Oh, little town of ………….

A requisite tour of the America on Wheels museum in Bethlehem, PA. featured a lunch prepared by nearby Catasauqua, PA “Cathy’s Creative Catering Café’, a business suffering from an overdose of “C”s. Delicious food, however, maybe a vowel from Pat and Vanna is in Cathy’s future.

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graphite and ivory 190Sls (1955-1963) in the shadow of the Bethlehem Steel blast furnace (1857-2003) on a 95℉ day

The planned afternoon activity, covered bridges, Rodale organic farm and picnic in Kutztown, PA., exceeded my tolerance. A hot 55 y/o roadster, sweltering heat, humidity, and intense traffic delays melted my enthusiasm, so under the heading, full disclosure; I bolted.

IMG_6116  So cute, even those little piggies

IMG_4132  kiss me, I’m organic

This little piggy may go to market, but my little piggy is going whee, whee, all the way to home to Easton, PA.

Yes, I broke rank. Sorry, the criminal equivalent of automotive treason, punishable by two years on a home-detention ankle monitor, and one conjugal garage visit per month.  Harsh, yes, but the benefits of compost and recycled manure are far less interesting than an unscheduled visit to (hold onto your silly putty ®)………

The Crayola ® Experience; from their brochure, a one-of-a-kind attraction where color, chemistry, and technology magically combine to create a colorful adventure for a child’ s imagination.

The Binney & Smith museum, located in downtown Easton, PA was on my bucket list; the bonus, it was blissfully air-conditioned. Teeming with 4 to 8 y/o future graffiti artists, many of whom had skipped today’s Ritalin dose, I dove right in as if still in Miss Markwalder’s first grade class, Gary, IN, the Wallace School, 1946.

Much like the Hershey Museum, or Kellogg’s watching Fruit Loop production, the Spam Museum in Austin, MN; all destinations that parallel the 190SL fantasy, deceiving oneself as being forever young. Where else will you see the world’s largest Crayon ?

Attaction-BigBlue-Crayon

 

Next stop, Hackettstown, NJ, home to the Mars production facility.  No longer open to public tours, I’m playing the Charles Kuralt card in an attempt to finagle a writer’s pass to….drum roll…..the m&m plant.

M&M_spokescandiesonly 4.7 calories each.

 

Wish me luck.

Fall Touring, Middle America

dateline: South Bend, IN
0701 hrs EST, 11Oct2014

Alert: contains no Airstream reference; low in calories

Romeo (aka David) and Juliet,

The weather rarely cooperates but that never dampens the spirits of the many attendees.
……or the charming host family.

Appears you were snakebit again by the iffy fall weather on 4Oct2014. As long as the pizza was hot, the brews cold, and the pumpkins ripe enough to bake a pie, who cares. Today, one week later, it will probably be clear, a glorious fall day at the peak of autumn color.

I opted to attend the French Lick concours, also s#itty weather, an o.k. event, but somewhat starchy and a return visit….doubtful. Mostly rich white folks, somewhat cliquish, several regulars on the Amelia, Meadowbrook, Pebble glamour circuit, where it’s proper to wear a blazer, a white panama + have people (staff) to trailer your car(s), prep them, then return home without a single soiled owner fingernail, so help me Maybelline.

Some interesting and rare iron, however, the featured marquee was Shelby Cobra. Really, after looking at 20 white with the two blue stripes, chromed rollbars, some real, some “signed” by Carroll, some ‘re-creations’, mustang varieties; all I could do was look in the mirror and spell nway backwards.

I did meet up with a new 300SL friend, Phil Brown from Oak Brook, IL and rode shotgun as his navigator on the Sat. rally. He bought his car in 1971 when he was 17 y/o…hammered it like a threepenny nail until 2004, then had it restored to 95+ point by Rudi Koniczek in Victoria BC. The color scheme has the “wow” factor.

The 100+ mile drive through the rural southern Indiana hills was exhilarating. Two upscale private collections* made nice stops.

