After breakfast Tom and I,
...Continued from yesterday:
So then, Monday morning started with a yummy breakfast at the Tupelo Honey Cafe,
... the tea was organic,
...and the company, some of our old friends and fellow alum of the University of Dayton Appalachia Club,
After breakfast Tom and I,
...took a walk around downtown Asheville.
When lunch time rolled around - which our friends opted to skip - Tom and I set out to look for some nourishment and found a little Mediterranean place.
...but best of all was the food.
After lunch we did a few more turns around the town,
...before returning to the hotel to for more catching up.
...amazed at what we were back then,
...and what we all grew up to be.
To be continued...
This past Sunday Tom and I drove from Columbus, Ohio to Ashville, North Carolina for a reunion of the Appalachia Club, a group Tom and I both belonged to when we were students at the University of Dayton and whose members did volunteer work in rural Eastern Kentucky. (See posts from 3/9/2015 and 3/10/2015).
University of Dayton Appalachia Club members in the 1970's:
The wonderful 3-day event was organized by a wonderful Appalachia Club Alum, Sharon.
To get to the reunion Tom and I took the long scenic route down old US 23 – through Ohio, West Virginia , Virginia and Tennessee - a 9 ½ hour ride including lunch at – where else? – Subway (when on the road we eat lunch exclusively at Subway),
... the eggplant part of which came out ‘way deep-fried, and the sauce part of which was…well, the truth is it’s rare that I ever find a really good spaghetti sauce in a restaurant. My mother could make a fantastic meat sauce, the recipe for which she passed down to me so that now I can make a fantastic red meat sauce. I can also make a fantastic meatless red sauce from a recipe I once found on a box of Kroger’s spaghetti.
I will share my red sauce recipes a couple of posts from now.
Anyway, it was late in the evening when we arrived at our destination in Ashville,
Such happy campers were Tom and I that we agreed that The Four Points Hotel deserved to change its name to the Five Points Hotel...until I turned on my laptop and discovered that the WIFI in our room was somewhere between limping-snail and non-existent. And when the WIFI in the hotel lobby proved to be even less functional,
...that spot lost its charm as well.
However, by the following morning when Tom and I began linking up with our old college friends,
....where the food was yummy,
...then later in the hotel lobby,
...Tom and I came to learn over the course of the conversations that we were among the luckier Four Points Hotel guests: our friends shared stories of clogged drains, a jammed shower element, non-functioning air-conditioning, and a lack of hot water.
Then when this sign suddenly appeared in the hotel lobby:
...we all knew we were in for a kvetch-worthy experience, especially as the young desk clerks seemed clueless as to where the closest public restrooms might be.
But then it occurred to us that in the grand scheme this really wasn't so bad.
After all, hadn't we survived worse?
To be continued...
...Continued from yesterday:
I never did return the the midway for a funnel cake.
Instead Tom and I put visions of funnel cakes out of our heads and headed for the sheep barn,
...and the farm families who were preparing the sheep for their competitions,
Next we visited the poultry barn
Then we swung by the arts and crafts building,
...or one photograph or piece of art over another,
...or one food sculpture over another,
...or one miniature composition over another,
...or one pie or cupcake over another,
...or one amazing cake over another,
...or one piece of Brillo art over another,
I guess one just has to have a really good eye for that sort of thing.
After we'd finished touring the arts and crafts building we decided to seek out lunch from among the standard myriad food offerings.
We settled for our usual Fair lunch from one of the places that offers as close to grilled options as one will find at the Fair,
So be forewarned if you ever buy a so-called "grilled" turkey leg at the Fair.
After lunch, though still feeling fortified to resist the funnel cakes,
We spent the rest of the day visiting the agricultural exhibits,
...and the commercial buildings,
...where I chatted with the friendly salesgals at the Creative Energy sunglasses table,
After 6 hours of strolling the Fair grounds we were ready to call it a day,
...and exited through the secret portal by which we'd entered,
Who can know the ways of Karma?
If anyone is every looking for Tom or me on the first Saturday of August, know that, save a cataclysmic turn of events, you will find us savoring that yearly slice of Ohioana set in the heart of downtown Columbus:
The Ohio State Fair.
Though we are the most stalwart of Fairophiles and have seldom missed a State Fair for the 38 years we've lived in Columbus - even those years when we were dragging around a passle of babies, toddlers and little kids and, back in those pre-restroom changing station days, had to change diapers on the grass - this year's was an especially auspicious Fair experience.
