Columbus – August 2018 – Classic Cars in a Historic Setting

Fort Hayes was a military post first built in Columbus at the start of the Civil War in 1862. At the time it was located just north of town, now it is at the edge of downtown.

One of the highlights of the remaining buildings is the former ‘shot tower’, used to make bullets in the 1800s. Today it serves as an art gallery and visual arts center.

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On this day they were having a car show on the grounds.

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While I always enjoy checking out classic cars, we wanted to use the opportunity to roam the grounds and check out the buildings.

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Many of the original buildings are still standing. A number of them, like the ones below, have been restored. Others on campus are in poor condition, or have been torn down.

Not shown on this posting is a high school that has been built in the last 30 years.

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We returned to the main yard where the cars were located and found a band was playing. She was clearly getting into it.

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While the guitarist kept his cool on this hot humid day.

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But the cars were the stars – a great VW bus.

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Hats and tails were in order (just not the formal black tie kind).

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Another great VW.

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There weren’t many cars on display, but it was a relaxed show with some shade so it was worth a quick visit.

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It was small enough all the car owners were on hand and happy to tell people about their rides.

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While the judges kept score. The show was small, but the setting was interesting and we left having enjoyed our brief visit.

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Columbus – July 2018 – Faces of the Fair

Another trip to the Ohio State Fair – my theme for this year is the Faces of the Fair.

Human – Animal – otherwise.

 

First up – the Bee Growers tent representative.

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A completely sheered sheep (except the nose and ears, not sure why that was left that way)

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Hanging out for a week or two at the fair must be boring for this little guy.

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The sheep show contestants were very dressed up.

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While the queen had seen enough.

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A prize winner.

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I like his horns.

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The white sheep of the family.

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There are a number of stages for performers.

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The butter sculptures are always a big hit. The theme this year is the movie the Christmas Story. While it was set in Indiana, it was partially filmed at a house in Cleveland which to this day maintains a steady tourist trade.

They added to the scene with a calf sticking it’s tongue to the cold pole as well.

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Ralphie and his rabbit outfit, along with the Leg Lamp.

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A newborn calf.

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Another newborn calf with a great drool going.

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The poultry barn offered a number of great faces.

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Love ‘birds’.

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The Marvelous Mutts Dog Show.

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The dogs are aces at Frisbee catching.

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Back in the poultry house.

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A giant animatronics Smokey the Bear.

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The Ohio Nut Growers Association had a collection of nutcrackers.

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The clown band always draws bemused looks.

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A guy did a ‘comedy routing/magic act’ show – this young man thought he was opening a box with a live snake, only to have the old ‘rubber snake coming out of the box’ trick pulled on him.

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The magic act continues.

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In the Arts and Crafts section – an award winning cake.

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More faces in the crowd.

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Finally it was time to head home.

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See you next year.

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Richmond, Indiana – July 2018 – Gennett Records Walk of Fame

Gennett Records was a prominent record company based in Richmond, Indiana in the early 1920s. They are known for producing early recordings of numerous well known artists.

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The company was founded in 1917 by the Starr Piano Company. A park in Richmond contains the remains of the Starr Piano factory, as well as a walk of fame.

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The walk of fame highlights the artists and their history at Gennett. Each marker is a three dimensional, cast bronze and colored mosaic tile emblem in the form of a 78 record. A few are shown here including:

 

Hoagy Carmichael – An Indiana native Hoagy began his jazz career at Indiana University. While his early recordings were with Gennett, he only recorded with them a couple of years.

Hoagy had a long career and wrote such classics as Georgia on My Mind and Skylark. Hoagy remains a legend in jazz to this day, almost 40 years since his death.

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Duke Ellington – While he had a few early recordings with Gennett, Duke had a long career in jazz.

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Jelly Roll Morton – Another early jazz musician, he is most noted for a collection of recordings later that reside in the Smithsonian as the definitive example of jazz.

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Charley Patton – As a Delta Country Blues performer Charley wrote and recorded numerous classics. Known as a classic guitar player, Charley is sometimes known as the Founder of the Delta Blues.

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Fats Waller – With a style all his own, Fats could bridge the gap between white and black artists, jazz and blues. In addition he was known as quite the character.

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Gene Autry – Gennett Records gave Gene Autry his start. From there it was on to superstardom as a country musician and actor/entertainer.

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Artie Shaw – Known as one of the greatest clarinetists of all time, as well as a bandleader. His early recordings with Gennett were lost as the masters were inexplicably destroyed.

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Big Bill Broonzy – One of the original bluesmen. His style lead to Chicago blues. If you listen to Eric Clapton, you are listening to Big Bill Broonzy, as Eric idolized his style.

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Blind Lemon Johnson – Before Robert Johnson, before Big Bill Broonzy there was Blind Lemon Johnson.In 1929 he hired a Ford car with a chauffeur and came to Richmond, recording 12 country blues songs. Sadly later that night back in Chicago it is believed he became disoriented and lost. When he was found the next morning he had frozen to death on a Chicago sidewalk.

He continues to influence many, the bands Blind Melon and Jefferson Airplane are named in his honor.

