Trip Home, Day #1

 Posted by at 12:06 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 132019
 

Note: I have already shared some of our activities while we were in Ohio and the trip there from Florida in previous blog posts. Now I will do several posts telling you a bit about our trip home.

I have to keep reminding myself, with Terry’s help, that we are no longer working on the road and don’t have to be at a rally for a speaking engagement, so there’s no reason not to stop and smell the roses along the way. We tried to do that as much as possible on the trip home, taking several days and sticking to US highways and state routes as much as possible.

When we left the Hampton Inn in Rossford, Ohio, we took US Highway 23 south through some beautiful farmland and charming small towns. We saw several very nice old houses in Fostoria and said it would be cool to have a place like that in Florida. No way do either of us want to live in snow country again!

Marion was home to President Warren G. Harding, and as we drove through town we recalled our visit to his home and tomb there early in our days as fulltime RVers. We sure saw a lot of interesting places in our 18 years on the road!

We stopped for lunch at a subway in Delaware, a small town where everybody seems to know everybody. But I guess it’s that way in most small towns, right? That’s why I love them. You can sit in any small town restaurant in America, and with a bit of casual eavesdropping you will know who just got a new job, who got fired, who is pregnant, and who is cheating on their significant other. Trust me, I ran small town newspapers for much of my working life, and there is plenty of scandal and drama going on in them!

With lunch out of the way we continued south to Columbus, skirting around the city on the Interstate 270 bypass, and within a couple of hours we were crossing the Ohio River into West Virginia. It was starting to get dark by then so Terry took the wheel about an hour out of Charleston.

I have a love/hate relationship with West Virginia. Singer John Denver was right in praising its scenic beauty, but those country roads he sang about really suck sometimes. And even their interstates leave a lot to be desired in some areas.

We spent the night at Hampton Inn in Charleston, walking across the parking lot to a Quaker Steak and Lube, a small restaurant chain with a racing theme, for dinner. There were a couple of race cars hanging off the ceiling and lots of racing signs and such. The food was very good and our server was excellent.

It had turned cold while we were in Ohio, and the cold front seemed to be following us south. We were sure glad we brought sweatshirts and jackets along for the trip! With just over 300 miles under our belts for the day, we were ready for bed and new adventures the next day.

Thought For The Day – People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

No Blog Today

 Posted by at 12:28 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 122019
 

Sorry, no blog today. We spent Sunday night in Jacksonville, Florida and yesterday Terry had a consult at Mayo to decide on a course of action to treat the internal scarring she has from the massive radiation treatment she received for cancer almost 20 years ago. She had radiation every day for 60 days and it basically cooked her internal organs. It saved her life, but her doctor told her then that down the road she might very well have problems, and he was right. For several years now she has been dealing with it, and the folks at Mayo seem optimistic.

We left Jacksonville and got home about 7 p.m. worn out and looking forward to sleeping in our own bed after over two weeks in hotels. But we are only home for two nights and have to be back at Mayo Wednesday for three days of testing. Then we go back again next week to discuss results of all the tests and to determine a course of treatment.

Thought For The Day – Some girls don’t like to walk in the rain because it puts their face back to the original factory setting.

Veterans Day

 Posted by at 8:22 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 112019
 

In yesterday’s blog I said that today I would talk about our return trip from Ohio to Florida. But instead, I want to share some thoughts on veterans and Veterans Day.

My family has a long tradition of military service. At least two great grandfathers that I know of were in the Civil War. Yes, the Civil War. I was born late in my parents’ lives. I know of one grandfather who saw military service, and my father and many of my uncles fought during World War II. One of those uncles never made it back home. My two brothers also spent their time in uniform. I have cousins who served in Vietnam, and several of my nephews spent time in the military. So when I got out of high school, during the Vietnam War, there was no question what my next step would be. I went to the recruiter, raised my right hand, took my oath, and did my time.

Some of my time in the Army was very bad, but a lot of it was very good. I have never regretted the experience, and I know it helped me grow up fast. Maybe even too fast. I am proud of my service to my country, and more than once when somebody has objected to me expressing my opinion on something, which seems to happen more and more these days, I remember that I did things no one should ever have to do to give them the right to disagree with me. But I also know that I earned the right to speak my mind and no one can tell me to shut up, whether I am right or wrong. And there is no question in my mind that I have been wrong more than once. Still, I make no apologies for saying how I feel about something.

