Yesterday was an adventure day! It was almost like old times, leaving early for a hike at a local state park before setting out on a drive. The journey was the destination and it didn’t disappoint. On this warm and blue sky day you wouldn’t know that much of our country is on fire both physically and metaphorically or that a pandemic continues to move through our communities.
I have several pictures and a few stories to tell from the journey. Look for those in the future.
Here’s one more to brighten your day. This is the tiny town of Shawnee, Ohio.
I plan to spend today catching up on chores and will do some things that are good for my health. I hope you enjoy yours too.
My pal Tiffany saw the blog post and told me about a place with a connection to that picture. It’s called Toland- Herzig Famous Endings Museum. The Dover, Ohio museum is owned by a local funeral home and is dedicated to memorabilia from famous dead people – sometimes from their funerals. From Don Knotts to Princess Diana and Abraham Lincoln to Mickey Mantle, they have artifacts and autographs to represent all sorts of people.
My friend tells me they even have the accordion in that picture!
How cool is that? So now, I clearly have to go.
That part of Ohio is Amish Country and there’s a lot to see and do. I already have a short list of attractions in mind and am hoping this summer will take me there for a few days.
I’ve been on a sort of quest for the last couple of years to find and informally document small town America. It’s fun to listen to the breakfast conversations of strangers and to chat with the shop owner who knows the story behind the painting you’re buying.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the people I’ve met and places I’ve been and wonder how they are and how badly they’ve been impacted by the pandemic.
Many of the people I interact with on the road are diner waitresses and small business owners. They’re not wealthy in the first place and their businesses are dependent on tourists.
Unemployment is slow. Stimulus checks only go so far. I hope they’re ok and look forward to getting back out there on the road to meet more folks and leave a little money behind.
The picture above is from downtown Mansfield, Ohio. The diner is a local greasy spoon where the waitress automatically poured a drink for the elderly woman at the table next to mine. It’s nothing fancy but the service was good and the prices fair. I hope that elderly lady is ok too.
Across the street there’s a gorgeous carousel where kids of all ages can take a ride for just a buck. My own mother took her first carousel ride there last fall at the age of 67.
Across town is the Ohio State Reformatory, an old prison that caters to tourists who flock to where they filmed the movie Shawshank Redemption.
Small town America is filled with places and people just like those in Mansfield. All those jobs depend on visitors who can’t come right now. Lots of people like me are dying to get back out there for tours and rides and fun. Let’s hope they’re able to survive and open up again as soon as it’s safe.
I’ve been allowing my mind to wander toward all the places I might physically wander this year.
I’m supposed to fly to Denver to see a friend and then road trip home this summer. The likelihood of that happening seems less and less with each passing day.
Another friend and I were talking about road tripping to DC this year.
Even if states don’t have in place quarantine measures for interstate travel, I question the safety of commercial flying. Not to mention, will the museums and things I want to see be open?
As a thinker and a planner, it is hard for me to have so many questions that are unanswerable today. Flying by the seat of my pants isn’t my way but that’s where we are right now.
If that big trip doesn’t happen, I’m thinking about some fun things to do around Ohio and neighboring states. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get to see my friend out west this summer but there will be other trips.