Now, a day at the Fair generally starts out with the requisite waiting behind a long line of cars to the entrance gate where one pays the parking fee, then following the line to the vast parking lot, then parking, then walking from the parking lot to the closest shuttle stop, then waiting for the shuttle, then riding the shuttle,
...to the admission area, then standing in a long line to the admission gate,
But this time, after we'd paid our parking fee and while we were waiting behind the line of cars to the parking lot, a fair worker came up to our car, - why our car? Who knows? - asked us to give her our admission fee, then waved us out of line and directed us to an alternate route that led us to a practically empty parking lot,
We chalked it up to some good Fair Karma.
This secret entrance brought us in through the midway at the back end of the Fair,
...past the midway rides,
...and the worst food for you on the planet.
Now granted, wherever you are on the Ohio State Fairgrounds you’re never far from the worst food for you on the planet,
…but heart of it all, the true mother lode of the worst of the worst of all possible stuff you can put into your mouth has to be located along the Midway.
As for me, the siren song of a bratwurst loaded with peppers and onions,
...never ceases to call to me, though I generally resist.
But the call of those wicked delights is nowhere near as compelling as the call of the funnel cakes,
Every year as as I pass by the ubiquitous funnel cake displays,
...I think, someday, someday.
This time as I stood mooning over the display case the friendly young man behind the counter asked me what I’d like.
“Well,” I replied, “Someday, when I’m so old that I don’t have any more hoots to give about my weight or how I look,” I swept my hand across the display case, I’m going to eat every one of these.”
The young vendor, wise beyond his years, said, "But the Fair is the place where you're supposed to eat these."
I thought he made a good point but I sighed, "I know, but all those calories..."
"I'll tell you what," he said, looking so eager to please, "I'll make you a little snack-sized one for you."
"Oh, wow," I said, impressed by his kind solicitousness, "I'm so tempted!" I really was. "But let me eat lunch first and I'll think about it."
To be continued...
Yesterday as soon as I got home from work I hurried to my computer and quickly turned it on. I wasn't in a rush to check my email, my Facebook, or the weather forecast: I knew well what I was jonesing for:
This past week the online news has been a veritable treasure trove of Trump theatrics of the absurd, every few hours offering another
I've become hooked to "The Trump Show: All Trump, All The Time!",
...mine for the inhaling at the click of my computer mouse.
Nor am I the only one with a Trump addiction.
And there's been plenty to pass back and forth.
In truth, this isn't funny. It is within the realm of possibility that this train wreck I can't stop watching could go chugging to the White House and put our country in the hands of a modern-day Caligula.
I think I need an intervention. The day after November 8.
Yesterday during a Trump rally in Ashburn, Virginia an elderly veteran gave Donald Trump his Purple Heart.
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Louis Dorfman received his Purple Heart in 2007 for combat injury during the Iraq war. Perhaps giving it away seemed a small sacrifice, even an honor, in the defense of the man he so loved admired and who'd been under attack for his denigration of
Lt. Col. Dorfman must have imagined what the moment would be like when he met his hero and handed him his cherished Purple Heart. Maybe in mind's eye he even saw Donald Trump responding, as Khzir Khan later said that Trump should have responded, by pinning the medal back on the soldier's chest, giving him a hug, and thanking him.
Was Lt. Col. Dorfman a bit taken aback when his hero's first response upon taking his medal was to look it over and ask,
When Lt. Col. Dorfman assured Trump, telling him, "That's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you", did the retired officer perhaps expect a more eloquent reply than, "Man, that's like, that's like, big stuff" before Trump pocketed the medal then walked out on stage?
And while watching Trump out on stage as he pulled his Purple Heart from his pocket, and watching him hold the medal up for his supporters to see, and listening him recount to his supporters how he received it, did Lt. Col. Dorfman not perhaps feel the slightest sting when Donald Trump quipped, "I always wanted to get the purple heart. This was much easier."
When Donald Trump called him out to the stage before the cheering audience, did Lt. Col. Dorfman, leaning on his cane, wish ever so slightly that his hero might have put his arm around him instead of he having to be the one to put his arm around his hero,
Or perhaps Lt. Col Dorfman felt no disappointment, and truly wanted nothing more in return for his gift than his request to Donald Trump : "I'd like you keep saying what you've been saying."
It's a better than gold bet that Lt. Col. Dorfman will receive what he asked for.
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it at
Barnes & Noble,
The Book Loft
of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.