What could be more American than the small rural county fair? I have had the pleasure of living in one of the smallest population wise counties in Indiana for almost two decades now. While I don’t go to all the annual county fairs I enjoy the ones I have attended. The pictures here are from our first visit in 2002. So, all the kids in these pictures are now high school graduates. 😋
I wanted to visit Greenfield Village once more before we close out another year. This visit is a gallery that shows no evidence of the 21st century. That is one thing I truly enjoy about Mackinac Island, no cars allowed). Nantucket is a great place to visit but it is kinda ruined by all the cars that have flooded the island.
Anyway, here is my version of Greenfield of the 20th century:
Last Saturday’s “Artsy” post gave you a snapshot of our trip to Cleveland earlier this year. This post will put some flesh on those bones. 🙂
Our first extended visit to Cleveland was in 2013. We were visiting a couple of my high school classmates of fifty years ago. We took in the downtown area and most of the usual tourist places during that trip. The trip this Spring was a two-day pass-through one and I was determined to see a different view of the city. As mentioned Saturday, we stayed at the Aloft Hotel on the Cuyahoga River a short distance from Lake Erie. It was a very different place than we usually stay and that is exactly what I was hoping for. Since I didn’t get any internal shots of the hotel I took some from their website, I’m sure they won’t mind the free advertising. (Oh, by the way, click on any of these groups of pictures to see larger and captioned versions.)
The backside of the hotel where our room was was literally abutted up to the commuter train tracks. The views were amazing. This is a slideshow of my pictures.
As you likely know, I am a planner so I had checked out the Westside Market as the place to go for the next day which was a Tuesday. We got to the market plenty early so there wouldn’t be too many people but found out they are closed on Tuesday! We did eat at the local cafe attached to the market and had a humongous breakfast. Finally here are some pictures of that.
It was an enjoyable experience, even if we were disappointed about the market. From Cleveland, we went to Punxsutawney PA to see Phil. More on that in a future Tuesday post.
For the first “Artsy Saturday” post at the reformatted RJsCorner, I chose the Coastal Taco in downtown Cleveland Ohio. The picture was taken just after sunset from our room at the very eclectic Aloft Hotel. As you can see the restaurant was under a very large bridge going across the Cuyahoga River near Lake Erie. The food was pretty good and the inside atmosphere was delicious. 🙂
The two major things that drive the US economy are personal consumption and military spending. With this post, I will try to convince you that is a basic problem for us as a country. It thwarts happiness and is a wasteful way to live a life. But the biggest problem is that for too many of us it is the ONLY thing driving our lives. More money, more stuff.
Ironically this is true throughout the economic ladder from the richest of us to the poorest. We think that if we can just get a few more dollars to buy more stuff everything will be better. Most of us have been thoroughly indoctrinated into consumer driving capitalism. For many of us, contrary to what the philosophers say, money can buy happiness, at least temporarily. Or so we believe…
For those on the lower end of the economic spectrum it is another flat screen TV; for those on the upper end, it is a new $50,000 car to replace the two-year-old one we currently have.
Believe it or not, there are other parts of the world that take a very different approach to capitalism. They don’t depend on all of their citizens spending more and more year after year. Instead, much of the profits of their version of capitalism is used for the overall good of the country and its citizens. Those countries have an infinitely better infrastructure. Potholes and failing bridges are not the norms for them. Even more importantly they provide health care for all their citizens and security for their senior citizens. Every statistic taken shows that they are much happier than we are even if they don’t have multiple storage lockers filled with junk.
How do we as a country get out of the “more and more” mentality and into something that makes us happier? That is the question of the day for me.
Here I am sitting in my uRV. It is only 6am but my body says it is 8 and time to get up. It took me three days to get here but I am finally in the Rocky Mountains and will be heading to the Ft. Bridger Wyoming Rendezvous later this morning. I think I will hold off on the trip here report until I get home again, but I did want to give you a status report.
I am in my RV park here in Green River WY for a couple of days and managed to snap a few pictures as the sun came up this morning. The park it BIG. There are a variety of RVs here from the 40 foot long million dollar mammoths down to my little custom-made shell on the back of a 100,000+ mile pickup. I managed to snap a couple of shots as the sun was coming up but since I have not really conquered photographing sunrises it didn’t show up very well.
I got my camera battery charged and an empty SD card and ready to go. Speaking of which its time for me to put up my laptop and have some breakfast before I leave. More on the day tomorrow (I think?).
One of my dreams, you could say one of the few things on my bucket list, is to go to the Ft. Bridger WY Mountain Man Rendezvous and that is just what I am doing starting today. I have packed up my uRV and will soon be on the road for the 1400 mile trek. The rendezvous is this coming weekend. I will be there on Saturday and maybe stay through Sunday.
This will be the farthest I have gone with my 120,000-mile custom made camper in quite a while. On the trip back and forth I will be dry-docking at Walmarts along the way but will have a full facility RV camp during the rendezvous days. I also plan on visiting the Stuhr Museum of the American Prarie in Nebraska.
I have been to quite a few rendezvous-type encampments but this is the grandaddy and biggest of them all. I have imagined that in a previous life I was a mountain man. My all-time favorite movie is Jerimiah Johnson. I don’t know if that is cause or effect but it doesn’t matter. I love the Rocky Mountains for whatever reason.
I will likely resurrect my on-the-road reports at least for a few entries for this one. So, look for them in the coming week.
This post is primarily about my recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. But first, I want to get some things off my mind in relation to Ford’s contributions to America.
It is pretty well known that Henry Ford established the middle class here in America, or at least the easiest path to the middle class. He allowed someone with little or no training to earn enough to afford some of the luxuries of life. But to do that required mind-numbing hours on an assembly line doing the same thing thousands of time a day. One of the primary gifts God gave us humans is that we are thinking animals. Well, most of us are. 🙂 I applaud Mr. Ford for this accomplishment even if it did dehumanize his employees.
But I am without a doubt, that if robotics were available to him he would have gone totally in that direction. He was a great inventor but not particularly a ‘people’ person.
In the process of this innovation, Henry Ford became extremely wealthy. He made so much money that he had absolutely no idea how to spend it. One of the solutions he settled on was to recreate his childhood memories and to collect things he enjoyed seeing. That idea was the birthplace of the Ford Museum.
Here is a very small sample of pictures that were taken at the Ford Museum.
(as usual, click on any picture to see a larger slideshow view)