There seems to be a movement afoot throughout America. A manic movement to decorate old brick walls with colorful, artistic, and/or historical murals. Possibly the earliest I noticed were huge murals along Cincinnati’s Central Ave. More recently we have visited the historical flood wall artworks of Portsmouth which have become a major visitor draw. The most common visit I’m aware of is to tour the flood walls and then have supper at the Scioto Ribber.
Wilmington has a growing crop of excellent murals in its business district and several years ago Greenfield’s Community Market adorned its east wall with a trio of mostly historical murals. Not sure it’s a mural but I like what the Zint’s do with the Corner Pharmacy wall. The first murals I recall in Greenfield were those painted by Eddie Tipton back in the 1970s. I remember those being more folk art like and I believe most of have faded into the pages of time.
These days just about everyone has a cell phone and almost everyone who has a cell phone has a smartphone. I don’t know when you purchased your first cell phone but I got mine sometime in the mid to late 1980s and it was a “bag phone.” I don’t recall the brand but I had to drive to Dayton to purchase it and it worked on the Cingular network. I did a lot of weekend traveling back then and thought it would make things safer for me. While I never had to use it to get me out of trouble I did have occasions to call 911 for others.
The battery, antenna, and the phone were stored in a bag and to charge it you plugged it into your car’s cigarette plug. Not very portable but you could throw its strap over your shoulder and you were free…until the battery wore down.
4 BILLION MILES AWAY: NASA’s minivan-sized New Horizons spacecraft just visited the most distant object ever explored, a rocky, 20-mile-long object 4 billion miles from Earth called Ultima Thule. The mission was first conceived 30 years ago.
If you’ve followed the news you are aware that a Boeing 737, operated by a Cuban airline, crashed leaving 111 dead. Not too long after the crash I started to wonder how a Cuban airline acquired an American made passenger plane.
The US has maintained strict embargoes on selling any American products to Cuba since the late 1950s. These embargoes are what accounts for the wild assortment of 1950s era American automobiles seen all over the streets of Havana. The ingenious mechanics of Cuba have kept these classics running despite not being able to import spare parts from America.
If your state is possibly the poorest, least educated, most conservative state in the nation; well, that’s what’s wrong with it. It also doesn’t help if your state’s flag still includes a version of the Confederate flag. Having too many of the people portrayed in the attached video also doesn’t speak well.
I’ve been to Mississippi many times and things are slowly changing. The state and local governments have done some amazing things in creating a blues and music based tourist economy. But despite the steps forward there are too many people who would take it back to the pre civil rights era. Mississippi’s overwhelming support of Donald Trump is a strong statement to this.
Couple of years ago I heard a black Mississippi judge speak of the new Mississippi. The fact that he was black and a judge speaks to things new. Unfortunately there’s too much old in Mississippi.
I’ve been trying to make sense out of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and while none of these mass shootings make sense this one has a special element about it. The law seems to have allowed the shooter to have his gun near by.
With all the regulations regarding air travel that came out of 9/11 I’m shocked that you can travel with any form of firearm in any form of manner. Remember when you couldn’t even board a plane with a toenail clipper in your pants pocket?
As I understand it, the law permits one to travel with a firearm if you lock it and the ammo in a solid case and store that inside your checked luggage. You can’t carry it on to the plane with you and store it overhead, it must be secured in the cargo belly of the plane.
Eddie Montgomery is always asking me whatever became of the stories I put together about Greenfield’s hot rod history? The answer is, they still exists but they’re just harder to find.
Digging around in various former websites I finally came across the link to the collection. Some of these I wrote but the majority were submitted by other locals with an interest in street rods and cars in general.
I don’t know how much is still valid but if you got any age on you you’ll probably get a memory scratched with these stories and photos.
Just returned from a short fishing trip to Pensacola, FL and several times I thought about what my father would say if he were here today and exposed to the travel technology that exist.
I suppose the majority of smartphones are GPS ready and can make use of Google Maps. I began the trip by telling my phone to navigate to Pensacola Beach and within seconds it told me to take a right turn at the top of my driveway. Every turn thereafter was given me in advance along with the mile remaining and the estimated arrival time for my destination.
Someplace below Nashville I needed gas so I started an app called GasBuddy and it revealed where gasoline was the cheapest and provided a map. Next was time to find a good motel price so I activated the Travel Coupon app and it told me there an a reasonably priced motel at exit 46.
Back in the 1960s me and some guys I worked with took a hunting/camping trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Fresno, CA.
We spent Friday and Saturday nights in a very primitive campground at about 6,000 feet. On the first night we built a nice fire and sat around until pretty late drinking beer and telling lies. None of us had a tent so we slept out in the open with nothing but sleeping bags.
I don’t know how old you have to be to have memories of Howard Johnson restaurants but I certainly qualify. Not sure when I first ate in a HoJo’s but it was probably along the Pennsylvania Turn-Pike during the early 1960s. Howard had the franchise for all the food and fuel services along the pike.
They always had a bright orange roof and were famous for their 28 flavors of ice cream. Mel Brooks based a Blazing Saddles joke on the town of Rock Ridge being occupied by lots of Johnsons, one of which was Howard and his restaurant advertised 1 flavor.
At one time there were 800 HoJos in America and this morning I read that today there’s only two and one of those is about to close its doors. It’s in Bangor, ME and one of the waitresses has been there for fifty-years. It’s the only job she ever had.
The last remaining Howard Johnson’s restaurant will be in Lake George, NY and the owners have no plans to close. They say they’re doing fine and have plans to remodel in the near future.