I did many things while I was in the military, and the worst of all was a short time when I was assigned to be a funeral escort. My job was to meet a dead soldier’s remains when they arrived at their hometown and to be a liaison between the Army, the funeral home, and the dead hero’s family. I was a 19-year-old kid, and besides being shown how to fold a flag and instructed on how a military funeral was conducted, I was given only three rules. Never say anything bad about the war or the military; never sleep with the dead man’s wife, sister, or other relatives; and never, under any circumstances, allow any family member to look inside a closed coffin if the accompanying paperwork was stamped RNV, which was an abbreviation for Remains Not Viewable.

At every closed coffin funeral I was involved in, the parents or wife wanted to know that it was really him inside that box, hoping against all hope that there had been some terrible mistake made. If they insisted on knowing it was their son or husband, I was supposed to look myself and tell them he looked fine but was discolored because of the shipping time. I was never to tell them what I really saw. Believe me, they did not want to see what I saw, and even today I wish I never had. After a while I cheated and stopped looking. I just couldn’t any more. It was horrible to have to stand there and lie to them, but it would have been even worse to allow them to look.

I had parents hug me and cry. And I also had them hit me and demand to know why I was still alive and their loved one was dead. How the hell can a 19-year-old kid answer a question like that? I have asked myself the same question a thousand times over the years, and I still don’t know the answer. I only lasted about three months in that job before begging to be reassigned anywhere, even back in the war zone. I just could not do it one more time.

But I can tell you one thing I took away from my time in uniform. If you had to do the things I did back then, if you had to see the things I saw, you would not remain silent when old men who have nothing to lose are quick to send young men and women off to fight and die for causes that only further their own interests, be they political or personal.

Thought For The Day – If you want to thank a veteran for their service, the best way to do it is to be the kind of American worth fighting and dying for.

Road Trip Day #3

 Posted by at 8:51 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 102019
 

Note: This is the last of three installments about our trip to Ohio.

When we were going through the Smoky Mountains the day before, the tire pressure monitor on Terry’s Chrysler Pacifica kept alerting to two low tires. Low as in 34 pounds instead of the suggested 36 pounds. Not enough to worry about much, but the warning was an annoyance. There is a Walmart next to the Hampton Inn in Clinton, Tennessee where we spent the night, and I drove over to their auto service center to see if they would let me use an air hose. One of their employees said not to bother, then he checked all four tires, inflated them to the proper pressure, and when I asked how much I owed, he said it was a customer courtesy. I offered him $5 for his trouble and said to have a cup of coffee or whatever on me, but he refused it, saying it was no trouble, he was happy to help. I just love southern hospitality!

We drove north on Interstate 75 through Tennessee and Kentucky, and then approached the Ohio River, with the Cincinnati skyline as the backdrop.

Crossing into Ohio we took Interstate 71 through Columbus, where traffic was a nightmare, continued on to Mansfield, and then got on two lane roads and drove north through beautiful farm country.

The roads were narrow and curvy in some places, but not bad.

We saw several neat old places like this, and several houses we would love to live in if they were someplace warmer than the Midwest.

Here’s a tip for you if you ever make a road trip and stay in hotels. These days when you call to make a reservation, even if you dial the hotel’s local number, you may find yourself rerouted to an offshore call center and talking to somebody who can barely speak English. That happened to Terry when she called to make a reservation for the night. The person she was trying to communicate with originally quoted her $111 for a one night stay, then began adding on extra charges that eventually came to $186. Terry said no way and the woman started arguing with her. I told her just to hang up, and called my cousin Nora Knople’s husband Chris, who actually used to manage the Hampton Inn in Milan, Ohio. He gave us a different number to call and the desk clerk answered and we got the room for the original price. I guess the folks at the call centers make a commission on the markups or something. The clerk said anytime you call a hotel and are told to press 1 for reservations, don’t do it. Just wait, and after you ignore several different prompts, you will get a real person at the desk at the hotel where you want to stay.

Milan, the birthplace of Thomas Edison, is next to Norwalk, where several of my cousins live. We had dinner with Nora and Chris and their daughter Emily, who I tried very hard to marry off to one of her co-workers while we were there, but she seemed to resist the idea. I don’t know why, the girl’s 20 years old. Almost an old maid! She doesn’t have that much time to waste!