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And finally – Sachmo – Louis Armstrong – One of the earliest recordings in Richmond were from Louis. He is likely the most important jazz musician of all time.

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There are more honored on the walk – make your way to Richmond for a music history lesson someday.

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The park is well worth the visit.

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Chicago – July 2018 – Weekend in the City

With a chance to spend a couple of nights in Chicago, we went without any specific plans. Once we arrived in town late Saturday afternoon we headed out for a walk.

Our first stop was the beautiful marquee for the Chicago Theater on State Street.

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While Chicago is known for the El trains there are a couple that are underground downtown, including the Red Line.

The entrance to the subway station has a great art deco look to it – backed up by a mural of Muddy Waters!

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State Street had a number of public art features – this one backed by the former Marshall Field Department store clock.

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As we made our way to Millennium Park we heard music.

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And were pleasantly surprised to find a symphony playing music from Lerner and Loewe movies.

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On our walk back we had the fortuitous timing to be crossing the Michigan Avenue bridge just as fireworks started from the Navy Pier.

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The view down the river framed the fireworks with the buildings.

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The next morning we took a 4 mile walk up through River North and Rush Street.

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Stopping at North Avenue Beach.

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Our walk continued through Lincoln Park, where they have made good use of dead trees.

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As we approached the zoo we saw a very large group of people – playing Pokemon!

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Eventually we made it out of the Pokemon crowd to a more serene part of the park, near Fullerton Street.

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Chicago even has skyscraper bird houses.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon back downtown at Grant Park for the Taste of Chicago.

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They had cooking competitions. This one is a Puerto Rico – Chicago specialty – the Jibarito.

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We finished the day walking along the river.

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Often when I photograph Marina City I shoot up – totally forgetting that there is actually a marina in Marina City.

As always we had a great time in Chicago.

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Columbus – July 2018 – It’s Doo Dah Time Again

July 4th in Columbus can only mean one thing – It’s Doo Dah time again – let’s have a parade.

As usual there is some political satire.

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Some play on words (read the sign)

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Characters

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Apparently now since Mexico is off limits we now get our weed from Canada

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The block party was going full tilt.

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More characters

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Primed for the parade.

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The toaster car lady in a moment of reflection.

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Clearly the saddest thing this country has recently done is the separation of children at the border – you knew this would be called out today.

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More characters.

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The wrestlers are here every year, but always welcome.

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For some it was just too much.

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The Grand Marshal.

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An eclectic band.

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I think we missed her at the washboard music festival a few weeks back.

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One of the ‘art cars’

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Miss Liberty made an appearance.

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An alien made it across the border to join the band.

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Even more characters.

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Mixing sci-fi and political satire.

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Mixing middle aged hula dancers with zombies.

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The neighborhood (Short North) is undergoing tremendous growth where they are tearing down 2 floor buildings along High Street and replacing them with 8-12 floor buildings. All of the construction is causing much chaos in the area, and making just walking around tough with all of the closed sidewalks.

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Not really sure.

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The whole stupid MAGA thing has spawned a number of parodies.

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They may protest but they are as patriotic as the rest of the country – they just believe it could be better for all.

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A dancer from the Rocky Horror Picture Show burlesque group.

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Even the Swing Dancers of Columbus were making statements this year.

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And with that the zombies headed home and the parade was done.

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Logan, Ohio – June 2018 – Washboard Music Festival

Each year the Columbus Washboard Company (detailed on another posting) sponsors a Washboard Music Festival.

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In addition to the music they had a parade.

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Which featured mostly vintage tractors.

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Vendors selling an assortment of unusual items, including box guitars.

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As well as observing the local way of securing criminals?

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But we were here for the music.

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Artists from the various groups joined in with the other bands, including this fiddle player from Canada.

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Ira the somewhat cynical banjo player from Philadelphia. For the most part he had an audience of 1 (me), and had to play in front of a payday loan store, so I can see why he is cynical.

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Meanwhile on the main stage a collection of washboard players gathered…

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Bringing their strange instruments.

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Coming from far and wide.

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To join the legendary Washboard Hank, from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. I am not sure why but a number of the performers were from Canada!

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Hanks helmet is also an ‘instrument’

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The collection of washboard players joined Hank and his band on stage for a few songs.

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But we had to catch the Hillbilly Bus…

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It was time to leave the laundry hanging across the street and get out of town.

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Logan, Ohio – June 2018 – Washboard Factory

Our return visit to Logan included a second trip to the Columbus Washboard Company. Since people only use washboards for decoration or musical instruments, this is the last washboard manufacturer in America.

Since this was our second visit here as well, I spent more time getting a closer look at the process. The factory is small, but efficient and very retro.

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Even the dolly is old school.

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A stitching machine.

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Rolls of aluminum for the boards themselves.

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Fed through a crimper. They have a variety of crimp styles for the various boards.

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Ready for the next step.

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Meanwhile in another section of the factory they make the finger joints for the frame.

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More of the collection of vintage, but effective, machines.

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The frame sides are ready.

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They use plates for the logos.

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The assembler said she can make 20 washboards an hour.

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Ready for your band, or laundry.

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And they even have tubs if you need them.

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