Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finally a story from Texas. The stranger in our hotel room

Hey Gang,
Instead of writing a play by play of the Texas trip I think I will just pick random people and events as they come to me. Today I will start with the stranger we had stay in our motel room.

The Dark Stranger
Even though I was running extremely low on sleep, my habits of going to bed late kept me wide awake. While Jimmy snored and Walt unwound watching TV I went for a long walk. I was on a quest to find a late night milk shake or float that I failed to find earlier. We stayed at the Super 8 which is on the edge of town, one of the last structures before leaving Somerville. The whole main street of this mini city is about 2 1/2 miles long, maybe. I just about walked the whole strip. My first stop was Mama’s Kitchen.
I entered and asked if they had floats. The waitress said no. I said well do you have Sprite? Yes. Do you have ice cream? Yes. Do you think you can add a couple of lumps of ice cream to my Sprite? She replied sit down I will take care of you. A few minutes later she comes back to tell me they were out of ice cream. Either they were or my recipe was a bit hard to follow. So off I went to continue my search.
I walked to a convenience store on the opposite end of town, about the only thing left open. I spied the soda fountain and said to myself if I can't find a float I will build my own. So I grabbed the 32 ouncer and walked around looking for a small container of ice cream. I found an ice cream cup and asked how much. The clerk said they are on sale 2 for a dollar. Bought both and plopped them in my Sprite with the help of the worker who lent me scissors to pry the ice cream out of the cup. He said OH I see what you are doing. What a deal, a float for a $1.99.
The temp had cooled down to 88, just an occasional car passing by, no sounds except crickets - a dog barking, very peaceful, I was enjoying life.
I got to the corner of 8th and Rt 36 where the Somerville Museum is located. It was here the dark stranger crossed my path. Actually, it pounced out of the shrubs and immediately attached itself to my leg. I was startled and almost dropped my float. It was a black cat! I stepped back not knowing if the thing was rabid. It wouldn't leave me alone so I scooped out a little ice cream. The cat starting eating and I took off. I got about 15 feet when it caught up with me. It was doing a figure 8 around my legs making sure I didn't get away.
Again I dropped some ice cream. And again the cat stopped to lick it up only to hurry and catch up with me. HMMMM! I tried having a talk with it, OK listen you need to go. It didn't work. Then I started feeling sorry, the poor critter was so skinny. So then I said alright I have a pork chop back at the motel follow me and it did.
We got to the motel and came up with a game plan, through the back door but we still have to sort of sneak past the front desk as we were staying on the first floor.
It was just like in the movies. I opened the door, OK ready lets go. We ran through the hall, at the entrance for the front desk I waved hold it, I went through first, the lady looked at me but never looked down as the cat passed. I fumbled with the card to open the door. Nervously I got it open, shooed the cat in, shut the door. Brilliant, it worked. Now how to explain this to Walt.....

So what did Walt say? Nothing other than OH a cat! I grabbed my leftovers I was saving and sat down to feed our guest. It kept pulling the pork chop out of my hand as I was breaking it up into smaller pieces. The poor little thing was starved. It wasn't that old of a cat, maybe under a year old. It jumped from bed to bed and made itself at home, very well mannered. How sad someone abandoned it.
In the morning the rest of the pork chop bone was gnawed to nothing, didn't know cats chew on bones, didn't know they knew how to get into styrofoam containers either. And the good news was no poop was found so we were safe.
When Jimmy woke he sat straight up and said there's a cat!! Walt was teasing him and said what cat? Right there! Walt asked me do you see a cat I don't.
We didn't know what to do with it so I told Jimmy hurry and let it out the back door before the cleaning lady gets here. If the cat is still there when we leave I will take it.
Fortunately we parked next to a couple who was just leaving the motel. They were adjusting the boat they were towing. The cat jumped in the boat and was rolling around playing. Walt went up to the couple and explained it was a stray and said if you want it take it. The cat wasn't there when we left so I assume the couple took it. I was almost hoping it was.
Another stranger came and went and another lasting memory. Oh well thats life on the road

