Not the Hilton, but It’ll Do

A 2016 trilogy, Colorado and Bust

Subtitle 1958 M-Benz, 190 SL roadsters on a 3000 mile R/T

images-1

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Mark Twain 1916

Miles slip by, encouraging random thought. Road burn and fatigue are ameliorated by the gentle rumble of four cylinders, soothing flap of the fabric top, and static from a radio receiving only a single AM station….Christian radio. The combination is a stimulant equal to a monster 5-hour energy drink, freed from caffeine, so help me God.

Signs on the roadside provide constant entertainment. Passing LaClede, MO, the billboard notes the birthplace of General J.J.Pershing, where on this very day, 13Sept2016, he would have turned 156 y/o. Although no longer alive, having fought the Sioux wars and then leading forces to victory in WWI Europe, he survived 88 years.

350px-john_pershing_bain_bw_photo_as_major_general_1917     400px-pershings_tombstone

Remarkably, he made the news in Feb. 2016, when a U.S. presidential candidate made reference to a myth about old ‘Black Jack’ Pershing. Although the story turned out to be a fable, I’d wager the general would have relished the acknowledgement.

156 years beats 15 minutes of fame, like a flush over a straight, every time. Wouldn’t I love to have him riding shotgun with me today ?

Our three roadsters pass through Atwood, KS, a burg of 1000, self-proclaimed “Pride of the Prairie” and note its sole accommodation, the It’ll Do Motel, and hence, this essay. Intrigued by the clever title, I vowed to stay here on the return trip and I did. For $66, it beat any Route 66 motel.

13912697_1298986416785726_4023017167430781533_n

dscn3403

When was the last time you had a key to your room ?

Room eight was a winner. It featured the 100 year background, enclosed within several window box wall displays, of the local Williams Bros. grocery.

Both Williams boys died years ago, but the three generation Braxmeyer family is carrying the torch into the 21st century. Being drenched in supermarket history is soporific, resulting in a good night’s sleep. Who needs Ambien© when bananas are on sale for 56cents a pound.

Add, too, a star to the rating card, for the toilet paper prep in the popular paper airplane motif.  Which strikes me as a miniature adult diaper, in waiting.

dscn3400

And one more for the hand towel/washcloth, a work of folded art.

dscn3399

The drive entering eastern Colorado is pleasantly boring, however the stunning windshield horizon of the Rockies is dampened by tortuous bumper-to-bumper Denver traffic, high temperature, and oxygen starvation causing Parker’s baby blue to overheat. A push downhill, an hour cooling off period with Stella Artois in the Hyatt Regency (for us, not the car) and we’re off to the Winter Park Vintage Hotel.

dscn3298

⬆ Following bug removal, dispatching of leaves, the carcass of a dead bird, the nasal passages are polished and aligned for inspection on the runway.   What Germans term reduktive nasenchirurgieENT doctors a rhinoplasty, is quite simply, a nose job.

Long live the It’ll Do,

and to the upscale duplicates;

Choice® Hotels, Marriott®, Hyatt®, and Hilton®,

It’ll Don’t.

 

©insightout2016

 

The Twain shall meet

A 2016 trilogy, Colorado and Bust

Subtitle 1958 M-Benz, 190 SL roadsters on a 3000 mile R/T

images-1

The opening bell has rung. Kiss Lynn and Wilson goodbye;

roadster : we have ignition 

westward to the first interlude, Westville, IN, a road bend with little Zen. However, any crossroad can evoke a distant memory.

2001-12-31-23-00-00-606

It was here, at the home of the Justice of the Peace, March,1935, two hormonally charged 18 y/o arrived from East Chicago, IN to elope, the brave somersault over parental approval of marriage.

Later those two teens were known, to me and my brothers, as Mom & Dad.

Meet with Traverse City, MI traveling companions, Don and Kathy Drabik, quick how-do-you-do, gas up, next stop Monticello, IL, the Main Street Pub for a cold one, and reconnoiter with Salt Point, NY’s own, Brian & Paula Parker.

2001-12-31-23-00-00-611

 

Careful examination reveals the Drabik’s have secured a standard American stop sign, matched to the color of their car, and functions first as an attention-getter, and 2nd, as a working antenna for the Blaupunkt AM/FM radio.  People stop and stare.

A backroad strategy session of old friends plotting a new destination, Hannibal, MO.  A peaceful settlement on the mighty Mississippi, here the Twain have met, at the historical museum, notable for its exceptionally clean men’s room.

2001-12-31-23-00-00-619

 

Allow now for a tangential drift from the blue highway to what might be viewed as the yellow road.  Three men, average age > 70, driving cars nearly as old, find three reasons for frequent stops

  1. The 190 gas tank is = to 13½  US gallons, requiring regular refueling (the 3 R’s)
  2. Male bladders, malted brews, and prostatic hypertrophy, well, you get the whiff
  3. Because my wife said so

Here then, never before discussed, is a description of male behavior at the urinal; (a) you may look down, look up, or stare straight ahead…but never, never look to your left or right, (b) zero conversation unless it refers to sports or some manly theme, e.g.,”how about those Cubs” or, “did you notice that tattoo on the barmaid’s cleavage”, and (c) aim for the para-dichlorobenzene, that pink mothball cake.

Women, I learned only this week, first thing, always, always, look under the stall doors. Rather peculiar, but it must avoid the embarrassment of the abrupt squat stare. Can you sense I’m not ready for the trans, uni, or same sex bathroom ?

I will admit to being confused about the new ‘waterless’ fixtures incorporating the latest green technology.   Why not just pee into an empty Dasani® or Aquafina® bottle and drop it off at the recycle bin?   At issue is the number of urinal manufacturers A-Z made in the USA; American Standard, Kohler, Regal Sloan, Zurn, and then there’s Toto, the clever Japanese upstart where nothing is sacred, including Holy Mary.

a97723_g244_4-sacred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bn-eg593_itoto0_g_20140826080233

 

Or above, go whizz while watching a quiz .

