FOLK at NaFF

Nashville Film FestivalI just drove to Nashville to see a movie. There’s actually a film festival going on and I’ll see at least a couple of movies but there is one in particular that brought me here. It’s a documentary named FOLK that focuses on three musicians including singer/songwriter Dirk Hamilton who I’ve long admired. This is its premier showing. The journal for the trip, which will include a little Dixie Highway on the way home, is here. This will be the only blog entry related to this trip and will serve to hold any and all comments.

 

Sappy Ohio

Hueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalI really goofed last week. I was in Greenville on Saturday but didn’t realize it was syrup making time at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve with demonstrations and a waffle! breakfast. It would have been perfect but, in my ignorance, I dawdled, ate breakfast in Dayton, and only reached town and learned of the event long after breakfast was finished and the whole shebang was pretty much over. I cast about for a way to make up for this missed opportunity and even briefly considered returning to Hinckley with the buzzards for one of the area’s big maple sugaring weekends as I did in 2011. But, in the end, I decided to stay closer to home and yesterday checked out the 47th Maple Syrup Festival at Hueston Woods.

sapo2Hueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalI started out by standing in line for the very popular pancake breakfast at the park lodge. I realize that the breakfast isn’t all that photogenic but it sure tasted good. Pure maple syrup does that.

Hueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalThen I headed over to the Pioneer Village area to stand in line for a “hay ride”. Trucks pulling trailers with seats made of straw bales carried people to the start of a short trail leading to the “sugar shack”. A guide would then lead the way down the trail while providing information about the area and the syrup making process. In chatting with some of the volunteers, I learned that a shortage of guides had resulted in a minor bottleneck. Even though our departure was delayed as long as practical and the ride to the trail was as slow as possible, we still reached the trail several minutes ahead of our guide.

Hueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalHueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalHueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalThe wait was worth it. I feel extra bad about not learning our guide’s name because he sure was an extra good guide. He spoke, in a most entertaining way, about both the natural and human history of the area and he talked of the social as well as technical aspects of sugaring. He explained that, since the sap contains only a percent or two of sugar when it comes from the tree, it doesn’t taste very much like syrup. At the guide’s invitation, several young tour members personally verified this by licking fingers that had caught a few drops.

Hueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalHueston Woods Maple Syrup FestivalThere was another line at the sugar shack but it wasn’t a long one. The original Hueston family shack burned in the 1980s but the current one looks much the same and is on the same foundation. Maple syrup must be about two-thirds sugar which means an awful lot of water has to be removed. This is accomplished by the wood fired evaporator  The fog makes it hard to see but the warmth is certainly welcome. After hearing an explanation of the evaporation process, there was one more short line for the shuttle back to the car at Pioneer Village. The well run free festival is a great fun and educational, too.


McGuffey MuseumMcGuffey MuseumNot far from Hueston Woods, the home of William Holmes McGuffey, the man behind the incredibly successful McGuffey Readers, is now a museum. It’s owned and operated by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. McGuffey was part of the university faculty when he had the house built in 1833 then took on creating the first reader, published in 1836, as a way to augment his professor’s salary. The house is filled with wonderful period furnishings including several of McGuffey’s own pieces. Among these are the eight-sided rotating table and the tall desk behind it. I was accompanied as much as guided by a fellow named Steve who thoroughly answered every question I had. Like the festival, the McGuffey Museum is free and fun and educational.

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Circleville Pumpkin Show2012 is the 106th year that Circleville, Ohio, has held a pumpkin show/festival. They did the first 105 without me but I finally made it to one on Thursday. The festival started with a Tuesday night preview and will continue through Saturday. The closest I’ve come to attending in the past was a morning after drive through when the tear-down process was in full swing. I could tell from the empty booths and stages that this was a pretty big affair but I don’t believe I realized just how big.

Circleville Pumpkin ShowCircleville Pumpkin ShowCircleville Pumpkin ShowSeveral blocks of downtown Circleville are blocked off and the streets are lined with vendors and at least a half dozen stages. Craft booths and food booths make up the bulk of the offerings but there was at least one fortune teller, a petting zoo, and a tent filled with more exotic creatures. Some vendors added pumpkin themed items to their normal offerings while others were “all pumpkin, all the time”. In addition to ice cream, funnel cakes, and deep fried pie, there was, pumpkin fudge, cookies, bread, and good old fashion un-fried pie. There was also an abundance of standard festival fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian sausage, french fries, tacos, and deep fried everything. The longest line was at a chicken booth.

