Thursday, May 30, 2013

Midwest in a Blurrrr

The Frank Gehry designed building across from my hotel
The morning I left Cleveland the wind ceased and the sun shone. I can't stay another day because I have to cross two thirds of the United States, visit some friends, drop off the Interstate for a few miles, and make my drive seem casual all in five days. No problem...a walk in the park, a can of corn. But first I had to get one more photo of the Frank Gehry building with actual sunshine before moving on.

One last breakfast d'elegance at the Glidden, finish stuffing my meager belongings in my duffel, run down the back stairs, jump into Cheeky and drive. This time I really have no direction home other than west. I poured over a map of the US and had three rough out choices for a camp. Potato Camp near Lake Michigan seemed like a good start. If I make it fine...if not....well...there's always a motel.  Leaving Cleveland the sun continued to shine and did so throughout the morning. In the beginning I stuck to some backroads that lead me through Amish communities but soon I needed to make some quick miles so I drove onto the "Toll Road" and drove fast out of Ohio into Indiana. As the sun began it's decent I began to pay more attention to the GPS as I approached New Liberty, Indiana.

Wondering through Amish country was peaceful
I made one slight error before leaving the Glidden House. I programmed Minnie to a town near the state park where I thought I should spend the night since the state camp ground wasn't recognized on my GPS. Not a problem but I forgot I programmed a close address when I got to the area and only realized it when I made my fiftieth turn in the rural farm lands of New Liberty. I programmed the local state park, Potato Camp and quickly discovered I went about 30 miles out of my way. Oh well I got to the Potato State Park and the girl at the front gate said they had a tent spot but it would cost me $7.00 and then proceeded to the actual camp ranger station to get my site pass, vehicle pass, and the set of camp rules and pay an additional $32.00 because because it was Memorial Day Weekend. It was late so I continued to drive on to my $39.00 camp site along with the 200 other family campers. The only difference between me and my fellow outdoor seekers was my tent verses the rest being in RV's. I drove to my site that had a nice large shade tree and a grassy area and erected my tent.

Next to me was a nice young family sitting at the camp supplied picnic table next to their older RV having a crockpot dinner. With my tent complete with sleeping bag and Therma Rest, I began digging around in my provisions box to see what I was going to prepare for dinner. I must have looked pretty pitiful because the dad walked up and offered me a hot plate of scrambled eggs and potatoes nicely mixed together. I thanked him and as he walked back, I pulled out my salsa to spice up this midwest delight. After cleaning my plate I pulled out a box of Bisbee chocolates and walked over to the family and gifted them the sweets. The whole family thanked me and it wasn't till the middle of the night that I awoke and realized I neglected to warn them that one or two of the sweets could have chili powder in them. Oh well what do they expect from an eccentric old fart from Bisbee (where ever that is)

Rain all the way across Iowa
It was just past seven when I climbed in my tent to read. Within minutes I was asleep and didn't wake until 5:30AM. Refreshed I went to the park bathhouse,  took a hot shower, had some cereal, broke camp and was on the road by 7AM. I knew this time I had to make 600 miles to Des Moise, Iowa but as I left Indiana, the sky turned dark...I mean it was like someone turned off the light switch. The coal black clouds began to dump rain and it didn't let up even as I entered Des Moine, a town much larger than I had ever expected. I stopped at a pub that served cajun food.  Ordered dinner, a beer and then came to the realization there was no way I could camp in this storm so once again I searched for a hotel room and this time it was The Fort at Des Moise Hotel, a large vintage hotel with a history of playing host to a number of presidential candidates. I schlepped my bags to the 5th floor, did some writing and quickly hit the sack for the next day was going to be my longest reach across the Midwest.

The Fort Hotel overflowing with political heritage

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rockingly Overwhelmed

Even though I had a great satisfying dinner last night, I was looking forward to breakfast at the Glidden House. An array of hot cereal, croissants, juices, fresh fruits, and coffee delighted my soul for looking out the sun room's windows I could see I was in for another nasty speaking of course.
I will insist on chandeliers at breakfast from now on

The morning weather didn't improve when I left the fact it was worse. Cold chilling winds thundering off Lake Erie cut me to the bone. I wanted to get to the Rock and Roll Museum early to allow me time enough to take in all that had to offer and to get ahead of the crowds. After programming Minnie, I was off to the lake front district of downtown Cleveland. I must take back all the disparaging things I've said about Cleveland in the past...this is really a very nice city and if you haven't had the chance to visit it would be well worth catching a cheapo flight to the city for a few days.

After a quick park on the pier I stepped out from Cheeky to be blasted by the bare freezing winds off Lake Erie. Hunched shouldered, collar up, and layered up, I briskly made my way to the museum. On the way a plaque addressed why Cleveland was chosen for the Rock & Roll Museum. OK..This is for you Aunt Geri...Alan Freed in 1951 was the first DJ in the country to broadcast Rock, Blues and Rockabilly music to the masses. His syndicated radio show served up this new form of music across America and He was the first promoter to stage a Rock and Roll concert. So I can understand now and hopefully Geri can too why Cleveland has the museum.

The Rock and Rock Museum
There were only a few people so I was soon escalated down to the first of 6 floors of exhibits. I instantly became overloaded with massive amounts of rock memorabilia. It took me about 30 minutes to slowly understand and absorb the showcases full of handbills, guitars, costumes, and set lists by about every musician you've heard of plus many others that I'll be researching later. No doubt it's a phenomenal museum...a must see for everyone. After five hours of strolling down memory lane I thought I'd better see a bit more of downtown Cleveland.
The interior of the museum

I walked out of the museum and was immediately assaulted  once again by strong bitterly cold winds. I made it a couple blocks and did an about face back to the car. Cold and hungry I remembered the art museum had a cafe. I fired up Cheeky, asked Minnie to direct me back to the Glidden House and with 30 minutes I was walking through the doors of the museum into the atrium and into the cafe. I made a quick pass looking at all the incredible options but decided on a New England Clam Chowder, a quinoa salad, and a Thai Shark Steak wrap. Yum.... After lunch I walked a bit more around the museum taking some photos and then decided to explore the Botanical Garden across the street. These venues are widely separated by large landscaped grounds making the walks pleasing.

With the condition of the weather I asked the young information assistant how to get to the large glass enclosed rain forest. She also said butterflies were released only a few minutes ago so I should have a good look at them. I pushed through the double door entrance and soon transported from 40 degree weather to a tropical 80 degree jungle with hundreds of colorful butterflies flitting about. Once I warmed up and actually began a sweat, I explored the grounds around the building. Because Cleveland had warm weather in the high 70's before I arrived, some flowers began to bloom so it wasn't all bleak.

A mossy grotto inside the botanical garden
I returned to my hotel and because of the large late lunch I didn't need any dinner and focused on writing, watching some basketball playoffs, and hitting the sack early knowing I had a long day of driving ahead of me.

Janis Joplins 356 Porsche Speedster

Les Paul's 1946 first electric guitar

Mick Jagger's set list

Inductees Hall of Fame Theatre

Lunch at the art museum

It's Not Only Rock & Roll But I Like It

I was jubilant leaving the farm for the last time. My quest was complete and now my next destination was Cleveland, the home of the Rock & Roll Museum. Earlier in our travels we stayed with Sharon's Aunt Geri and when she heard I was going to Cleveland to visit the Rock & Roll Museum she strongly vocalized her disgust with the museum not being located in Memphis...the birthplace of Rock and Roll, Blues, and Rockabilly. She flatly believed the decision was wrong. I couldn't think what the reason was either but I soon found out.

The Glidden House was comfy and elegant
Because Cleveland is a large city and the weather being cold, windy, and raining I opted for finding a hotel to spend the night. I had no idea what exit to take or what part of the city I should look for a room so my decision was to find the art museum and then look around that area. Usually art museums are placed near the happening parts of a city so I programmed Minnie to take me to the museum. I exited the interstate and traveled a distance on Martin Luther King Blvd that wound me through a series of beautiful lush green forested parks all the while the rain poured down. Making a few quick turns I arrived at the entrance to the museum, parked at a meter space and programmed hotel into Minnie. My choice was based upon a close small non corporate hotel close called The Glidden House. I called to find they had a vacancy and parking as well.

Panorama of the Cleveland Museum of Art atrium
The hotel turned out to be a fantastically beautiful former estate of the Glidden paint family. I pulled Cheeky up to the front of this elegant chateau and unloaded my bags, then checked into my room. I still had some daylight left so I went exploring the neighborhood retracing my route back to the Cleveland Museum of Art. On the way I passed the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Museum of History. Looking at my watch, I had a couple hours to see the art museum before it closed.

The sound installation ushered me to a different world
At the front desk of the museum, the docent gave me a quick rundown on what to see within the limited time before closing. I took the guide pamphlet and quickly made my tour throughout this impressive building and incredible collection of contemporary work, classical works, and medieval collection plus a sound installation comprising of a classical chorale in a room surrounded by Baroque masterpieces. I couldn't have landed in a better spot after a long drive. Upon leaving the museum, I inquired at the information desk as to where the Rock and Roll Museum was located. The woman explained that it was down on the lake front about 5 miles away. At first I thought I made a wrong choice for a hotel location but later discovered I happened upon the best area to stay.
 Medieval Display
Spring tried to break through

Gardens outside the museum
Returning to my hotel, I inquired at the front desk about a recommending a restaurant within walking distance. The desk clerk smiled and insisted I walk about 20 minutes to the Little Italy section of Cleveland to Mia Belle Restaurant. I cleaned up a bit and within a half hour I was walking in the continuing rain to the restaurant. Across the street from my hotel I noticed a building that looked like a Frank Gery contemporary design. It was incredibly bent, twisted, and metallic. Later I found I was correct in my assumption. Onward sloshing along the boulevard I came to the Mia Belle, a small family owned corner bistro. Sitting a the bar, I ordered a Mia salad, scallops in red sauce, and a glass of Italian white wine. The salad was crisp with a nice variety of veggies and the scallops were the most flavorful tender bites of Neptune that ever slid over my tongue. Dessert was a caramel custard ending my full blown Italian culinary experience.

With the rain now accompanied with a strong wind, my walk home was a bit challenging but the lingering flavors of Mia Belle and the thoughts of the Rock & Roll Museum for tomorrow occupying my mind, I was soon at the doorstep of the Glidden House.


Monday, May 27, 2013

1 Turn, 2 People, 3 Stories

Leaving Greenville felt like I found the items I wished for but I wasn't feeling complete. Something was missing so my hopes hung on my going north a bit more to the Ohio and Pennsylvania border.

Main Street Linesville PA
The evening and early morning brought a solid rain but I was comfortable and dry inside Big Agnus (the tent) but the rain creates extra work in the morning trying to dry the tent before packing it into it's stuff sack. I made some coffee and ate cearal to reduce cooking and clean up. The morning began sunny interspersed with big clouds so I quickly assembled everything, packed, and drove east about 3 miles on to Main St. I saw the post office and remembered Sharon had left a book on tape for the Bisbee Library in one of provision boxes. The tape would be way overdue if I didn't send it so I walked up and down Main Street until 9AM when the Post Office opened. Besides if I got to my Grandparents farm too early it would be a bit rude of me knocking on the door asking for permission to poke around.

I got some ice at the small market, bought some lubricating oil and a "hide a key" at the hardware store, mailed the package, and drove north about 15 miles when I came to a "Road Closed" sign just before my Grandparents farm, or the best that I could remember where it was.  I took the detour  routing me to the Ohio border. This time I ignored the detour sign and doubled back slowly looked for the farm.  The distance from the farm to the border was the only clue I had in my mind. As I slowly drifted down the pavement, a dirt road that looked kind of familiar on the right side of the road caught my eye, I turned and began driving on it, first passing a farmer on a tractor, we both nodded giving each other mutual recognition as I continued up the road. Next about a 100 yards further a good sized man was working in a newly planted garden. I spied the buildings behind him and the garden but none of the structures were my grandfathers.

Bill and Jean new cousins.
You see, my grandfather, Paul Batory was a tall strong craftsman and construction foreman for large projects such as dams and road building so when the original two story farm house caught fire in the 1940's, my Grandpap built the new house himself around the damaged one while they still lived in it. When it came time to remove the old house, Grandpap had everything ready to complete the interior in a couple weeks.

The farmer turned and stared at me from the middle of his garden wondering who I was stopping at his property. I got out of Cheeky, smiled and introduced myself and then explained that I believe this property was my grandparents one time. He asked their names and said the Batory's farm is about a half mile further towards Ohio and believes the renters moved out quite some time ago so the place may be empty. He seemed very comfortable and relaxed then continued on about his property at one time belonged to Billy Gilroy. He began Story One..."Billy was quite a character. He had a 600lb. razor hog and he would slip an ear of corn in his back pocket and that hog would sniff that ear of corn following Billy around the perimeter of his property. That's how he walked his hog." Story Two..."He had a brother Jimmy that wanted to buy a farm about a couple miles down from here. Now this was in the 1930's...He worked for Ferguson Tractor and had saved up $2,000.00 for the down payment for the farm. Remember this was the 30's so $2,000.00 was a lot of money then. Well Jimmy had sat on a tractor and plowed a field and the wide tractor seat dislodged his wallet from his back pocket somewhere in the field. Jimmy borrowed a plow horse and rake implement and walked behind that horse until dusk when he decided the wallet was lost forever. He began to unhook the horse when the horse stomped kicking forward a tuft of dirt and Jimmy saw something fly across the ground. Walked over and reached to his disbelief, it was his wallet with all the money. He said he never felt more like kissing a horses ass in his life"

Grandpap Paul and Granma Esther's house
When he finished with the two stories I began to put together the lineage of characters in his story and when he told me his name was Bill Thompson and that his daddy's name was Merle, I became elated. First off....the two people in the stories were brothers and those brothers were my uncles. Not the sharpest boys but hard workers. The farmer, Bill Thompson's father, Merle was my Uncle Merle because my grandmothers sister married Merle. It was said Merle was half American Indian and he and my Aunt Ruth lived across the state highway from my grandparents. Merle and Ruth had a large farmhouse with wooden floors. Story Three...One Saturday when I was about 6 years old I walked over to my Uncle Merle's to sit in his living room and watch professional wrestling with him. Merle thought the wrestling was real and every Saturday you could hear him across the highway yelling at the Philco black and white TV. I sat and watched both the wrestling and Uncle Merle rolling a cigarette from the can of Prince Albert next to his wooden chair. He had the cigarette almost done but a piece of tobacco left the paper and went up his nose causing Merle to violently sneeze and behind the sneeze came Uncle Merle's teeth flying from his mouth and skipping across the wooden floor in front of the Philco. I honestly thought my uncle had sneezed so hard that he blew out all his teeth so I ran home to my grandparents screaming "Uncle Merle blew out his teeth". That's when I learned about dentures and that they are just like stars...they come out at night.

I explained to Bill that we are related only by marriage but it was sure great getting to meet him and his wife Jean who smiled so sweetly. I asked to take their picture and Jean said she isn't pretty enough and Bill told Jean it isn't too often that a girl gets to have her photo taken with such a handsome man.

Barbers family grave site
We said our goodbyes and I now was off to finish up my business. I drove down the highway and looked for the block house out on the road Bill explained to me. I saw the block house up ahead and sure enough way back off the road was my grandparents home where I spent most of my weekends growing up.  The house was empty and in need of a little care but I had full run of walking about reliving in my mind so many warm memories. I turned away from the house and walked into the thick woods to where I remembered the Barber family grave site. This family was involved with the underground railroad hiding black slaves and assisted them from the south to the north. I walked with my memory as my only talisman then bingo there were the graves.

Walking back to the farmhouse I felt a sense of total satisfaction. My memory served me pretty well and the happenstance of meeting my new far removed cousins was a sweet surprise.

I returned to Cheeky, fired up Minnie, programmed in Cleveland, Ohio. This time not only was I on my way to the next roadside attraction but I felt completely joyful not only finding the farm but stumbling upon Bill Thompson and his wife was the really Holy Grail.

Geneva on the Lake.
 PS: On my way to Cleveland I saw a sign for Geneva on the Lake, a beach community on Lake Erie. my mother used to talk about fondly so I stopped by to see what turned out to be a stunted version of the Jersey Boardwalk

Sunday, May 26, 2013

North To My Birthplace

Main Street Greenville
The next couple days are the reason for this trip. The journey has  been great but real sweet stuff for me is to visit my birthplace, Greenville Pennsylvania to reacquaint myself with the houses, the neighborhood, school, and surrounding areas. I wanted to smell the dirt, taste the air, feel the light, and get a real sense where my life began. Youthful eyes are pretty silly and when connected to the mind, a memory can become easily distorted. Houses looked much larger and the length of the streets are much shorter than I remembered.

Holy Trinity Church where Mom taught Sunday School
Information regarding my early life is limited to a few photos and my memory. My parents are both gone as well as my only sibling. Surprisingly enough my memory was fairly accurate having to search 55 years of past data. Only a couple things I couldn't find and I didn't try to connect with any people. First of all, I attended my first three years of school there and all my parents friends are long gone. The only person that is a direct relative that could lend any help is my Aunt Nita but she is working through some memory issues. So it is up to me to glean what I'm looking for and I'm not certain what is driving me.

The Kidd Covered Bridge where I used to play Huck Finn
Monday morning I left my hotel near the airport in Pittsburgh and drove directly north for 70 miles. Again, I left Greenville when I was 9 but when I reached Main Street I drove directly to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to get my bearings. This is where I was baptized and spent every Sunday listening to Pastor Brath, fidgeting in the pews, and attending Sunday school doing a variety of puzzles all with a religious undertone. This repetition allowed me to find the church and park next to it without hesitation. With some help from a woman inside the church I found my first school that no longer is part of the school system, the old covered bridge, and our third home which was the prize of my mother's dreams. It was brand new and the only house they purchased in their life. The first house was out in the country and I believe was leveled and the second one near my first school, I just couldn't remember.
Late Afternoon lunch stop at Paxtons

I was quite satisfied with what I had found leaving me with a warm feeling. More daylight was available for me to move a bit further north to search for my Mom's parent's farm but first I had to get something to eat. I remember the first time I ate in a restaurant with my mother. We were shopping on Main Street and she suggested we have lunch in a restaurant. I was about 4 years old and when we entered through the doors I took a close look at the line of stools with chrome rims lined up along the counter that was about as tall as me. Mom helped me up on one of the stools and she ordered a hamburger for me. This was quite a joy and obvious I never forgot.

I walked down Main St a saw a colored awning advertising Paxtons Family Restaurant. The thought of finding the same restaurant ran through my mind as I pushed open the door. When I entered through the second door the line up of stools with chrome rims weakened my knees. I felt as if I entered a time machine. I could feel my Mom walk with me to the counter only this time I didn't need her help and yes I ordered a hamburger plus it was one of the best I've ever tasted.
The fish try to jump up the concrete spillway

Leaving Greenville a bit late I decided to camp at Lake Pymatuming located only a few miles from the town of Linesville, very close to my Grandparents farm. The road leading up to the lake runs atop of a spillway or causeway where the ducks walk on the fish. This is true, the carp are so plentiful, if a casual visitor throws bread in the concrete gathering point for the fish, the ducks will walk on them to get the piece of bread.

The sky was gray with clouds ready to burst so I was the only one there and I didn't have any bread to feed the ducks but they were both poised ready to perform. This place was a great thrill when my parents would stop a few times a year.
I never saw one make it into the lake

Looking up into the sky I knew it would be best to get my camp set as quickly as possible before the rains came. I stopped at the small store and picked up some breakfast supplies and scooted out to the lake campground to hunker down for a very wet night.

The search for the farm would have to wait til tomorrow.

The my parents sold before relocating to Arizona

Home for me after 50 years was dry and comfy

Iron City (well it used to be)

Panorama of Pittsburgh
I peered out the second story window capturing images that I've held in my mind for 55 years. The tall smoke stacks with occasional flames popping out followed by the belching thick black smoke locally known as soot that layered everything within the city. Mount Washington was a poor settlement at the top of the public transport vessels called Inclines. An American version of the European Funicular. A few times a year my parents would drive the 60 miles directly south to visit my father's parents in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I still hold the few images of my Grandparents dearly. My roundish Grandmother with a full apron and wire rimmed glasses provided cushy warm hugs while my Grandfather sat stoically in a rocker with cane firmly and prominently positioned in front of him. His full figure was clothed in the standard white shirt, gray woolen trousers held in place by  suspenders, and back shinny shoes. He was a teamster that delivered Iron City Beer by a team of Clydesdale. His famous quote in English (he spoke mainly German) directed to my mother, "Beer is to drink...vater is to wash your feet".

When I left Sharon at the airport I stayed an extra day in Pittsburgh to visit Mount Washington, the area of my Grandparents lived and to see a Pirates baseball game. The waitress at the Italian restaurant highly suggested taking in a Pirates game since they were playing at Heinz Field. So keeping that in my mind, I programmed by GPS for Heinz Field before leaving the airport. Minnie, my GPS, directed me downtown to the huge stadium with Heinz emblazoned on the building. I parked on the street across from the ticket office. I followed the sign instructing me to go to window nine. I noticed the building also boasted "Steelers" but I continued up and asked the gent through the glass that I would like to purchase one ticket for tonight's game...he laughed a bit and said the football season doesn't start til fall but if I meant baseball, then I need to drive a half dozen blocks behind me to "PNC" stadium. "There you can see a game tonight". I retreated like an Eastern Block foreigner to Cheeky and figured my way through the streets to PNC and purchased my ticket.

With six hours to burn I went a the search for my Grandparents neighborhood. Before I left for this trip I looked at a black and white photo of them on the porch steeps. If I saw the house I believe I could recognize it plus I still had the view from my childhood etched in my memory. Crossing a couple bridges and just before entering a tunnel I made a right turn, up a very steep road to the top of Mount Washington and began to slowly drive the street along the edge of the vista. Up and down a few hills and then I saw the white two story house with black trim. I continued on to make sure there wasn't another house with the same design but soon I realized that was it. I parked, walked back to photograph it and took a long look over the Three Point area where the three rivers meet. The view is different because of new construction across the street and all the steel mills have been removed. The downtown now is beautiful and vibrant unlike it's former self.
Grandparents house on the left

The Incline
I had a couple "Iron City" beers at an overlook bar and thought about my family and then retreated downtown to view more of the city and to catch the game. The same waitress at the Italian restaurant insisted I have to eat a Perogie and a sandwich that I can't remember the name. I entered the stadium one hour early making certain I experience the culinary suggestions. Walking along the semi-circle of restaurants, I reviewed all the posted menus and finally came upon Mrs T's Perogies. I ordered one and was surprised these delights were similar to ravioli. I downed the order and decided to not take in the other suggestion for my better health.

The stadium was half full but the enthusiasm of the fans made up for the empty seats. The Pirates were slow at first allowing the Chicago Cubs to quickly score three runs but the Buc's came back with a grand slam and added another run to end up winning the game.

The Perogie

The game

Pittsburgh has a surprisingly pleasing skyline


Wait...I Forgot Something

Our approach to the house from the sculpture garden
Time changes are usually associated with long flights to Europe or the East Coast but I never thought about driving through three zones as being a big issue though the three hour difference has affected my timing for getting up, having dinner, and writing into the wee hours of the next morning. I unknowingly became exhausted over the last week and so last night I caught up by crawling into my tent at the Potato Creek State Park (more like family village) at 7PM and slept until 7:30AM. This may not be a big deal to many but I'm a constant 7 hour man. This morning I was refreshed and it came to me that I forgot to include photos of Sharon and my visit to the Kentuck Nob House near Fallingwater. So please forgive me but I feel rested and ready for the Midwest.

Front entry to the Hagan House aka; Kentuck Nob

A beauty among beauty posed atop of the Nob

A very large art installation call "Red Army"

Sharon's favorite by Claus Oldenburg

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Friday, May 24, 2013

You've Got A Friend

I always remember the license plates in Pennsylvania say "You've Got A Friend" and figured I'll not worry about being alone. Alone is what I will be in a day when I put Sharon on a plane to return home and I continue on my journey. It will be sad to lose my travel companion and best friend. But I won't really be alone...I'll still have Cheeky and Minnie. Together we'll see more of the country and rely on each other. Cheeky will carry me while Minnie will show me the way.

The unusual placement of the house is brilliant
Originally I thought Sharon was going to miss one of the great stops on the trip...a visit to Frank Lloyd Wrights world famous "Fallingwater" house...home of the department store magnet, Arthur Kaufman. As fate always working in our favor, I gave a closer look to the map and discovered the house was on the way to Pittsburgh and we could easily fit it into our schedule.

The steps to the water is dreamlike
Two hours of rolling lush green hills dotted with barns and fallow fields we were in the parking lot of Fallingwater. All my life I've seen photos of Frank Lloyd Wrights masterpiece cantilevering over the rushing cascading waterfall. Our visit didn't disappoint my anticipation. The Fallingwater is a low profile fine example of Wright's organic design and though the space plan is typically awkward but the placement of the house is stellar as well as most of the elements in the Wrightesque manner.

The front entrance
Since Minnie became confused it was kismit that we tripped upon Kentuck, the other not as popular Wright home within minutes of Fallingwater. This home was is a sprawling design perched on a knob gives a wide vista of the neighboring farm lands. The second owner created a remote sculpture garden that both Sharon and I didn't particularly care for but the idea of someone rescuing large installation pieces is commendable. The setting is a perfect space for such art pieces. The original owner is well known worldwide for bringing happiness to millions. Hagan is the owner of Hagan Daz ice cream. After hiking about the grounds, and Minnie now has established her bearings we continued towards  Pittsburgh.

We successfully searched out a reasonably priced hotel near the airport and also found a great little Italian restaurant. Now all Sharon needed to do was to figure out what to take in her carry on.  The next morning at 6 I drop Sharon off at Pittsburgh International Airport and I point Cheeky north to visit the region of my childhood.

Our last day together...on this trip, boo hoo!