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Sandwiched by a retro T-Bird and Mustang,
Stalked by a drone

Phil drives (doesn’t trailer) and isn’t fearful of having fun, so he would never win crystal on Sunday. Translation: his dirt wasn’t as attractive as the others dirt. A good guy, very knowledgeable, with an interesting garage of euro cars.

Bottom line: the 1st Sat in Oct. will be reserved for Fennville in the future.

Cheers
Chas

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Phil Brown, a 60 y/o, serious cancer survivor, behind the wheel of his 1957 roadster

 

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Our ‘rare’ 1981 380SLC juxtaposed with PB’s common 198 chassis. Sadly, the canary with dark green rag-top on the right is worth 2X the gorgeous closed coupe on the left ?…NO…20X….?..NO…try 200X. Life, like the weather, is often unfair.

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⬇⬆ The ‘people’s choice’ on the highway went to this 114 chassis, a 1972 220D sedan spotted in Paoli, IN. Featuring seborrhea dermatitis in the popular ferric oxide shade, all original.

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Optioned with dandruff and the desirable sun roof and; think of it as dandroof. Get out the Selsun® Maroon

*© WDRB, Louisville,KY

 

insightout©2014

Suomi for Breakfast

No attorney in view, the restaurant and bakery in Houghton, a local tradition, is the Suomi. (pronounced Sue Me) *.  The bearded busboy, a student at Finlandia University, is very polite, yet appears a raccoon with distemper.

The no-nonsense waitresses, so quick you feel their passing breeze lift the napkin from the counter; the French toast made from freshly baked cinnamon bread, exquisite. This is Paris, in denim, hiding from polyester vacations.

DSCN1854Sunday regatta, looking toward Hancock, MI and the Finlandia campus

Since our first visit to the Keweenauw, 2008, the entire peninsula has become more vibrant.  Calumet and sister city, Laurium, on the verge of extinction, are now in resuscitation.  Not hip or trendy, i.e. disney, cruise ship, water park, cookie-cutter franchises.  Tourism, home-grown small business, renewed historical interest in mining, and the abundance of natural beauty trump Priceline.com or Sandals® resorts.  Credit the Pure Michigan campaign.
(full disclosure: I am not an actor or compensated spokesperson)

The entertainment choices, like most university towns, are often unique.  The Festa Italiana in Hancock boasted its headliner, “The World’s First Indestructible Italian Polka Band”, but ran out of spaghetti, overwhelmed by hungry festival goers.  The Michigan Tech Pep Band is reputed to be a techno-geek sensation, but sadly, we arrived a month prior to practice.

band

“The ice bucket challenge is for wusses”

DSCN1495Laurium’s own, George Gipp, immortalized on the football field and in fieldstone by Knute Rockne and Ronald Reagan.

DSCN1486The lodge of the Keweenauw Resort, built in the early 1930’s has changed little in eighty years.  Built by the WPA to provide labor for the 80-90% unemployment among miners, it retains the craftsmans’ unduplicated charm to this day. A baked haddock sandwich, cole slaw, chips and beer never tasted better.
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[may click to enlarge]

Nearing our goal, the Copper Harbor lighthouse from across Horseshoe Bay as seen August 2008.  A beautiful, lonely, desolate finger into the teeth of northwest winds of Lake Superior.
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August, 2014, same view, Lynn explaining to Mrs. Wilson our first visit with Jack.

We’ve reached our goal, the genesis of U.S.41.
DSCN1830Family portrait; and a vow to one another we won’t wait 6 years to return. 

This is where snowfall is measured in feet, not inches.  Where people think hockey is an actual sport although admit never seeing the puck.  And most important, the natives regard the current frenzy, the ice bucket challenge**, as a thermal joke.  They wouldn’t consider participating unless they needed to warm up.

 

*reputed to be the best breakfast in MI by Rachel Ray, the chatty, chubby, petite Jewish doyenne of kitchen kitsch

**when will this ever end ?

 

©insightout2014