A funny thing happened one bright hot sunny day this past summer. A man came into the Museum. Now that in itself is not that unusual. People come and go every day. But it was this man’s voice that made him interesting. It was a voice that our Admission’s desk personnel hear many times a day. It was the same voice as Dr. Alderton, the Museum’s animatronic that has worked tirelessly for us for 20 years. Wow! What a surreal moment. The man was Gene Poor. It was his company, LifeFormations, which produced Dr. Alderton 20 years ago. Gene’s voice fit so well with what we originally envisioned for Dr. Alderton, however, Gene was hesitant about not using a voice actor. Thankfully, after a little arm-twisting, Gene loaned his voice to Doc and truly brought him to life.
So back to this past summer…Gene walked in our door. He thought he was coming for a short visit while moving his son and daughter-in-law down to Waco to work at Baylor University. Unknowingly he brought with him a lot of answers to some questions we’ve had for awhile.
Gene was excited to see that Dr. Alderton was still up and running. Since he was one of the first pieces LifeFormations produced, Dr. Alderton is a testament to the quality of their work. In order to keep him that way, Gene offered to do some long-overdue maintenance work on him.
This past October, Doc embarked on his first vacation since coming to work at the Museum. He was packed up in a crate along with his computer and sent to Bowling Green, Ohio where he has been in excellent hands getting a tune-up, new electronic operating system, and even a new suit!
So in the meantime, we’ve had no Doc at the Museum. Visitors were still able to view Dr. Alderton and learn about his invention through a QR code they could scan that linked them to a You Tube video of his chat.
Knowing how hard Dr. Alderton has worked over the past 20 years (with only holidays off), we also gave Doc a digital vacation over the past few months. If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve seen his explorations across the country under the hashtag #DocTravels.
So after 4 months, Dr. Alderton is back with us and already hard at work in the Old Corner Drugstore exhibit. Come by sometime and hear that iconic Dr. Alderton voice now that you know the story behind it.
We do want to thank LifeFormations for their hard work, especially Gene Poor who personally saw Doc through this process. Every so often, everyone, animatronic or otherwise, needs a Lift for Life!