Drive, Pro Football HoF and William McKinley
Trip Start Apr 05, 2013
23Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
HI Express Akron and HI Downtown Buffalo
Sandy said, "We don't have any hot water. Do you think the pilot light might be out?" I told her more than likely with our home being 16-17 year old, the water heater shot craps. Sure enough when I got to the basement, water was leaking out of the heater (fortunately into a nearby drain), and the heater was making some terrible hissing and dripping sounds. Most of you know how mechanically minded I am (NOT!), so I immediately called William Masters. We have a contract with them to do stuff like this because I can't! The guy walked me through turning off the heater, the gas and the hot water...frankly, I'm surprised I could do that!
He said they could be out tomorrow at 11:00 with a new one
After packing and sleeping. I got up and headed toward Canton, Ohio, after first dropping off Kevin at his Pony Baseball game. I headed east of course. I know this route well. I took it many times when I was at ISU and Sandy was at the U of I. And now there's one of my favorite golf courses in Urbana...Stone Creek. Love playing it.
I saluted my Dad and yea, I guess, my biological father too, both buried in the cemetery right along US 150 and I-74 near Lake of the Woods. Passed all the familiar towns.
I mostly listened to Satelite Radio. Lots of good channels...50's of 5, 60's on 6, 70's on 7, 17 - love songs, 32 - The Blend, and occasionally, 56 - Willie's Roadhouse for both kinds of music...Country AND Western
Pretty soon I was in Indiana. Didn't stop at the Beef House...actually never been there, but they have great food. I was waiting until I got closer to Indy.
The Wabash River was pretty high I noticed as I crossed over it
As we neared Indy, I could wait no longer. White Castle on the right! I stopped. Sandy hates them. I crave them. I can't stop there if she's in the car. Four sliders, fries and a coke, I gassed up, (Pun intended? No, happy accident!....with credit to Big Bang Theory).
Going through Indy around Noon (Eastern Time). Speaking of Noon, reminded me that a read recently that fewer and fewer men (in particular) are wearing watches nowadays. That's because they always have their cell phones with them and the cell phones always have the time on the front. Easier than wearing a watch. I'm guessing women wear it more as jewelry than men, but not sure about that. Random thoughts of a man who's been on the road for 3-4 hours!!! Does anyone know the best way to get through Indy if going on I-70? The way my Garmin sent me was several miles of stop and go before hitting 70. Never sure that's the best way. Open to suggestions!
Huge traffic back-up (maybe 5 miles long) just East of Indy. Glad I'm not heading that way that way today. Passed the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the "Warm Glow" factory outlet store
Eastern Indiana turns from farmland to rolling hills and a lot more stands of trees.
I seem to have this strange curiosity about things I see along the road. For example, where did the Catawba River in Eastern Ohio get its name? Ever wonder that, or am I the only one with weird thoughts like that? Don't answer that! Strange word Catawba...turns out it's an Indian Tribe from the Carolinas...who knew? Not me. How about this? Who was John Bryan of John Bryan State Park in Eastern Indiana? Turns out he was the CEO of Sara Lee...you know the cakes and cookies people...and he donated a lot of money to preserve the land in the area, so they named the State Park after him? Now, tell me you knew that? Me neither before I looked it up.
Then there are some great signs out her on the highways and byways of America. For example, I saw one just outside of Ashland, Ohio, sort of welcoming you to Ohio. It said, "The World Headquarters of Nice People." Now, who thought that up? Gotta love it!!!
Made it to Akron, Ohio, just 15 miles from Canton
Bender's was great. It is the oldest Tavern in Canton, Ohio. Very old sign outside that I had to take a picture of...it said, "Bender's Men's Restaurant." Interesting. Legend has it that discussions on the NFL Pro Football League and later that Hall of Fame took place in the upstairs dining room of Benders. What a great way to begin my tour of the Hall of Fame tomorrow.
Dinner was great. Bloody Mary, six oysters on the half shell, tomatoes with Roquefort cheese, basil, parsley, red onions and homemade Italian dressing...excellent. Ribeye steak and Brussels sprouts with Parmesan cheese...outstanding! (Here's anothe one....it's spelled Brussels...not "brussel" sprouts because the cruciferous vegetable we eat today was first widely grown in Brussels Belgium....and another one...cruciferous...where did that come from? Turns out it's from the flower of all the cruciferous vegetable plants. The flower is in the shape of a cross...cross, as in what Christ was "crucified" on and thus cruciferous! I knew you wanted to know!!! Please bear with me through these tangets on which I seem to enjoy going!!
Home, blog, bed and more tomorrow....can't wait for the HOF and William McKinley's gravesite!
Up for free breakfast, then on to the Prof Fooball Hall of Fame. Great museum. I have now been to the big three...Baseball, Basketball and Football Hall of Fame. I took some great pictures of the building (Walter Payton on the front), cost was $17 (including $1 off for Sr. Discount, thank you!) It's a great tribute to professional football. They have busts of every HOF member. Lots of videos and then they take you into a small auditorium and show a very loud abbreviated replay of the 2013 Super Bowl. I am sure Bryan would love this place!
I spent about three hours at the HOF, and had just enough time for a cold drink and bio stop before the William McKinley Memorial and Gravesite. It's only about a half mile from the HOF. It's located in a park setting. 108 steps lead to the mausoleum of the 25th President of the United States, interrupted only by a large (9 ft) statue of President McKinley. The statue is from a photograph taken of McKinley about an hour before he was assassinated. The inside is very pretty, It's a double dome with the sarcophagi of President McKinley and his wife, Ida together under one single piece of green granite. The skylight has 45 stars in it, depicting how many states were in the union when McKinley was President. Beautiful. Both his daughters, neither of which lived to the age of 5 are buried along the back wall. There were lots of people running the 108 steps for exercise...no thanks! And kids were sliding down the 3 foot wide sides of the walkway...sort of neat
Went to the museum next door. It was OK. History lesson...William McKinley was elected twice as President, first in 1896, defeating a man I share a birthday with, William Jennings Bryan, and again in 1900 defeating Bryan again. McKinley was a Civil War officer, entering as a corporal and leaving as a Brevet Major. He was the last of the Presidents who served in the Civil War. He was a Congressman and Governor of Ohio before becoming President. He was President during the Spanish-American War. Interestingly, McKinley was assassinated in the town I am heading to next, Buffalo, NY, during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz. Reports say McKinley probably would have survived if not for poor medical attention.
His memorial was dedicated six years later and he and Ida, who died in 1907 were permanently laid to rest there along with their daughters. President Teddy Roosevelt (McKinley's VP) spoke at the dedication. It was a neat stop!
I was shortly on my way to Buffalo, NY.
Checked into my hotel (HI Downtown) and headed to a place called Anchor Bar. Ever hear of it? Probably not. Well, they INVENTED Buffalo Wings...no, Buffalo Wild Wings did not! They started them in the 1960s...and to think they are responsible for an entire industry in the world of bar food. Great place...10 medium and Buffalo fries and they even had MGD...I must be in heaven.
I'll sign off this epistle now...sorry it's so long! Tomorrow the grave site of the President with the strangest name! Any guesses?????
Take care my friends and family!