Among Nora’s many talents is that of being an artist. She helped create this mural in downtown Norwalk that honors the town’s history.

Here is a picture of Nora (in the white shirt) and some of the others who participated in the project, hard at work on the mural.

The next morning we met cousin Berni and her sister Vanessa for a late breakfast or early lunch. I guess Vanessa was camera shy, because she took this picture of us and Berni instead of being in it.

We would have loved to spend more time with our Ohio family, but I had appointments scheduled in Toledo to research my new book project. So all too soon we said our goodbyes and headed west on U.S. Highway 20, pulling into yet another Hampton Inn in Rossford, just across the Maumee River from Toledo, a little over an hour later. This would be our base for about a week while we delved into the city’s history and came away with a ton of information that will be part of my new family saga book series.

So there you have it; our road trip from warm and sunny Florida to cold and mostly overcast Ohio. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I have already told you about some of our time in Toledo, and in tomorrow’s blog I will tell you about the trip home, assuming I can get online.

Thought For The Day – I walk around my yard wearing a fake ankle monitor so my neighbors won’t ask me to watch their kids.

Road Trip Day #2

 Posted by at 12:00 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 092019
 

Note: This is the second of three installments about our trip from Florida to Ohio.

After a comfortable night at the Hampton Inn in Athens, Georgia, we took U.S. Highway 441 north, passing through a several small towns and some very pretty countryside. The further north we went, the more the terrain changed, first to rolling hills, then steeper hills as we progressed toward North Carolina. Most of the way it was nice divided four lane highway, with a few two-lane roadways through some of the towns.

We were in Mountain City, Georgia, almost to the North Carolina state line when I saw a sign for the Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center and made a hurried left turn to avoid missing it. It was a good thing we were in the Pacifica instead of our 40-foot motorhome or I’d have never made the turn. And once we started up the side of a mountain on a very narrow, very winding road, I knew we’d have never made it in a big RV!

For those who are not familiar with the Foxfire program, it was created to preserve the history and culture of the people of the Appalachian Mountains through books, periodicals, and hands-on learning programs for young people. I have been a fan of the Foxfire books for as far back as I can remember. They cover everything from old time skills like building a log cabin and skinning a hog to mountain recipes and the reminiscences of mountain people of their lives in places many of us will never see.

Eventually we made it to the museum, which consists of a collection of old buildings from throughout the region that were moved there and assembled into a village. We spent a couple of hours exploring the place, talking to the nice ladies in the museum gift shop, and to a woman weaving and another making straw brooms. Before we left, I bought the complete set of Foxfire books, along with several other titles to add to my reference bookcase. I will have a full blog about our visit to Foxfire in the near future.

We crossed into North Carolina, passing several places where tourists can mine for rubies. Did you even know you can mine for rubies in the Tar Heel State? If not, you probably didn’t know that the first big gold rush in the United States was also in North Carolina. I know these things because Google is my friend.

By the time we got to Franklin, North Carolina I was really glad we were not in an RV. The road was narrow, with frequent stoplights and a lot of traffic, which only increased as we got closer to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But the fall colors were amazing.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is in Cherokee, the gateway to the park, and is well worth a stop. We saw several Native Americans in traditional dress entertaining tourists as they shared some of their culture and sold lots of souvenirs.

U.S. Highway 441 through the park is a two-lane road with lots of curves. This was about the only empty stretch of road we saw all the way through the park. For most of the trip it was pretty much bumper to bumper traffic, and nobody was in a hurry.

And then we came to the first of several traffic jams. In one of them we moved less than a mile in an hour. Total gridlock like you might expect in Los Angeles during rush hour, but not in the great outdoors.

And here is what was causing the traffic jams. Several herds of elk were feeding in meadows along the highway, and apparently nobody had ever seen an elk before. Having lived in the Rocky Mountain West for many years, Terry and I were very familiar with them.

But not the folks in the park. They were parked on both narrow shoulders of the highway as well as right in the middle of the road, jumping out to get a better look and take pictures. Rangers and park volunteers were on hand, trying in vain to get traffic moving and also to keep people from trying to pet the huge animals or pose for pictures with them. What idiots. An elk is as big as a horse and its antlers can impale you in a heartbeat. They are wild animals, but they were acting more civilized than some of the people we saw.

