Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cook Forest / Clear Creek Pennsylvania

Hey Gang,
Instead of writing an in depth review as I normally do I will instead let the photos speak about the trip.

In short will say this.... I avoided the toll roads to save some cash but in turn I didn't save time. Rt. 422 which is the old main route towards where I wanted to head is a direct road but once entering Warren it is nonstop traffic lights one after another. This cost us so much time.

We could have jumped on 80 once in Pa. but I was adamant on saving the change so instead took Rt. 280 which is hilly and slow especially in a 5,000 pound Purple People Greeter machine. Yes the scenery was beautiful but it delayed us and well scared my passengers who may not want to be mentioned by name in case they have to be summoned to court as a witness to my Mario Andretti driving.

The Go-Go Bus crawls up any kind of grade but coming down LOOK OUT! I had to blow past a slow driving car on a double yellow around a curve because my brakes were screaming Hey man we be smoking! Yes I can handle the rolling  barge like a slot car but stopping well now drop the anchor, slam the brakes and pray. I told them please relax would you! They replied how can we when you are saying oh no this is bad, I can't stop, I may run over this car. Gee they didn't have to listen to me.

In summary.... the weather was terrific, the full moon at night light up the campground where flashlights weren't needed and the scenery was gorgeous.

A quick shout out to Beth and Jeff that I met at the campground who restored a cute little "62 Shasta. I told them I wanted to hug their lil trailer. Earl the Indian and his friends. Chris and Red who run a variety store. And all the others who smiled and gave a thumbs up, life is beautiful and yes I have a friend in Pennsylvania, um make that friends.

Gotta Go-Go!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Homewood Bound Conclusion

I wrote about a lot of things but now I will sum up the Homewood Heritage Days Festival.

Many times a festival is rated by how big it is which is not always accurate. What Homewood may have lacked in size was more than made up with what it did have.

The festival had a pancake breakfast, crafts booth inside, a running model railroad, a roaming juggler who kept dropping her pins, wagon rides pulled by Clydesdale horses, a children’s area with barrel train rides, face painting, a caricature artist, a magician, a period encampment with a black smith, a car cruise, food vendors, entertainment with a DJ and different musical acts.

I have been to many festivals with the entertainment geared specifically towards the demographics of the area. Not in Homewood. The bands were varied and included a country band El Dorado, a doo wop band The Wee Jams, a rock band The Sensations and something totally different Ibeji Drum Ensemble. All top notch, what great entertainment.

OH I almost forgot about yours truly who took part in the Heritage Cruise In and had a successful book signing.

I like to tip my hat to Alan the Chairman of the festival and Homewood the little community with a big heart for a wonderful festival. Homewood is a hidden gem that has so much potential.

Lastly I like to say hi to Sylvia who bought my book and said if I am ever in Arizona look her up, the gentleman at the Kettle Korn stand for giving me a large bag of popcorn, PJ Favorite who left the festival and came back in his custom 1985 Dodge Caravan just to show me and I can’t forget about the gentleman who I forgot his name of Mulefactory a Bluegrass band. We talked at length about many things.

He hosts at the Homewood United Methodist Church the HUM Church Music Winter Gospel Concert Series and if I heard correctly it is Bluegrass.
It’s held the first Saturday of October through April except January. Doors open at 6 for desserts & fellowship followed by music 7. And it’s free!
If that ain’t good enough he also gives stringed instrument lessons the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month at 5-8pm at Homewood United Methodist Church. And this is also free!

That’s all, maybe I’ll see you at the HUM Winter Concert.

Gotta Go-Go!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Homewood Bound 3

So where were we…

Ah yes Sunday at the Homewood Heritage Days Festival.
As I mentioned Sunday was livelier. Maybe both days were but since I slept it seemed that way to me. I ran into Linda again, well not really ran into but you know what I mean. I met Linda Saturday. She has dreams of opening up a book store in Homewood. We made tentative plans for me to do a book signing when the doors do open.

When I saw Linda on Sunday she was at the church booth serving soup, coffee and apple dumplings. I walked in and told them I wanted to buy a spoon. Linda said you can take one. I said well taking a spoon from a church isn’t good would you take a dime? Oh just take a spoon. Would you like some soup? OH I hate soup. Well I was going to give you some to try it. In that case I am going to eat soup.

Linda was proud of the soup. The church pitches in a few days before to make the homemade vegetable soup with meat in it. Is that still vegetable soup if it has meat in it? I don’t know but this I do know, I hated the soup but it was delicious. Hey I can tell if something is good even if I don’t like it. I ate the whole bowl so that tells you something.