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pemberville Free Fair

Hey Gang,
Just got back from the Pemberville Free Fair. There was a lot to do around town but I wanted something a little more relaxing and laid back because I still have a bit of jet lag from last weekends trip to Texas. OK I can't lie, that plus the fact that is was free did help sway me into going.
Pemberville is a small town. It has one gas station, a short main street, a couple of churches, and neatly maintained older houses. It is about 100 miles from Cleveland but after the 1,400 mile odyssey to Texas this was like a short stroll in the park. I read about this fair in an Ohio festivals brochure. The 64 year old fair is billed as one of the last free fairs in Ohio. I was curious if it was included in the brochure because its a decent fair or because it was free or both.
I found out it is not your typical fair. It is small and has little in the way of the usual fair offerings which is surprising being in the middle of farm country. But it was free, did I mention that already? Seriously though, it really is a nice family event.
Today was the last day so a lot of the booths had packed up including some of the animals. Jeff and I did get to see 1 sheep, 3 hens, 3 rabbits and the quilt display in the school gymnasium. I enjoyed looking at the old parquet floor and how it was urethaned as much as looking at the quilts. We then went to a small building where the produce and baked goodies were judged. I was surprised to find a male carrot, didn't know they came in sexes. I included a photo of it so you'll understand why it had to be a male.
Across from the carrots were the zucchinis. They were huge! I was lucky to be standing there because a lady who was gathering her vegetables grabbed a large zucchini she had entered. The way she was holding it I just had to ask how heavy is it? She let me hold it and I estimated it to be about 7 pounds. OK I lied again, the minute I got home I weighed it - whoops I'm getting to far ahead. We talked briefly about what she does with them. She makes zucchini bread, pie, casseroles and other dishes.
After the produce and baked goods display we went into another building that had photos, misc. items and floral displays. And guess who we bumped into? The lady with the zucchini. She saw her friends and asked if they wanted her zucchini. When they said no she offered it to me. She must of saw my eyes light up. I said of course I would take it. Then she asked how about cucumbers? Sure. Tomatoes? Of course! What about 2 pumpkins? Absolutely.
Jeff and I hurried to the car to drop off the vegetables so we could meet her back at the produce display to grab the pumpkins. Her name was Sandy. She didn't want anything in return but I still gave her a GoGo Handy Pack Bag.
Sandy if you're out there, thanks again!!!! You made my day!!!!
Free fair, free tomatoes, free zucchini, free pumpkins, free cucumbers, OH and free parking. Life is good.

Gotta GoGo!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hey Gang,
Continuing on.......
Another memorable time that won't be forgotten any time soon was the night out with Walt and his family at the Painesville (Ohio) Speedway. I am not much into racing. Its fun the first couple of races but then I get bored. But Walt kept telling me about this special race that I just had to attend. What kind of race.... hold on I am getting to it.
The Painesville Speedway is a small oval track, 1/5 of a mile, so the action is quick. Everything keeps changing but this lil speedway is a constant, from its size, closeness of the wooden stands to the track, enthusiasm from the crowd which holds a lot of families, its a real throwback. It has been in continuous operation since the early 50’s!
So what kind of race was it? A Figure 8 race. For those who don't know or who never witnessed such an event the cars speed through the track in a figure 8 and yes crashes can and do happen. They even water the track some to slow the speeds of the cars down. Even then on such a small track there is plenty of near misses and an occasional WIPE OUT! Its the most exciting feature of the night. But there was more to this figure 8 race then just cars. What was it?
The figure 8 trailer pull. YES you read it correctly. All the cars had to be pulling something. Some cars were a disappointment with what they were hauling behind them and got booed. One had nothing more than just a little trailer towing a small lawn tractor and a lawn chair. Others came towing a car behind. The funniest to me was the pop up trailer being pulled, it was fully erected with the canvas sides blowing and swaying. But the best were the 3 travel trailers. One was a full size trailer, maybe at least a 20 foot job. That was a sight to see.
Walt laughed through the whole race. It was hilarious some of the set ups. And then one wreck after another. One wreck was so bad the trailer flipped the car over. You couldn't see much in the melee from all the smoke, just a tangled mess. One word kept coming to me - carnage. They kept having to stop the race to clear the mess. Out came the front end loader, pushed the debris aside and off the cars & trailers went again.
The most incredible thing about it the entire race was the full size trailer. It made it through 3/4 of the race untouched. All the other vehicles were driving on blown tires or dragging mangled metal. Not the full size trailer, it still looked as good as when it started. And then BAM, it got nailed and exploded into pieces. But wait, whats that? Its still going.. The top was gone, all four sides blown away, but the platform and the toilet was still sitting erect and the car trailer hookup was still driving. How funny.
Unfortunately there was no winner.. During the last clear out of the track the sky let loose a biblical monsoon that ended the night. To bad, I was hoping the large trailer was going to win it all, oh well.
OKKKKKKKK enjoy the photos. Two days till the Texas take off. I think I can finish this. One more installment, I think?

