Pinball Saturday Night

There’s an antique store in downtown Chillicothe that has a great soda fountain as well as a selection of pinball machines. You can go in for some ice cream and play a cheap game if pinball just like in the good old days.

It was closing time at Chillicothe Antique Emporium yesterday but there was a group of grown men deeply engrossed in their game. It was kind of fun to see adults revisiting their youth and embracing their competitive spirits.

I guess it’s true. You’re never too old to feel young again!

I have mentioned this store here a few tines including this Halloween story with a scary clown and this story that mentions their soda fountain.

Adventure Day Close To Home

Yesterday was epic. I didn’t travel far or do anything expensive. Instead, I spent the day being a tourist in my own backyard in nearby Chillicothe, Ohio.

The truth is, I didn’t actually do anything I had planned. The original plan was to go for a walk, hit a car show and eat Donato’s plant based pizza at the park.

None of this actually happened.

The lovely thing about solo adventures is there’s no one to complain when you go off script. What’s even better is that off script is often where the magic happens.

I started my day at Adena Mansion and Gardens, the historic home of Thomas Worthington. He was Ohio’s sixth governor, a founding father of Ohio who did so many things in his lifetime that he and his home will require their own story this week.

Ten dollars buys you a guided tour of the home, admission to a museum and access to explore the grounds. Here you’ll learn about life in Ohio when the state was young, about the life and career of this important figure in our history, and about others like Tecumseh and Henry Clay who visited here.

After that I hit up downtown Chillicothe which has experienced a rebirth in recent years. There are several nice specialty shops and restaurants here and the business community has done a great job of advocating for themselves. They have made improvements in the historic downtown and worked hard to draw in visitors who have money.

Downtown was busy as there were a couple of events in town and some stores were taking advantage of the extra foot traffic with sales. I don’t enjoy crowds so I didn’t dwell here but having live music was pretty cool

I had lunch at Carl’s Townhouse which is a 1939 era dinner that began life at the New York World’s Fair. A quick grilled cheese and fries were just the ticket to provide sustenance for the rest of my day.

Then it was a stroll down the street to Apollo Records where I chatted with the owner about the Flying Burrito Brothers and an amazing up and coming artist named Charlie Crockett. I found a great vintage Aretha Franklin album and a Roseanne Cash that I didn’t know but literally purchased for the cool cover art.

Then it was up the street to Grandpa Joe’s Candy Store for a cold drink and dessert before heading to Wheatberry Books for a new title and a chat with the clerk. She was excited about the Wendell Berry book I had chosen. Wheatberry is a small independent bookstore but their shelves are lined with all the books I either own or want to own. They even have a robust section for kids. Here’s something I once wrote on Wheatberry.

After that, it was a stroll through Yoctangee Park to see the swans, geese and ducks. I followed the sound of music to the ice cream truck because it was hot and humid and everyone’s a kid when the ice cream truck is nearby!

Afterward, it was a quick browse through Chillicothe Antique Emporium where I located a bargain and chatted with the owner about the old time soda fountain he assembled and added to his store. He collected the various pieces over time and from places as far away as Georgia. It is well done and you can sit for a cold drink, some ice cream or fresh popcorn! Click here for something I once wrote about that place.

Chillicothe has a lot of history and there’s much more than you can accomplish in a day. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is an interesting stop to learn about the mound builders of this region. It has become internationally renowned and we are lucky to have it. In the summer, the outdoor drama Tecumseh tells the story of the Shawnee Chief who promoted intertribal unity to push back against the US Expansion into tribal lands.

Chillicothe has carved out a place for itself for specialty interests. The bookstore and record shop are practically unicorns in this day and age but there are other specialties. There’s an old school bike shop, a music store, a stained glass shop, a dojo and a place that specializes in aromatherapy. Plus antiques, clothing boutiques and a place where you can buy specialty toy soldiers designed for the serious collector. There is literally something for everyone in a tidy space along downtown streets lined with some very cool architecture. There’s even a great bike path and tons more to see and do than you can fit into a day.

Along the way yesterday, I had meaningful conversations with people who I never imagined I needed to meet. My Adena docent was fantastic and I met two retirees on my tour who I could have chatted with for hours. They didn’t bat an eyelash when I struck up a conversation and, as it turns out, they were open to talk about topics that I’ve never quite been comfortable discussing with my own friends.

It was an enriching and rewarding day, not necessarily for what I did so much as who I met along the way. More on that soon. For now, know this: the price of admission will get you into a place. The act of learning comes from talking to people about things that are new to you, talking to people about things that are important to them, talking to people about things that enlighten you.

Always, always, always be open to hearing someone else’s perspective.

Check back this week for stories about yesterday including more on Thomas Worthington and his Adena.

Here’s one more picture from the park.

Isn’t it peaceful?

Happy Halloween

I slammed on my breaks in downtown Chillicothe on Halloween morning last October.

This was outside the Chillicothe Antique Emporium on Main Street. It is possibly the most terrifying thing I’ve seen in broad daylight. It really doesn’t get much scarier than clowns and this one appears to be welcoming guests into a portal to another dimension.

No, I did not go inside.

Here’s one more closer look. You can also see it in person as they’re using it again this fall!

Yikes. Happy Halloween!!

Chillicothe Antique Emporium

Chillicothe antique store 2Chillicothe has a few good places to buy antiques and vintage items. My favorite of these is American Vintage Warehouse on Water Street. I nearly always find a bargain there and often find some incredibly cool things. In fact, my vintage dinette set and mid century hutch came from there for a great price. I’ll tell you about them some other day.

But I’m not going to talk about this store today.  Yeah…. see what I did? You never know what I’m going to do here. 

Instead, I want to talk about a store that has the absolute best atmosphere. Gorgeous front doors and hardwood floors, nice lighting and clean, organized booths are found here. There’s no junk in this store like you find at a lot of antique malls and everything is very clean. The only downside is that the prices are all over the place – something you see in antique malls because each booth is run by someone different. In this case, they have about two dozen vendors and each of them carries quality items but a few of them are a smidge overpriced.

But I forgive them for this because they have something you don’t find in most antique stores. They have a real, working soda fountain that is absolutely fabulous. The counter came from Georgia and is beautiful. They serve all sorts of delicious goodies including floats, sundaes, shakes and banana splits!

Want to go? I don’t blame you. It’s pretty awesome. The last time I shopped there I found nothing I couldn’t live without but the time before I left with a bagful of stuff including a vintage necklace, hat and book all for great prices.

Chillicothe Antique Emporium is located at 59 E. Main Street in Chillicothe. If you’re familiar with downtown, it’s next to Globe Furniture. Don’t miss out on the second floor and basement stuff too.