Maryland's official Beatles Museum. It is in my friends house, and though I had popped into the shrine in 8th or 9th grade, it was infinitely better to experience a guided tour as an adult.
The museum boasts Beatle bobble heads, lunch boxes, rare albums, countless books, photographs and other crazy memorabilia and artifacts. Frank (the curator/ my friend's dad) even held a birthday gala for himself in the same room Lennon stayed in whilst he played Baltimore in the early 60's.
Beyond the awesome and bizarre stuff in there, it was really cool to see someone's lifetime passion so tangible. I mean, I guess he likes his kids and all and has put some time into them, but walking into that room is like stepping back in time. Everything is chronologically arranged and well-preserved, and whether you don't know much about the Beatles but dig them (like me) or your iTunes is riddled with 14 versions of "Sargent Peppers'" (like my date for the evening) you can appreciate the effort put into the space. You also learn a LOT about the band that you never knew you never knew, such as John Lennon's middle name, which happens to be Winston.
Here's the 02/09/09 Tour Group posing in the shrine: