Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Visit to Northeast Ohio

All things considered it was a pretty amazing weekend, not perfect, but still pretty darn good.
Friday we stopped in Dennison to visit the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, which we had first heard about from mom and dad something like 15+ years ago. [I may or may not have a photo of them there; will have to check my archives]. Had lunch, then toured the museum. As sometimes  happens, Andrew and I get separated, then I find out I missed a whole huge chunk of the museum because I was at the gift shop or elsewhere. When we did meet up I had to quickly run through a whole row of cars that make up the bulk of the museum. It would have been nice to have done it at a more leisurely pace, but at least I got to see most everything (but had to skim and/or skip a lot of the reading of plaques, etc.).

I wish I had had more time to spend on this exhibit:
Our Feature Exhibit Car is currently home to the “Imagining a Better World: The Artwork of Nelly Toll” exhibition. This exhibit explores nearly 60 watercolor paintings and the life of the young girl who created them. Nelly Toll was a child living in Poland when forced into hiding from the Nazis in World War II. Her paintings catalog her hope for a better tomorrow.
“Imagining a Better World: The Artwork of Nelly Toll” will be open to the public starting March 1st, 2016 and will close on February 28th, 2017. This is the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum’s first exhibit exploring both artwork and the Holocaust. It is being generously borrowed from the Massillon Museum located in Massillon, Ohio.

All in all a pretty good museum and definitely worth the stop. The short movie you watch before touring the museum could have been edited to be a bit more succinct. I felt like I wasted more time watching the film when I could have been touring the exhibits.

After leaving Dennison we traveled north to Dover, home of the Auman Museum of Radio & Television. http://www.aumantvmuseum.com/

I had phoned Mr. Auman earlier in the day (the museum is open by appt. only) and he was already at the museum having finished up what he was doing a bit early. We were lucky he was patient and willing to wait for us after running at least a half hour late. I originally told him it might be 2 or 3pm by the time we arrived at his museum, but it ended up being closer to 3:30 (pm), give or take. Since Dover is north of Dennison, I figured it made more sense to visit there last, but Andrew said we'd still be passing by Dover on the way to Dennison, so in hindsight we probably should have done things in the reverse order, geography be damned!

Anyway, after we arrived Andrew dropped me off so he could go find on street parking around the corner, so I sat in the waiting room and had a chat with Mr. Auman. I told him I first read about his museum from Roadsideamerica.com, http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/16606, a newsletter I subscribe to.

Once Andrew arrived, Mr. Auman drew back the curtains and turned back the clock before the digital revolution. I don't know what I was expecting, but the first words out of my mouth were, "WOW! wow!" Dozens upon dozens of TVs, radios, and other related pop culture treasures lined the walls in what's probably a couple thousand square feet. I've been to other radio and TV museums, but I still hadn't seen most of the models he had in his collection. These were works of art, as well as fully functioning pieces of technology. In order to preserve the sets and keep the electricity bill down, he usually only fires up a few at a time, during which you can watch snippets of the programs that would have aired while that model was in its heyday. I remember seeing a little bit of "The Life of Riley" on one set.

Besides just the TVs and radios, the museum can boast having the original turntable used by Cleveland disc jockey, Alan Freed, who is famous for first coining the term, "Rock 'n Roll." Apparently the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame was more interested in acquiring Elvis memorabilia rather than having this, so it was free for the taking, as were many of Auman's other acquisitions (incl. several cans of classic films on nitrate which now belong to the Library of Congress).

Auman could probably write a book as there's a story behind every piece. Like the old expression, "If only the walls could talk..."

You could probably spend a week in there and still not see every item in his collection. I can't recommend his museum highly enough. Definitely the best $5 I ever spent.

After arriving at mom and dad's and stepping out of the car, we heard a strange humming sound. I immediately knew what it was having read about this on a blog - it was the sound of Brood V Periodical Cicadas. Once you know what you're looking for, you start to see them everywhere, as well as a few corpses and more than a few shells. In fact mom even bagged one to take down to Columbus to show the grandkids (since we don't seem to have that variety down here) later.

The next morning we drove to the Holden Arboretum where the hum is especially audible, though it doesn't permeate all of Lake County. I imagine it has a lot to do with the amount and type of trees you have in your neighborhood. Also, I'm sure they're more prevalent in the rural areas rather than in the cities.

Last fall the Arboretum invested in a new canopy structure which includes a tower in one corner that overlooks the top of the forest, and which you can see all the way across to Lake Erie (on a clear day, so we lucked out). Mom wasn't sure about climbing all the way to the top, but found the design made it less intimidating since there's only perhaps 10 steps at a time before you reach a landing where you can rest. It's only as you near the top that you climb a set of spiral metal stairs. I thought it was nice that they had a couple sets of binoculars you could borrow to have a look into the distance. Unfortunately there's not a lot to see, but I bet the view is nice in the autumn when the leaves turn color.

From there we drove on to downtown Willoughby which was setting up for their annual Classic Car Cruise-In scheduled to take place at 4pm. Hence, we were lucky to find on street parking since most spaces were reserved for the antiques. We had sandwiches at an independently owned deli. Mom mentioned something about it being like Subway 'where you can tell them how you want your sandwich made.' The employee was like, "We don't use the S-word here!" (LOL!)