Oh, the last HoJo I ate in was on the north side of Knoxville, TN in 1978. Janet and I stopped there for a dish of ice cream on our way back from North Carolina. It was across the street from a Cracker Barrel. We walked over and checked out the store and Janet picked up a menu. That evening I had my first ever bowl of CB’s ham ‘n pintos in Corbin, KY. That’s a story for another time.
We celebrated our thirty-seventh anniversary back in July but weren’t able to do anything special. Then our daughter called with news about a rock ‘n roll show in Dayton featuring Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and Fabian. I asked Janet if she was interested and she was. So, I got decent tickets, made a motel reservation and on the 6th of August we headed north.
The concert was held at the Rose Music Center in Hubert Heights and it is a fantastic venue. It seats about 4200 people, all under a roof, plenty of parking, easy access, good amenities, etc. The only negative was sitting on the east side of the venue. This event began at 7 pm and half way through the setting sun dropped below the
While cruises can be an economic form of vacationing the cost of alcoholic beverages are marked up to the max. If you’re a drinker the pressure is on to smuggle some hooch aboard. Most cruise lines permit each passenger to bring aboard a single bottle of wine and whatever soft drinks they can carry. Beer and hard liquor is banned, however.
We took a cruise in 2014 and I sneaked some Scotch on board by transferring it to a couple of 20 oz brown plastic root beer bottles buried in my checked luggage. Worked with no problem and I was able to enjoy my daily Scotch on the rocks with no problem and minimum expense.
On our most recent cruise I did the same thing but didn’t check any luggage. Instead we carried everything on the ship. When they x-rayed my suitcase, however, they saw the outline of two pop bottles and asked me to open the bag. They reached for one of the bottles and tested if the seal had been broken, it had been of course. I was then informed that plastic bottles were no longer
A friend of mine, Stacey Austin, shared a video of street entertainers (buskers) with me and it reminded me of our recent visit to New Orleans. NOLA is a hot bed of buskers (and street people) and during the high season one might be found around any corner of the French Market.
Some people just see these people as being on the take or trying to scam the crowd. To me, they’re working people whose job is to further enrich our lives wherever we find them.
Buskers work solely for tips and I have a general rule that I always tip. Whenever I go to places like NYC or NOLA I make sure I have some coins and a pocket full of dollar bills. How much I tip depends on how entertained I am.
During this month’s visit to NOLA here’s where our money went. The street mimes who do little more than hold a pose generally don’t get top dollar. The kids tap dancing or beating out a rhythm on a plastic bucket got some change, unless they were really good and had their heart in it. Then they got paper money. There was a group of five young men who did a fantastic demonstration of break dancing and attracted a very large crowd. I don’t know how much they earned in an evening but they didn’t just have one bucket, they had four and the crowd didn’t hold back in sharing some of their vacation dollars. Musicians hold top spot on my earning list. If you’re singing a song or playing an instrument you’re assured of a tip. On this visit we sat inside the Cafe du Monde, sipping café au lait, eating beignets, and listening to a sax player doing jazzy renditions of Christmas music. We all tossed something into the bucket.
Now that you know what I do like here’s what I don’t. I don’t like those who are expecting a donation while doing nothing to earn it. Places like NOLA and the French Quarter are havens for those on the make. Street hustlers and beggars are common at traffic
I read a post by a former student this afternoon about a young 8th grade student coming to her door and trying to sell her candy for a class field trip to the nation’s capital. She didn’t buy any candy but made a cash donation instead. The story ended with her saying she had chaperoned one of those trips and how meaningful it was, “Many of those kids had never been out of Highland County.”
While I’ve never been part of taking an entire class on a long-distance field trip I have worked with smaller groups. Back in the 1970s my friend Norman Gingerich and I took a group of six junior high kids to Washington DC for a couple of days and then to Monticello in Virginia. It was a great trip and created life-time memories for both students and adults. It was the longest trip any of them had ever taken, the first time they had been away from their families, and by far the biggest city they’d ever seen.
On another occasion I took five junior high special education kids to Cincinnati for a Reds game. When the game ended I decided it would be neat to drive across the Brent Spence Bridge and take the river route down to the I-275 bridge. For a couple kids this was both their first visit to Kentucky and their first time out of Ohio. This diversion was totally spontaneous and a treat for everyone but one student. Since it wasn’t mentioned on the information sheet I’d sent to the parents the kid became overly nervous because he was leaving Ohio without his mom knowing. As we crossed the Ohio River he vocally announced that he knew his mother was going to kill him when she found out she’d gone to Kentucky without her permission.
Looking back I suppose I did push the liability issue a bit but back then few of us ever worried about such things. Like so many times in teaching you just don’t want to pass up a “teachable moment.” I’m not sure that’s possible in today’s “teach to the test” environment. All I can say is, that’s too bad. Those students who took those trips with Norm and I still mention them when we meet. They may not remember anything else from our classes, but they remember driving under that “Welcome to Kentucky” sign.
Hard to believe but it’s been ten years since America witnessed one of the nation’s greatest natural disasters. At least it began as a natural disaster but unfortunately it quickly became a man-made fiasco.
I’m a big fan of New Orleans, having been there on many occasions. The first visit was somewhat an accident. We took a trip to the Mississippi coast and decided to visit the Cajun country in rural Louisiana. Driving along the coastal road we suddenly found ourselves on Rampart Street with the French Quarter in full view. I had just read a story about NOLA being the nation’s murder capital and had meant to avoid it during our trip. Nevertheless, here we were so we decided to park the van and check it out a little. We ended up getting a hotel on Rue Bienville in the heart of the Quarter. We only spent the night but had a great time and left with a new perspective.