Eventually we made our way to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, where the roads were wider, but traffic was just as bad. The sun was low in the sky and blinding us as we turned west toward Knoxville. We got onto Interstate 75 and took it north about 20 miles to Clinton, where we checked into another Hampton Inn for the night.

This is familiar territory to us, since we often stopped at the Escapees RV Club’s Raccoon Valley Campground, just a few miles south, during our days as fulltime RVers. The hotel is almost next door to Golden Girls, one of our favorite restaurants. Their broasted chicken is delicious and I had missed it, so you know what I had for dinner. And it was just as good as I remembered!

Next up, I will tell you about the rest of our trip to Ohio. Stay tuned!

Thought For The Day – Sorry I acted crazy. It will happen again.

Road Trip Day #1

 Posted by at 12:22 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 082019
 

I have already shared some of our activities while we were in Ohio in previous blog posts but I thought I’d tell you a bit about our trip there in a couple of posts.

We left Edgewater, Florida on Sunday, October 27, and took Interstate 95 north to Jacksonville, where we picked up U.S. Highway 1 and took it into Georgia. Whenever possible we like to get off the interstates and onto the U.S. and state highways, passing through the small towns and seeing the real America, not the corporate cookie cutter version of it found at every interstate off ramp in the country.

We stopped for lunch and gas at Waycross, slowing down to admire neat old houses and small town business districts, lost count of how many old cars with For Sale signs sitting in front yards we saw, some looking really nice and others no more than rusting old hulks that someone thought (or hoped) somebody might be willing to buy and restore.

Eventually we made our way to Athens, where we stayed at the Hampton Inn for the night. Hampton Inns are part of the Hilton hotel chain and we always stay at them when available. We know we will get a clean, comfortable room at a reasonable price. In total, this was a 445 mile driving day for us.

Athens is a nice small city, home to the University of Georgia, and even in the summer the place was busy with students coming and going from classes. Athens was also home to actress Kim Bassinger, as well as to more NFL players, musicians, and political type folks than I have room to list here.

I love finding oddball attractions, and there are two in Athens that were worth a side trip to see. The first was this unique double barrel cannon, which its inventor was sure would decimate any Union troops foolish enough to attack the town during the Civil War. Things didn’t work out quite the way he had hoped, which you can read about in a previous blog post, Double Trouble.

The other Athens oddity we stopped to check out is The Tree That Owns Itself, a white oak tree that has legal ownership of itself and all land within eight feet of its base. Also known as the Jackson Oak, it is located at the corner of South Finley and Dearing Streets. As the story goes, at one time a man named Colonel William Henry Jackson owned the land where the tree stands. He had so many wonderful memories of climbing it and making a tree fort in its branches that he deeded the tree to itself to protect it from ever being cut down. There is some debate as to whether that ever really happened or if it is just popular folklore.

At any rate, this isn’t really The Tree That Owns Itself anyway. The original tree, which was estimated to date back to somewhere between the mid-16th and late 18th century, toppled during a storm in 1942. But a new tree grew on the same spot from one of its acorns so I guess the tree here must be the son or daughter of The Tree That Owns Itself. A less sophisticated guy than me would say it has to be the son, because… well, it has nuts. But we all know I’m too classy for that, right?

If I can get online tomorrow, I will tell you about day two of our trip, which included a drive through the Smoky Mountains.

Thought For The Day – Women are like cops. They can have all the evidence in the world, but they still want a confession.

Trip Q&A

 Posted by at 12:06 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 062019
 

I have received quite a few questions about our trip to Ohio and thought I’d answer a few of them in today’s blog.

Q. Why did you wait until it got cold up north to go up there instead of making the trip earlier in the year when it was so hot in Florida?
A. That was the original plan, but the biopsies on the arteries in both of my temples and waiting for the results, along with other medical issues and doctor appointments, as well as my kids coming to visit in early October kept pushing the trip back and rearranging our schedule.