Circleville Pumpkin ShowMy dinner was something festival appropriate. The question on my lips was obviously one that had been asked many times before. The folks operating this trailer simplified things immensely by posting a description. The pumpkin burger was a sloppy joe sort of thing and quite good. It even had just a hint of pumpkin flavor if I held my mouth just right.

Circleville Pumpkin Show paradeCircleville Pumpkin Show paradeCircleville Pumpkin Show paradeThe Circleville Pumpkin Show calls itself “The Greatest Free Show On Earth”. In addition to those six stages with bluegrass, rock, symphony, and everything in between, there are parades. Lots of them. This year there are seven with beauty queens, marching bands, and all the trimmings.

Circleville Pumpkin Show paradeCircleville Pumpkin Show paradeCircleville Pumpkin Show paradeYou may have noticed that Mr. Pumpkin had a stroller with a little Pumpkin. That’s because this is the Baby Parade with somewhere around 500 babies; All under three years of age.

Circleville Pumpkin ShowCircleville Pumpkin ShowSo you lug your half-ton pumpkin to the show and it’s only good for third! Yep, 1141 pounds of pumpkin was bested by 1216 and 1315 pound giants. There were actually several 1000+ pound entries. In theory, just one of those big pumpkins could produce several pies like the one pictured since a mere 96 pounds of pumpkin is required. The complete recipe is on the wall for all you home bakers.

Circleville Pumpkin Show Ohio University Marching 110I stayed long enough to see part of the evening Band Parade which featured the Marching 110 from Ohio University. It was really too dark and I was too far away to get any decent pictures but it’s pretty obvious that “The Most Exciting Band in the Land” filled the streets. Several high school marching bands filled out the parade for a rousing musical finale to my day.

Circleville Pumpkin ShowIt’s not easy getting your crops to grow in formation but Ohio farmers are up to the task.

Great Outhouse Blowout 2012

Penn's StoreThe porch at Penn’s Store has unquestionably been the setting for scenes like the one at right countless times. The majority probably didn’t include electric amplifiers or microphones but I know an awful lot of guitars have been played at the old store; and mandolins and fiddles and other instruments too. On Saturday, I attended the Great Outhouse Blowout at the store for the second time. My first time was in 2004.

Penn's StorePenn's StoreThe Penn family has owned the store since 1850 and it is known to have existed prior to 1845. The place has taken a few beatings over the years. It took one in May of 2010 when flood waters rose well above the floor and the store was forced to close for awhile. That floor has been replaced along with some other bits and the store is again open for business. Penn’s isn’t open around-the-clock like a big city 24/7 kind of place but it’s open enough.

Penn's StoreToday’s event gets its name from the structure at right. The first Great Outhouse Blowout was held in 1992 to celebrate the completion of the first ever outhouse at Penn’s Store and the big step up from “plenty of trees”. Chet Atkins headlined the entertainment at that first GOB.

Great Outhouse BlowoutGreat Outhouse BlowoutGreat Outhouse BlowoutThe Blowout officially got started with a little parade. There are some pretty cool hot rods and customs in there but I thought these two Fords looked like they really belonged.

A centerpiece of the GOB has always been “outhouse” races but not this year. Although I doubt it’s the full story, liability and the signing of waivers had something to do with the lack of racers. To keep the race course from being entirely idle, a three man foot race was organized.

Great Outhouse BlowoutGreat Outhouse BlowoutMy interior pictures of the store included one with and one without people. In the one with people, the fellow at the center is Squirrelman. After taking that picture, I spent some time in front of the store talking to a fellow named Bob. Bob is one of several locals who help the Penn family keep the store going. Squirrelman came out while we were talking and the two exchanged greetings. “That’s Squirrelman,” Bob told me. My complete lack of recognition prompted him to explain that Squirrelman was part of Turtleman’s crew. “You know? Call of the Wildman on TV,” he said in a way that made it clear that not recognizing Turtleman would almost certainly lead to questions of mental competency. “Oh yeah,” I answered. The walking race was between Bob, Squirrelman, and another member of Turtleman’s crew named Muleman. Bob barely beat Muleman to the toilet paper with Squirrelman a distant third.

I’ve since learned that Call of the Wildman is one of the Animal Planet network’s most popular programs and that Turtleman lives less than twenty miles from Penn’s Store. Researching local celebs might be a good move before I return for another Great Outhouse Blowout.

Great Outhouse BlowoutGreat Outhouse BlowoutBefore leaving, I ate some good BBQ, listened to some good music, took a wagon ride with Muleman, and took a look at the festival from inside the famous outhouse.

