Category Archives: Travel 2017

Old men and soap

The setting: Neimerg’s Steakhouse in Effingham, Illinois. The three-sided counter like you see in old restaurants, near the window to the kitchen.

The actors: Rob, an 80ish man with a red Cardinals cap.  He hasn’t shaved in several days.  And he sighs after every slurp of coffee.  Joe, and 80ish man, taller than Rob.  Joe has no teeth.  He’s in a John Deere cap.

Rob is sighing after a sip of coffee.  Joe sits down beside him.  They clearly know each other.

Joe states that all the does is go from bed to the doctor to the hospital and back to bed.

Rob comments on the fact that his skin itches.

And then ensues a five-minute conversation between two wizened senior citizens . . . about which soap they use, how their skin feels, and what the best soap is.

Irish Spring is the winner.

But that’s only after Rob asserts that he uses shampoo all over his body, since it’s easier that way.

And I’m in stitches.  I finished my peach pie and left with a smile on my face.

Listening list

My listening list this past weekend included NPR (of course), and the cast albums too

  • BIG, the Musical
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • Half A Sixpence (2016)
  • Take Flight

Plus, some sacred choral music from All Saints, Beverly Hills; an album of songs by the Sherman Brothers (really wonderful stuff on the Fynsworth Alley label); and a duet CD by Aflie Boe and Michael Ball (pretty dreckish, but on a major label).

Pretty eclectic stuff, this . . . .

I’m obsessed with Half a Sixpence.

Crown Hill Cemetery

Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is the fourth-largest cemetery in the country.  Three US vice-presidents are buried there, as is Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States.

A portion of the cemetery is designated as a national cemetery, with hundreds of Civil War soldiers reinterred after that designation.

National Road

In Putnam County, Indiana, this weekend, I saw a number of  signs for the Historic National Road, otherwise known now as US 40 Highway.

At one point, the old road from the Model T automobile days is still visible and drivable, although in terrible condition.  I drove a couple of miles on it.

The history along this route is palpable.  With the new, wide-shouldered US 40 just a few yards to the south, this old road still creaks along.  Occasionally one finds a shell of an old filling station, with a single service bay attached.  And one sees the leftovers of old motor lodges — little cabins, or an old strip of motel rooms, some now used a (very) low-rent apartments.

From Wikipedia:

U.S. Route 40 (US 40) is an east–west United States Highway. As with most routes whose numbers end in a zero, US 40 once traversed the entire United States. It is one of the original 1926 U.S. Highways, and its first termini were San Francisco, California, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the western United States, US 40 was functionally replaced by Interstate 80 (I-80), resulting in the route being truncated multiple times. US 40 currently ends at a junction with I-80 in Silver Summit, Utah, just outside Park City.