austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Some friends will go and some will stay

Sunday started out, really, with regrets. We realized we didn't have anything else on the reunion schedule to go to, and that the best thing to have done, visiting the museum, we'd already done. Didn't know anyone else in town, didn't see anyone that would be. And town would be closed for the Sunday; we missed our chance to wander around shops and see what they were like since they ripped the pedestrian mall out and allowed cars back on the main street. (They had converted the downtown to a pedestrian area after a major gas explosion in 1968. It was still a pedestrian area until a couple years after bunny_hugger graduated.)

And we'd given up something to be there. Conneaut Lake Park's Pumpkinfest was the same weekend, and that would be our last chance to visit the park this year. We hadn't missed a whole reason there since we discovered the strange exotic park. But with our pet rabbit's needs we didn't make more summer trips, and here the last chance was gone. The news from Conneaut Lake Park has been surprisingly good --- they even got their water park open --- but nothing's ever really sure. What if we'd missed our last visit there?

We haven't got any reason as of now to think we have. We'll see come summer.

Since campus didn't seem to have much to do we looked for alternatives. One was the US Route 40 museum barely across the street from the hotel. US 40 is, in that area, the former National Road, the sort of obscurely important thing just right for me. It turned out to be less a museum --- although it had some informational displays --- and more a collection of every pamphlet covering every event in Indiana ever. Which also has its appeals. At our hotel I picked up a flyer for Kings Island amusement park; bunny_hugger noticed later on that it was their flyer for 2009 (or something similarly absurdly old), boasting of a new ride that's already long since lost the attention of the crowd.

There was a letterbox in the vicinity, near an historic home and rose garden and on the edge of a golf course. It'd also had, as I remember, a recent history of people not being able to find the box. Often a warning sign that the box has gotten lost or destroyed. We had no trouble finding it. Maybe we were there when the ground cover was just right.

Also in Richmond and open when everything is closed is the Madonna of the Trail. This is a statue, one of a dozen along the US 40/US 66 routes. They were erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1920s, and are meant to celebrate the pioneer women of the (white) westward movement. Richmond's statue was dedicated in October 1928, and according to the plaques, has been renovated and rededicated at least twice this century. I'm sure they'll get it to stick soon. It's a good-looking statue and the historic connection makes it a natural for a letterbox. There's just not a good spot near it to stash one, not that we noticed.

Also a good potential letterbox site, not one we could visit that day: the offices of Gennett Records, a pioneer in recorded jazz. I tried to buy a CD of their recordings at the US 40 museum/travel center thingy. But their credit card reader was down and I don't think I had the cash in hand to buy something.

We wanted to eat. The diner where everybody used to go when it was late was gone, or so we thought. It turned out to be west of campus, not east. There was a restaurant bunny_hugger's gang used to go to all the time, but it had also closed, though not before setting up a second branch in the next town west. In the spot that had been a restaurant bunny_hugger got taken to once or twice because they needed some restaurant that wasn't in town.

Getting there took us past an incredible-looking, vast candle shop we wouldn't have time to visit. It took us through the Centerville antiques district (it's all antiques district), to Little Sheba's. The location dates back to the 1800s and it looks like your classic ancient-style bar, with stained-glass windows and a barfront that they claim originated with the 1893 World's Fair. We huddled up in a little alcove and bunny_hugger marvelled at how much she remembered from the place's former incarnation. The sandwich she used to always get they still had, and it tasted familiar enough. I found some other, similar vegetarian sandwich and felt satisfied.

We felt like we didn't have anything else to do we'd have time for, except maybe the candle shop, which seemed too far out of the way. So we drove back to Michigan. We stopped at bunny_hugger's parents' house to pick up our pet rabbit. It was somewhat on the way, and it would let us spare him spending another night away from home, and us, that we could help.

Trivia: The word ``magazine'' comes from the Middle French ``magasin'', itself a borrowing from the Arabic ``makhzan'', meaning storehouse. Source: Webster's Dictionary of Word Origins, Editor Frederick C Mish.

Currently Reading: Pohlstars, Frederik Pohl. Reading Pohl you'd think the point of capitalism was petty, sad acts of aimless cruelty directed at an ever-increasing body of poor people. Fortunately we know what the point really is.


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