Mobile stairway to heaven


Four vintage roadsters, traveling in tandem, stop in Penfield, OH on the lawn of the local church ‘for sale by owner‘.  Could this be the big guy, GOD himself, asking $79,500 ?  Would HE take a 1956 MB 190SL in trade?



On a blue highway in small town LaGrange, northern OH, we pass the “Two Chicks & a Blow Dryer” salon, which briefly caught my attention.  In the very next block,

“Fu Ching studio of martial arts”


I’m staying calm, hands on the steering wheel.

350 miles over western Pennsylvania, a picnic at the local park, and a lengthy discussion over the anatomy of an animal cracker served as our preamble to day one. Six ‘adults’ passed the subject cracker around for an opinion, i.e., was it a bear, an elephant, a lion….?

The absence of a treasured anatomical appendage, in this age of Caitlyn Jenner enlightenment, led to the final judgment; a transgendered tiger. Pretending it was a pretzel, I ate it.


At an interstate rest stop, a long distance truck driver stopped to admire the cars, but mostly to dump rain water from inside the tires on his load.  He had to use a 5 gallon bucket to ‘make his weight’.  Headed from Nebraska to a northern Quebec mine, each tire (empty) weighs 9000 lbs and measures 11’9 in vertical height. You won’t find these on, our neighbor in South Bend.


Following opening evening activities on Wednesday, which has morphed into a marathon, serial hugfest, Thursday AM aimed the engines to nearby Nazareth, PA.

A tour of the incomparable C.F. Martin guitar factory defies description in a world of otherwise mass-produced trinkets.



 From $1500 to $150,000, with custom options

A tour of the oldest structure of Moravian culture, the stunning Whitefield House, built in 1740, followed on this gorgeous morning. Adjacent, in similar architecture, stands an elegant retirement home, the Alexandria Manor. Two ladies on the front porch, whom I’ll refer to only as Gertrude and June, the very names on their resident IDs, gazed with interest as the cars arrived.


L-R, Gertrude, Ruth

Gertrude, age 92, had lived her entire life in Nazareth, but had never, not once, toured the National Heritage site less than a hundred yards away. An offer to be her personal escort was declined: ‘maybe another day, but not today, thank you’. She gave the same Suze Orman response when I tempted her with a convertible ride.  Denied.

We talked at length about the ‘hometown’ favorite son, race driver Mario Andretti. “Yes, I knew him, a nice boy, but really his twin brother, Aldo, was much nicer and spoke better English. Those dago kids lived 3 blocks away on St. Elmo St.; sure,  I’ll tell you how to get there”.

I drove to the Andretti home, knocked, and was greeted warmly by the current owners, offered coffee, a krispy crème donut and a tour. You may find hospitality in a dictionary, but in Nazareth, it’s between C.F. Martin factory and the Whitefield House.

Time for a break here in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania….95℉, 95% damp…… be continued.