Q. How did you like traveling there by car and staying in hotels as opposed to doing it in an RV? Doesn’t staying in hotels cost a fortune these days?
A. Each method of traveling has its advantages and disadvantages. We took some back roads on this trip in Terry’s Pacifica that we would have never considered in the RV and saw some places we always wanted to visit but didn’t want to attempt in a 40 foot motorhome towing an SUV behind us. Yes, in an RV we would have had our own bathroom and our own bed to sleep in, but to us, doing it this way is just fine. And the 25+ miles per gallon the Pacifica gets is a lot better than the 7 mpg we got in our Winnebago. That along with campground costs, offsets the costs of hotels. Besides, this is a research trip and is tax deductible.

Q. Does this trip make you miss the fulltime RV lifestyle and all the traveling you guys did for so many years?
A. After 18 plus years of fulltiming, traveling is nothing new to us. We’re just doing it a different way these days. But do we miss RVing? Not really. We loved it while we were doing it, but we don’t regret hanging up the keys when we did.

Q. What can you tell me about this new book series you are planning? Will it replace the Big Lake or John Lee Quarrels series? I hope not. Also, when will the new series be out?
A. No, I have a lot more books to write about Big Lake and John Lee; I have no plans to end either series. As for the new one, it will be a family saga set in Toledo starting in the early 1900s and going through the Vietnam War. As to when the first book will be out, I have no idea because it is taking a lot of research. I hope (and don’t hold me to this) the first book in the new series will be out sometime in the first few months of next year.

Q. It seems like you were disappointed in what you saw of your old stomping grounds. Do you feel at all homesick for Toledo?
A. There is a sense of nostalgia and a longing for the good old days, but even as a teenager I knew I would never spend my life in Toledo. There is a great big old world outside the city limits, and I wanted to see it. I have been fortunate to have done so.

Q. I know you use medical marijuana for your back pain. Is it legal to take it with you when you travel out of state?
A. I use medical marijuana oil, not the smokable kind. The way my research interpreted the law before our trip, it would have been illegal to take it with us since it is illegal in some of the states we are traveling through, so I left it at home. And after being away for over a week, I can definitely tell the difference. The last few days my back has really been giving me a lot of pain.

Q. As a follow up to my question, what about a handgun? I know you have a CCW and carry almost all the time. How do you handle the legalities of that?
A. I have both Florida and Arizona concealed carry permits, and between them I am legal in every state we have been in and will be traveling through.

Q. You have told us about your time in Toledo, but what about the trip up? I’d be interested in hearing what routes you took and what you saw along the way.
A. I will try to cover that in blog posts starting tomorrow, if time and internet availability allow.

Q. I read where you looked up your old friend Gary, but I seem to recall you have some family up in that area. Have you had time to visit any of them?
A. We had brief visits with some of my cousins in Ohio, but between their work schedules and our own schedule for doing research, there wasn’t as much time as we would have liked.

Q. How long will you be in Ohio? I am in Bowling Green and would love to drive up and buy you and Miss Terry lunch or dinner.
A. I’m sorry, but we actually left yesterday to begin our trip home.

Thought For The Day – We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Nov 052019
 

There are some people who come into our lives and stay a while before moving on, and over time they become no more than a faint memory. And there are others who make an impact that lasts forever. One of those people is a man named Gary Chandler.

Gary’s grandparents were good friends of my mom and dad and I don’t remember how old we were when we first met, somewhere back in the distant past, but there was an instant bond between us that neither time nor distance could ever erase.

Even as a kid, Gary was one of the most talented people I have ever known. He was an amazing artist, he taught himself to be a ventriloquist and got hold of one of those Charlie McCarthy dolls and delighted everyone putting on shows for us. I was, and still am, in awe of how much he could do.

Unfortunately, Gary’s home life was sometimes very difficult, and he often sought refuge with my family. That was fine with my parents, who loved him like he was their own child, and I know he loved them just as much. In fact, there was talk of them adopting him at one point, but for whatever reason, that never happened. Nevertheless, he was a part of our family and my brother from another mother.

As adults, after both serving our hitches in the Army, our lives took us down different paths – he stayed in the Midwest and I spent most of my working life out west. But anytime we got back in this area we tried to stop in for a visit. It had been several years since we were able to get together, so one of the main priorities for me this trip was to see Gary and his wife Karen. They live in Michigan, about an hour from Toledo, and yesterday we drove up to their place and spent the afternoon and evening with them.

