Life’s road takes me past this house relatively often. There used to be a barn but it has been mostly torn down. The house will probably be gone soon too.

There’s something sad about a sight like this but there’s often beauty in the sad and abandoned. It’s an old house that likely saw generations of babies born and old folks die. If walls could talk this house would have volumes to say about the people it has sheltered and the state of a world that allows old homes to become relics of another age.

Cars whizz by on this busy state highway and no one even notices that it still stands there, a little proud as life goes on.

Enslen’s Super Market

Any time life takes me to Washington Courthouse, Ohio I sneak into downtown for a peak at this old advertising piece. It faces an alley across the street from the county courthouse and promotes Enslen’s Super Market.

It’s just one of my many fun quirks. At least that’s what I say about my compulsively revisiting some of the same spots over and again.

This last trip through in mid May found me there on a Saturday morning when the sky was striking and the light was nice. While a shadow falls over part of the wall, I sort of like the way the shadow and light play against the colors.

It tends to look a little different every time I drive by and I’m always interested in how something like brick and paint can take on new character with changes in the weather.

Is there a place you revisit time and again?


The man who created the Marmaduke comic strip is from the same area of New York as Lucile Ball.

He isn’t celebrated on the same level as that famous redhead but there’s a really nice exhibit about him at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown and a statue outside the city.

His name is Brad Anderson. A World War II Navy veteran, Anderson spent years drawing dog characters for magazine cartoons before hitting on Marmaduke.

Anderson drew Marmaduke from 1954 until his death in 2015 at the age of 91. That enormous, messy but endearing Great Dane was an important member of the fictional Winslow family.

I think many people find Marmaduke relatable as so many who own pets treat them like family. We accept their quirks, demands and troublemaking as part of the package along with the cuddles and all their charms.

Anderson’s art studio was recreated at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown as part of an exhibit the celebrates comics and animation. Donated items include his drawing board and lots of other materials. The clutter and personal items make it seem like he just got up to refill his coffee and never returned.

The statue is located in the nearby town of Portland and shows a life size Anderson with his famous dog. The statue is surrounded by a sponsored brick path with personalized sentiments.

Many are in memory of dogs and people. Some commemorate families or local businesses. My favorite was this one. It is in memory of the purchaser’s late husband and says “Let’s see what Marm’s up to today.”

If you’re in the area for Lake Erie activities, to visit this lighthouse or to do the Lucytown tour (which I highly recommend), getting to the statue is a nice little drive through wine country and takes you past Ella the Elephant!

Because I Like It

Here’s a picture from the Ernie Kovacs exhibit at the National Comedy Museum in Jamestown, New York.

This week has been ridiculously busy and not especially enjoyable so I have no long winded story to share today.

I’m sharing this picture because I just like it. Sometimes that’s all that matters.

Happy Sunday. Don’t worry about making the day perfect. Just enjoy it.

Twisted Angel

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This hunk of metal is part of the ruins at Ariel Foundation Park which uses metal girders recovered from a former glass plant on this site to create art. Those girders were recovered one other time – from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

They’re all different. I think this one looks like an angel.

Most people would probably just walk past this twisted hunk of metal without a second thought but I was fascinated with the shape and patina of it.

As you wander through this world, remember this:

You see what you seek. If you’re looking for a white car, you will only see white cars. If you’re looking for the bad, that’s what you’ll find.

If you’re looking for beauty, even a hundred and thirty year old steel girder against a blue sky will become a spectacular piece of abstract art. It may be the most beautiful thing you see that day.

Never stop looking for the good, friends. Even on the bad days. Your life will be better for it.

Chance Encounter With Barry Gunderson

A recent trip to the Mount Vernon area led me to go looking for some old train paraphernalia in Gambier. As I turned into the park where the trains were located, I noticed a large sculpture at the side of the road.

It was so striking that I made a mental note to pull over on the way out.

I will be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know what it was or what it meant but I found it striking and wanted to know more. So I pulled over on the way out and went bounding up to the sculpture just as a man stepped into view.

He had a hoe and wore a straw hat to protect against the sun. He smiled and waved and asked “what do you think?”

I called it extraordinary and he beamed.

“I’m so glad you used that word. Extraordinary. I’m not just the gardener, I’m the artist,” he said.

And thus began a long chat with artist Barry Gunderson.

The piece is called “Understorms.”

It’s painted aluminum to represent clouds, rain and butterflies. It was commissioned for the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus thanks to the State of Ohio, Percent For Art Program. It remained there from 1992-2008 when it was removed from that site and relocated to its current location.

Gunderson lives there in Gambier and has taught sculpture at Kenyon College since 1974. It was dumb luck or good fortune perhaps that he was there doing some work that day. He takes care of the weeding and the upkeep around his sculpture. It’s clear he takes great pride in his work and meeting him was a highlight of my day.

It reminded me of something I have been missing this last year. Some of the best travel memories I have are of interactions like this one. I didn’t have an appointment, I just had a chance encounter that was enriching and fascinating.

This is one of the reasons we adventure!

If you’re in the Gambier area, be sure to swing by 302 Duff Street and see this unusual piece of art!! While you’re there, go see the train caboose and locomotive too!