Across the street is Eastside Relics which I think is the antiques store we browsed in for awhile. Dad quite likes the motorcycle constructed out of an old rototiller. I first noticed the unusual seat, but wouldn't have guessed it had parts from a rototiller. Mom was right that there's definitely something for everyone there, as there certainly was an interesting cross section of collectables. It didn't take me long to find several items I was interested in, but then ended up changing my mind and just bought a couple other things - a small bakelite/plastic camera, the Ansco Panda, which is the cousin of the Brownie, and an old Viewmaster Projector. I need to find a bulb to fit it (dad suggested trying whatever I have lying around before shelling out for a more expensive bulb), as well as some Viewmaster reels. It's a beautiful piece of art deco craftsmanship, so I couldn't resist.

After resting at home for a little while, we headed to Laurentia Winery, http://www.laurentiawinery.com/ (which was part of Andrew's birthday present) for a sampling and splitting of a bottle of wine. I love the design and layout of the winery and could see easily whiling away an afternoon on the patio or an evening in front of the fire. I sampled the Gew├╝rztraminer while mom and dad tried the Riesling, and Andrew the Chardonnay before we all settled on the Pinot Grigio. Honestly, I wasn't really won over by any of the wines much preferring some of the ones we had last autumn when we visited three different wineries in a day. However, the food looked and smelled good, so I could have quite happily had some pizza and wine.

We headed to Geneva-on-the-Lake for dinner. Dad had his heart set on eating at the Sandy Chanty Seafood Restaurant (apparently one of his favorite places to visit in his younger years).http://www.sandychanty.com/ The owner told us service would be slow, and that there was a large party due to arrive in an hour. That didn't deter dad who was quite happy to wait (though the rest of us were in favor of going elsewhere for a slightly faster meal). Mom was right that it wasn't much before 8pm by the time we finally left. Hence, the weekly craft show held by the old amusement park was just cleaning up by the time we arrived. We were, however, still in time to buy a couple pieces of jewelry from one of the vendors, and as luck would have it, everything was 50% off, so I got a nice necklace for around $4. You only find those kind of prices at thrift stores and garage sales down in Columbus, so I like the cheaper economy when we come up north.

Mom wanted to show us another new winery on the lake where you're practically on the beach while you enjoy your food and wine. It's called The Lakehouse Inn: Bed & Breakfast, Winery, Restaurant, Day Spa. We looked at a menu, but dad didn't want to stay, and Andrew was feeling poorly suffering from allergies, so we women were overruled and walked back to the car.

It was while driving back that we saw the sunset from the car. Mom decided to pull over at the Geneva Inn so we could catch the last couple minutes of sunset while trespassing on the property of the new vacation cabins. I was glad to at least catch the tail end, but still brooding the rest of the evening having to miss most of a beautiful sunset because the guys didn't want to stay. We stopped for ice cream on the way back. Even though I was still a bit mad, I couldn't resist a cone, so I got a triple swirl cone, which I ate under protest.

Sunday we went to church where I got to see Father Vallee, whom I haven't seen for about eighteen years since the time my friend went to church with us while she awaited news of the disappearance of her step brother. Mom and dad told me Father Vallee had had a stroke some years ago and they hadn't seen him very often either. I, along with lots of other people, whispered during communion, "Nice to see you again father." I told Father Vallee I hadn't seen him since I got married almost eighteen years ago. He said, "Do your best to stay married." I told him I would.

We met Jim and Gwen at Stocker's for brunch, which is somewhere I haven't been for years, but it's long overdue. I had the s'mores pancakes, which were chocolate chip pancakes with the largest marshmallow I've ever seen set alight on top of the stack. Though it was a bit messy, I certainly enjoyed eating it with the pancakes, and managed to finish my two rather large hotcakes. Mom told me I should have ordered only one, but I knew I could probably finish two, and I think that's how they were made so you had chocolate melting between layers. 

Following that, it was a brief afternoon of cornhole, left, right & center, and '31,' all of which I lost at (though I didn't play cornhole). I think Andrew won all three, though maybe not cornhole, but he did make several hole-in-ones, so he can certainly hold his own.

Then it was back on the road for the long drive back down to Columbus.

Of course we watched some of the Cavs game before going to bed. Much thanks to the network for airing it early enough that we east coast viewers didn't have to stay up too late. It seemed the rest of the family all had the same thought we did, which was to just flip to the game during commercials and perhaps catch the end, since that's when it gets really exciting. I'm really glad Andrew and I did that so we could witness history being made when the Cavs made their last basket, held off the Warriors, and the clock finally ran out. I cried happy tears and hugged and kissed Andrew. "I guess they finally broke the curse," Andrew said. I nodded happily and asked him if I could buy a souvenir t-shirt." "Sure," he said. Then we went to bed.

I couldn't have asked for a better end to a wonderful weekend. Have a great week everyone!
P.S. Sorry for the lack of photos in this week's post, but I am a bit short on time lately, so check back on flickr where (at some point) the photos to accompany this should be posted.

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