In spite of Toto’s contribution to male relief, it is unlikely that the stolen intellectual property of MGM’s Wizard of OZ pet canine, Toto, will ever receive the royalties to which he is entitled.  Would it be politically incorrect to refer to the Japanese as “The Yellow Peril”, like we did in 1946 when Dad was a returning marine ?  Sorry.

the_wizard_of_oz_judy_garland_terry_1939

We have no interstate highway in our crosshairs, crossing into the heart of this great country, next stop St. Francis, KS which is not the boyhood home to the current Pope.   Marysville, KS tourism booster is the black squirrel population, countered by Norton, KS located near the Prairie Dog State Park, although it’s rumored that no prairie dogs actually live there, having moved to states with more favorable property tax abatement.

Our KS zoology lesson is near complete as we ride parallel, FedEx trucks to the left and the original Pony Express Trail on the right. Nearly every sizable town, if there is no Arkansas big box store, boasts its largest, most successful business, the John Deere Implement dealership.

4riversagsign

 

 

One of these, a used JD 9430 will cost as much ~ #2 condition 190SL, except,

  • The J-D has A/C
  • power steering
  • auto trans
  • cruise control
  • self cancelling turn signals
  • on board wifi
  • and it BEEPS in reverse gear.
Passing through Smith County, a billboard announces the writer and home of a man named Higley, who penned the state song of Kansas, “Home, home on the range”.  For an hour, driving alone in the car, I am loudly singing….Ohhh give me a home where the buffalo roam where the skies….I’ll let you, the reader, finish the lyrics.

….to be continued where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, next, motels on the road less traveled

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain, 1896

 

 

©insightout2016

Indiana Anatomy vs. Buckeye University

An old Hoosier geography lesson states, “North Vernon is in southern Indiana, South Bend is in northern Indiana, and French Lick isn’t all it’s cracked up to be”.

So I’m off to PUB 2015, ‘Pagoda University, Blacklick’, an unlikely burg east of Columbus, Ohio, to share owner experience with a peculiar group of devotees to a car produced, briefly, from 44 to 51 years ago.

In 1981, an internal urge, i.e., delirium, resulted in the purchase of an aging two-seat roadster, a 1971 Mercedes 280SL.  With an active business and two pre-teens, calling this impractical would be an upgrade.  Thirty-four years later, the “pagoda”, so named for its reverse parabolic roofline, remains in our stable, running like a ‘schweizer uhren’ (swiss watch).

images-1images

The group, known by its chassis designation, W113, is an internet fraternity bonded in the digital universe.  Aside from 27 states represented, there are 11 Canadians (Ont, Que, Manitoba, New Brunswick), two Australians, a Swede, Frenchman, and a Dominican, all of whom have ‘met’, online, through the club forum and now transformed into a band of brothers.

The unlikely meeting place, the shop of one Joe Alexander, a mechanical guru, personable yet unrefined, with two bad knees.  His milieu, two acres of shop surrounded by a jungle of cadaver cars, oxidizing under the watchful eyes of cannibals.  And poison ivy.

DSCN3385 DSCN3386

 

Few people knew that Jim Morrison named his rock group, The Doors, and wrote the lyrics to “Light My Fire” * in 1965 while under the effect of cannabis grown in Joe Alexander’s boneyard.  The evidence below:

You know that it would be untrue

DSCN3396

You know that I would be a liar

DSCN3380

Attractive rumps on a damp day

Come on baby, light my fire

While the cars are the magnet, they are inorganic.  They are arbitrarily assigned name, gender, and personality when none exist.  They do not suffer headaches, menstrual cramps, or bi-polar disorders and cold shower alert, they don’t know you own them.

The glue in this endeavor, an array of disparate individuals sharing a common passion.  Below, one Stephen B., a retired U.S. Army Colonel, wiping his near perfect example with a turkish towel.  The more he wiped the car, the cleaner the towel became:

DSCN3427

A PhD in mechanical engineering, from Quebec,  Inna S., articulate advocate of higher learning:

DSCN3462

Below, Rolf D. (333miles, London,Ontario), Johan W. (3333 miles, Gothenburg, Sweden)

compare odometer readings:

DSCN3405

Come on baby, light my fire

Many too numerous to mention:

  • An accomplished oil painter, nearly anonymous in the crowd, with a handsome collection of cars cloaked in his loft
  • A state department diplomat (ret.) with an exquisite eye for detail, a Rosetta stone memory
  • Radiologist, used to viewing negatives, with a 15 year restoration in progress; a decade away from conclusion
  • A clothing executive (ret.), sharing this experience with his hometown friend and barber…a drag racer of renown
  • 14 y/o Jacob, a grandson, who may carry the pagoda torch into the next generation
  • Former POW, Hoa Lo prison (aka Hanoi Hilton) USAF pilot and parachutist, whose identity shall remain private

A most memorable moment, sitting on the patio after a delicious Sat. evening dinner, watching the sunset over the Columbus skyline, in the company of three German émigrés discussing the homeland;

  • Rolf D, Canada, struggling over his wife’s declining health
  • Gernold N,  Arundel, Maine, mechanikermeister, born near the French/Belgian border
  • Urban J, Duluth MN, recently widowed, a transplant from Dusseldorf

The wine, average, the conversation was not, as the latter two enjoyed fine cigars of Cuban heritage.

Doesn’t get much better than this……..Blacklick trumps French Lick.

    Try to set the night on fire    

 

* ‘Light My Fire’ lyrics, courtesy Manzarek/Rothschild Production

©insightout2015