The end of part 3

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Homewood Bound 2

Sunday was far more eventful. Some of it had to do with the sleep I got. Interrupted but I slept about 9 hours or more. I should have had my table set up by at least 10 am but I was in no hurry. I freshened myself up at the sink in the fire department then I was off to find a church. There is only one church close by and that is the Homewood United Methodist right by Buttermilk Falls. The church had a booth at the festival serving homemade vegetable soup and apple dumplings.

I took the shortcut across the tracks and down a path close to the falls. It was barely after 11 am but the church doors were locked. I walked to the back of the church where there was people coming out with containers of food. They asked if I was hungry. I said no I was coming for church. Well service was from 9:30 to 10:30, we like to start early. Shucks. So I took a walk to the falls, snapped some photos and started walking back to the festival.

On the tracks coming towards me was a man. He asked how do you get to the falls? We introduced ourselves and had a nice conversation right on the tracks. I guess you can say our conversation never got off track. His name was Glen a Sargent with the police dept. who is now retired but is still active. Glen is a Christian so we sort of had church right there. He has some story.

Glen has seen so much in his years as a cop. Horrible things. Glen said what is going on with the police today is terrible. No people skills. He thinks he can teach police today how to diffuse a situation. We swapped stories back and forth. He also said how sad it is today. Years ago if a boy broke a window you would tell him I better see you in church on Sunday or else. They would attend and you made a friend. Or you would make them clean the windows at church but not today, you can’t tell someone to go to church or have a kid clean windows because of the child labor laws.

Glen also did some writing for the TV series Knight Rider and hopes to write a book someday.

The end of part two.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Homewood Bound 1

Well my plans of arriving in Homewood, Pa. by 8 pm Friday was foolish. I should know myself by now. I left a bit after 4 am and arrived at my destination by 6:15 am with the help of Philip.

Who is Philip? I didn’t quite remember where Homewood was so I went to Beaver Falls. The first gas station I saw I pulled in to ask for direction. Just as I did another car was doing the same. I get out and approach this man’s car, he gets out also. He started first, what year is your van? I told him and then asked for directions. You're not from around here. Nope. And you don't have GPS. Nope. Well go down a few lights and take a left when you see… ah you're not going to find it, follow me. With that he took off and I followed. He got me right to where I should be, the fire station and what’s even better? As I pulled in a man was unlocking the door and that was my contact, Alan. Perfect-o timing. Thanks again Philip.

Saturday the book signing was slow made even slower by the hour of sleep I had. I only slept from 6:30 am till 7:30 am because the breakfast was at 8 am. I was set up in the fire station greeting people coming in for the all you can eat pancake breakfast and sausage. Hardly anyone looked interested. There were two other reasons for the sort of low turnout. The weather threatened rain all day and the main road in is down to one lane. They chose to start the road work on a Saturday. The town is upset because this is their yearly big event. But what I lacked in sales was made up by plenty of smiles, handshakes and making new friends. I especially liked teasing and talking to lil’ Rocko and his sister who are both in school. Rocko if you are out there I still think you should dress up like a pancake for Halloween.

About 3 pm it started to drizzle so I wrapped things up and took a nap. I told Karen at the display next to the Go-Go Bus to wake me if the sun comes out. She forgot, I'm glad she did. When I woke at 6:30 pm the sun was out but the whole town was rolled up. No one around. It was like aliens dissolved everyone and I was the last one alive.

I took a long drive one way but there were no towns.

So spun around and headed into Beaver falls. I drove up and down for over an hour looking for a grocery store. I was told by one person there is nothing but Save A Lot. C’mon this can’t be. So I drove around some more and another person told me, yep that’s all there is in Beaver Falls unless you drive a distance to another town and there is Giant Eagle. I was not driving any further to get food at the big bird so I wandered into a bordering town and found an old grocery store called Foodland. That’s where I shopped. Old school.

I went back to the Bus and set up camp. South Western Pa. is hilly and so is Homewood. I thought I was parked level enough but I wasn’t. Have you ever tried sleeping on a slant? All the blood rushes to one side of your body. Before dozing off I walked the town. Eerie. A silent town, an abandoned hotel with railroad tracks that had trains rumbling through constantly. I locked the doors and tried to get some good sleep. I did between the intervals of the train passing through which seemed like every 20 minutes.

I woke about 9 when I heard the festival get started. A car arrived early for the car cruise so I had to straighten the Go-Go Bus. When I opened the door I heard jangling. Hey there’s my keys. I slept with the keys in the door lock. My goodness. Someone could have driven off with the Bus with me in it. I fell back to sleep until almost 11 am.

The end of part one.