Hear the Conversation 13:56 min – 19.1 mb mp3
How exactly did John come up with the idea for a Moist Towelette Museum? While working at a planetarium, John would joke that the program was so good, that he needed a moist towelette. “Years later, I was starting to collect the moist towelettes. My original idea was that I wanted to be one of the first people to have a moist towelette collection on the internet, because the internet was pretty new at that time.”
Fast-forward several years, and after fellow planetarium workers donated moist towelettes to John–voila! The creation of the Moist Towelette Museum.
Does French have a favorite, moist towelette in his collection? “It’s hard to say if I have a favorite. They’re all just so unique and interesting. Somewhere I got one called a Radica Wash. That is used to wipe away radioactive contamination. Another unique one is the one from the Russian railways—that’s a pretty old looking one. It has Russian writing on the back.”
According to John, this museum, located on the campus of MSU, has received a good amount of national publicity. “It really does come as a surprise to me, because I never really expected when I was starting this silly little collection, that so many people would be interested in it. One time the Food Network did a story about it.”
John’s daytime gig is as the planetarium production coordinator at the Abrams Planetarium.
“I present shows. So if you’re here to see a planetarium show, there’s a chance that I might be the guy saying, ‘Above us now, we see the sky as it would look over East Lansing.’ I also do the programming for our Digistar—the name and brand of our star projector. I write our sky calendar—and that is a publication that is sent all across the country. We have over 4,000 subscribers to the Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar, and it shows what’s visible in the nighttime sky.”
What does John French love best about MSU? “It’s a great place. It’s hard to say what is the best thing about it. Of course, I’m somewhat biased, and I might think that the planetarium is the best thing at MSU. But there are many great things about our campus here.”
Ehmpressions of MSU is a podcast devoted to all things Michigan State University produced by Kraig Ehm.