Day 1: May 11, 2013
To the Swamp
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In a Saint Paddy's Eve blog post, I mentioned buying a membership in Ohio's first co-op brew pub. That pub, the Fifth Street Brewpub, was open today for members only. There is a strong possibility that it will be open on a regular basis starting at the end of the month. Initially, only beer from other breweries will be available as was the case today. The "home brew" will be added later. I timed my departure from home to allow a stop. I'd hoped to sample some of Fifth Street product and was a little disappointed but it was good to see the place in operation.

I followed the Dixie Highway north of Dayton for awhile and that led me through Troy, Ohio. I'd read about the town having its third exhibit of Seward Johnson statues but had forgotten. There are twenty statues in this year's Sculptures on the Square.

I think maybe K's Hamburgers was on my mind. I'd been reminded of on Thursday by a friend. Fred Zander, who was in Cincinnati for a Reverse (for me) Road Trip last June, is visiting family in Ohio and ate at the local landmark earlier in the week. Fred and I hooked up in Columbus and visited another famous 'burger joint. The Thurman Cafe servers outrageous 'burgers like this. K's 'burgers are easier to handle, taste just as good, and chatting with owner Marsha is always a treat.

I got another treat later in the day when I met up with my Van Wert residing cousins at the iconic Balyeat's Coffee Shop. Excellent meatloaf and great conversation.

The place where I stayed is about half a mile away from Balyeat's. I'll talk about it tomorrow. The place in the next panel is just a block farther. I intended to walk but drops of rain on my windshield as I pulled into town changed my mind. The sun was shining as I headed out for dinner and I briefly thought of walking. Glad I didn't. A heavy downpour, with some serious wind, hit while we were eating.

Except for a few tunes inserted into a jam session, I seem to always just miss Carey Murdock. Tonight I got a full concert and an opener, too. SaMaX (sister Samantha & brother Max) delivered an hour or so of powerful and great sounding vocals before Carey came on to sing a lot of songs and tell a few stories. I guess most of what I've heard have been originals and Carey did plenty of those tonight but I was a little surprised by the inclusion of several covers. Ranging from Springsteen to Sinatra, they sounded good and fit well.

The Black Swamp Bistro is primarily a restaurant but is quite active in bringing live and original music to the area. The setting seemed a little odd with he audience at tables and the performers behind a railing but it worked and the sound was quite good. When SaMaX covered an Alabama Shakes song, they asked if anyone knew of the group. I believe only Carey and I did. When Carey performed "Young Love", a song he wrote and recorded with Cary Ann Hearst, he asked who knew of her current group, Shovels and Rope. Only Max and I did. What I don't quite know is whether that's funny or sad.

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