We had a great time reminiscing about the good and sometimes not so good old days and catching up on what’s been happening in their lives and ours. Karen is an avid reader and belongs to several book clubs, where she always promotes my work. She had a bunch of my books she wanted autographed and I was happy to do so. I was flattered when Gary, who also loves to read, told me that he is an eclectic reader who enjoys everything from biographies to technical books, but almost never reads fiction, does read and enjoy my mysteries.

They took us for a drive around the area in what is called the Irish Hills and we loved the architecture of the old homes and commercial buildings in the small towns we passed through.

We had dinner at an Applebee’s in Adrian, where I took this picture of Gary and Karen, who celebrated their 49th anniversary just a few days ago.

We talked about books and writing, and Gary said he doesn’t know how I can string words together the way I do and create characters he can relate to. In return, there is no way I could build the beautiful cabinets and bookshelves he did in their old farmhouse, or the impressive garage he built. I guess everybody is good at something, and fortunately the world seems to appreciate both wordsmiths and craftsmen.

Here is a picture of me and Gary that Terry took at the restaurant. He’s the tall, good looking fellow, in case you have trouble telling us apart.

Thanks for making time for us, Gary and Karen. You have no idea how important you both are to me.

Our time in Toledo is up and today we will start heading south in search of warmer weather. It will be a rather slow and meandering trip, stopping here and there to collect blog fodder and looking into story ideas for future books. Hopefully we will have good internet access along the way so I can get blogs posted, but if I miss a day along the way, be patient. I’m like a bad rash, I may go away for a while, but I always come back.

Thought For The Day – You know you’re getting old when you wake up and it feels like the morning after, but there was no night before.

More Toledo Memories

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 042019
 

In a blog post the other day I wrote about how much the area I lived in during my teen years in Toledo, the Old South End, had gown downhill. That wasn’t entirely true. There are some homeowners who still have pride in their properties and work hard to maintain them, like these places. Blue collar people who are the salt of the earth.

Unfortunately, these are little islands in a sea of decay. It’s not uncommon to see three or four houses like this, sometimes even a block of them, and right next door or across the street you see this. And the bad ones far outnumber the good ones. I feel sorry for those people who work hard to keep their homes looking good and have their property values tank because of the neighborhoods they are in.

Back in the day, we didn’t have WalMarts and big grocery stores everywhere. There was one small Krogers, but every neighborhood had a couple of corner stores where you could get some grocery items, and the owners would carry you until payday if you were running short. In my neighborhood, Al’s Market was the place to go not only for bread and milk and things like that, but also to catch up on all the latest gossip.

The streets were safe back then, too. Sure, there were times when guys got cross-ways of each other and there would be a fistfight, but nobody shot anybody or any other craziness like that. And once the fight was over you shook hands and that was it. Life went on.

Occasionally we even had real crimes. I still remember the time a couple of fools from out of the area decided to rob the Home Savings and Loan on Broadway. I know you’ve all heard the term dumb crooks, and I think these two were the epitome of that. They stole a brand new Chevrolet from a car dealer, drove it to the bank and left it running at the curb while they ran inside to stick up the place. With their loot in hand, they beat feet for the door only to get outside and discover that somebody had stolen their stolen car! Meanwhile, a teller had pushed an alarm button and the two would-be desperadoes were still standing on the sidewalk trying to figure out their next move when the cops showed up and gave them a ride to their new accommodations at the Graybar Hotel.

After driving around taking more pictures and making notes for my new book series, Terry and I went to the main library downtown and spent three hours going through books on Toledo history, companies from the old days, ethnic neighborhoods, and what life was like here in the early part of the 20th century. We came away with information overload, and I am sure that once we get back home it will take me weeks to organize everything into the proper order to easily reference it when it comes time to sit down and start writing.

We also stopped at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which tells the story of the maritime history of the Great Lakes and the role they have played in the history and development of the entire region. I will have a full blog post on the museum once we get back home and caught up.

And finally, a while back my cousin Nora Knople and her husband Chris recommended a great place to eat called Swig, which is in Perrysburg, a small town about three miles from our hotel. It’s a pub kind of place and we liked it so much that we have eaten there three times in four days.

I am not real big on hot dogs; I can take them or leave them. But I love the Cleveland Dog at Swigs. A delicious whole beef frankfurter with bacon, all beef coney sauce, shredded cheddar, and stadium mustard. It is so good one is never enough!

Thought For The Day – Some girls don’t like to walk in the rain because it puts their face back to the original factory setting.