Gotta GoGo!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More of my July

Hey Gang,
Forcing myself to finish this July story even though I am quite busy right now. If I don't it will never get finished and I will be off on another adventure which will be happening shortly as I may be leaving for Texas this Wednesday with Walt.
Trying to figure out what to do with some of my articles/stories. I use to send out just about daily emails titled Hey Gangs but it seems interest has waned. These emails covered all the bases, politics, religion, travel, human interest and everything and anything in between including prayer requests. But its hard to write anything personal when you don't get the necessary feedback to do so. I have been receiving less and less responses and when I do they are less then flattering. So I have started blogging more. But how many blogs will Carey need? I have my Carey On blog strictly politics, the ....whats on Carey's Mind Today mostly travel and fun stuff. What about the rest though, the human interest, prayer requests, what do I do with them?

WHOOPS! Sorry for that tangent.

Now getting back to my July story.
I have already wrote about how business picked up and about the Brownstone and the Jeremiah Ensworth house I cleaned. Why would I include a job in a travel blog? Because even though it was work related, getting to clean those properties was a treat. Almost like a paid tour but instead I got paid.
I feel when you don't really make plans and just go on the spur of the moment things almost always work out for the best. Expectations are different and when you do find something fun or interesting its a nice surprise or deviation from what you would normally do. Thats how the Saturday after court went.
The day was gloomy, threatening rain on and off but my friend Millard was in town from Kentucky so I didn't want to waste the day. I went on line and did a search for Ohio cruise ins. I found a place called Wink's Drive In in Barberton. I called my other friend Jeff and told him we would pick him up about 5. Thats all the plans we made, head towards Barberton and find Wink's.
If you get the chance you should go to Winks. When I write reviews I am honest. If you are going to Winks just for the food you may be disappointed, we found it to be average at best, we didn't try the ice cream and shakes so maybe those would be better, don't know. But the ambiance for an evening of fun and entertainment for a cruise is perfect. Its an old style diner with the long over head where you park under and the waitresses come out to you, not sure if they still do that as a band was set up under it playing oldies. On top of the overhead was an old cop car in back of a hot rod. Very cool. Inside, the front and back of the booth to eat was an old Chevy.
The threat of rain was unfortunate because it was suppose to be Chrysler night, the GoGo Bus is an old Dodge so it would of really of been perfect timing. Instead the weather chased away a lot cruisers so it was cancelled. I was told on a normal weekend the place gets mobbed.
After Winks we headed to Akron for the 62nd Annual Summit County Italian-American festival that was listed in one of the travel pamphlets I had. Akron is right next door to Barberton so it was a nice tie in to where we were.
Again I am being honest with my review, IF your exceptions of finding a true Italian-American festival you would of been disappointed, most of the ethnic festivals in America are now watered down. BUT if you're looking for a free festival in a great location, with free entertainment, plenty of food stands, and a LARGE crowd to people watch, this is perfect. We had an excellent time.
The main stage is located in what they call Lock 3. They had impersonators of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.. Pretty good act. On the opposite end of the festival they had a smaller stage set up with a band playing, yes you guessed it, Sinatra and Martin songs.
We grabbed something to eat and sat down in the Lock 3 area just in time for the ending of the Rat Pack tribute and the fireworks. The firework display was great. Akron had them set up on a tall building. It seemed as if the building was on fire. It was a fun night. I recommend it.
OK that brings us up to almost the second week of July. But will I finish this before the Texas trip.... stay tuned.

Gotta GoGo!!