1950’s: Building the American Dream

If you’re interested in knowing more about the 1950s in America, you’ll find a decent overview at Ohio History Connect, the Ohio historical society. It’s called “1950s: Building the American Dream.”

The exhibit covers a number of topics ranging from music and popular baby names to polio and McCarthyism,

The Crosley station wagon we looked at earlier this week is part of this installation. There’s also an Airstream camper pulled by a 1957 Chevy Bellaire.

The highlight though is a Lustron home that is staged to represent a nuclear family’s home in central Ohio in the fifties.

Lustron was one of the first prefab homes in the country and manufactured in central Ohio. The company was short lived but some of these homes can still be found around the country.

Visitors are encouraged to take a hands-on approach in this space. You’re invited to look through the closets, open the kitchen cabinets or sit down and watch Ozzie and Harriet on the television in the living room.

They have a number of interesting things here but this was hands down my favorite feature of this museum.

It is a popular destination for school groups. I felt rather smug, getting there early and exiting just after the first class of kids spilled out everywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing the fifties exhibit, don’t drag your feet. It closes at the end of 2020. Learn more here. They also have an exhibit about sports history that I didn’t go near as well as a lot about Ohio’s native peoples and something to represent each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Imperfectly Perfect

glass press

This is the kind of thing that would have once left me frustrated beyond words. The building pictured above features fantastic art against nice brick that begs to be photographed.

But look at it. There is no good angle to shoot from because of a ridiculous amount of utility lines coming and going from every direction and at every height.

There are fewer to be seen from the other side but it’s still enough to be distracting.

This once would have made me nuts. I used to strive for clean pictures, free of people, cars and distractions at all costs.

But I’ve reached a mental place where it has suddenly become important to me that pictures not be perfect and instead record the real scene. Documentary photography is more my thing these days even though most of those pictures don’t make the cut here.

My favorite historical pictures aren’t the ones that only show the building. Instead, the ones that give clues are the best. Street signs, power lines, cars, and people all help to root a picture in an era or even a year. I study the names of businesses in old photos like I’m going to go shop there in a bit. Utilitarian pieces like traffic lights and electric lines can help with dating and I’m fascinated by how people used to dress.

What’s the point of a perfect picture of a lovely church if you don’t know where it’s located or when the photo was made?

Not to mention, there are times and places where you literally can’t capture an image without people walking through the frame or cars parked out front. Sometimes it’s better to bend into the problem and appreciate it for what it’s worth rather than fuss because the problem exists.

That’s not to say that I like having all these lines in the picture but I have come to accept that all things cannot be perfect and that sometimes imperfections lend something useful like character or context.

Musings On A Dreary Day

It’s bleak and muddy here in southern Ohio and the barren landscape has left me feeling somewhat uninspired.

The last couple of months have been void of adventure and filled with a lot of work and much quiet time at home.

Part of me wants to head out on adventure and part wants to stay inside till things green up and look less depressing.

This is a season in my life – it happens the same time every year and will be over soon. While I have enjoyed the solace of home – reading, playing music, and relaxing – I hope to soon snap out of this annual funk so I can hit the trail and find some fun to tell you about!

Denny’s Diner

If you’re ever passing by Zanesville, Ohio on I-70, stop by the Denny’s Diner. It’s a silver sided diner with classic diner decor and a standard Denny’s menu.

Isn’t the view nice?

Where Does Your Road Lead?

Where will the road take you today? Mine won’t be taking me down a country lane but it should be a good day anyway.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Presidents Day!

Mt rushmore presidents

Mt. Rushmore was one of many stops on my western adventure last year. The site was under construction so we couldn’t get very close but it was still something fun to see. If you’re interested in learning more, click here to read the story. The Rapid City, South Dakota area has a lot to offer and a nice little regional airport if you wish to fly in. Check it out if you get a chance!

 

Devil’s Tower, Black and White, and Stall Tactics

Weeding phone pictures is a task that I am unapologetically bad at until warnings start popping up about full storage.

I don’t carry a camera most days and instead rely on my iPhone for walking around pictures. That means there are fun pictures of cool things collected here. There are also funny memes, images of recipes and pictures of things to remember. Products in the store and their barcodes save time later but they also accumulate until cleaning house is forced.

At this moment, photo weeding is supposed to be a priority. Instead I’m reliving adventures and converting some western vacation pictures from last summer to black and white.

Who needs productivity when you can have art?

Here’s a scene from Lusk, Wyoming. Classic and western, right?

And this is Devil’s Tower.

It’s sacred ground and it is monolithic. To call it impressive would be an understatement.

Here’s the view from the trail.

It was here that I saw my first Prairie Dogs and, I know how ridiculous this sounds, but that was a trip highlight. Cute little guys, those prairie dogs, but they’re prone to carrying disease so don’t try to pet them!

So that’s enough stalling. Time to resume photo weeding and back up. Tell me I’m not the only person who postpones organizing phone pictures until it’s an absolute requirement!