MPMF Lite

Washington Park & Music Hall at MPMF.12Some consider Cincinnati’s Mid Point Music Festival second only to Austin’s South by Southwest and some concede even that grudgingly  The eleventh coming of MPMF has just concluded and it was only the third I’ve attended at all. I think I was there the first year and again for the second or third but I’m not at all certain. Whichever ones they were, I know they were pretty early on and know that I’ve spent many years since feeling guilty about not going. Sometimes I was out of town or had another legitimate reason but mostly I was just too lazy. The effort that I shied away from was not the driving downtown or the hiking between venues; It was the effort of determining which venues to hike between.

This year is typical. There are 180 bands playing at 16 venues over 3 days. Unlike most music festivals, MPMF doesn’t book the world’s most well known bands to get you to attend. It books lesser known but highly talented bands to get them and you some exposure to each other. Unless you are an industry pro, you’re not likely to be familiar with many of those 180 bands. You can either show up and hope you stumble upon a couple of performers that you like or you can spend time planning your visit in hopes of not missing your next big favorite. Or you can do what I’ve been doing and dodge the whole thing.

Washington Park at MPMF.12Maybe the feelings of guilt finally caught up with me or maybe it was the addition of the recently redone Washington Park as a venue or maybe it was actually recognizing the performer who would be headlining one of the Washington Park shows. It was probably all the above and more that prompted me to at least dip a toe — or ear — back into the Midpoint Music Festival. I decided to attend one night of the three day festival and partake of only the Washington Park offerings. The photo at the top of this post is of Washington Park a couple of hours before the official opening of the festival. That is the glorious Cincinnati Music Hall in the background. At what I believe was the first concert at Washington Park in July, the bands had played from the permanent stage where I stood to take the picture at left. Yes, the music has started but the crowd is almost non-existent. The opening crowd at festivals, especially those with sixteen stages, is often like that and rain & rumors of rain didn’t help. As it turned out, not a drop fell on Washington park during the entire concert.

Here We Go Magic at MPMF.12Pomegranates at MPMF.12 Bonesetters at MPMP.12The group that opened the show and is playing to a lot of grass in the previous picture was the Bonesetters from Indianapolis. The crowd was significantly larger, though far from large, by the end of their set. With a good performance of very solid original material, they deserved more but, being both new and semi-local, the exposure was still no doubt good for them. Next up was the even more local but well established Pomegranates. I’d heard of them but don’t believe I’d ever heard them and know I’d not seen them. From the white clothes and dyed hair to the Fender Mustangs, there is plenty of formula and gimmickry here but it’s backed with solid music, lots of energy, and impressive vocals. The next band, Brooklyn’s Here We Go Magic, seems to basically be a group of talented musicians delivering singer-songwriter Luke Temple’s well crafted tunes. They sounded good and I liked the material but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of energy or conviction coming from the stage. It appears that band personnel may vary from time to time so maybe there’s a killer …Magic lineup out there somewhere.

That headliner I recognized was Andrew Bird. I surprised myself by recognizing the names — not necessarily the sounds — of at least eight performers. Eight of one-eighty! I doubt many attendees would brag about a 4% recognition rate but this old man is doing exactly that.

Andrew Bird at MPMF.12Andrew Bird at MPMF.12It was full on dark when Bird took the stage and, while that didn’t help me get crisp photos, it did show just what those overhead spirals were there for. Spinning slowly and lit by frequently changing colored spot lights, they were a nice visual backing for Bird’s music. I had heard a few recorded tunes so was aware of Bird’s whistling ability but did not realize just how good it was or how much he used it. Where another musician might blow into a harmonica for a little non-verbal music, Bird just purses his lips and blows into the microphone. It might seem like a gimmick for a few seconds but it quickly becomes just another instrument in the mix. That mix includes a bassist, guitarist, and a drummer that plays keyboards. And then there’s Bird. Seemingly equally proficient on guitar and violin, he usually plays one or the other but sometimes uses both in the same song. In the close up, he’s playing a glockenspiel while holding a violin which he will pick or bow then lay down to play the guitar hanging at his side.

Andrew Bird at MPMF.12Music Hall’s circular stained glass window sure looks good hanging above Andrew Bird’s lighted spirals and there was a nearly full moon floating behind me. I truly enjoyed my one venue return to MPMF. I’m sure Thursday is the least crowded of the festival’s three nights and the threat of rain may have also played a role. The crowd at Washington Park grew steadily as the first three bands performed then took a big jump as Bird’s slot approached but it never reached the shoulder to shoulder mass that I feared and the promoters hoped for. I hope it was enough and I hope to be back next year. Sorry I’ve been away so long.


Island Noodles at MPMF.12Not all of the entertainment in Washington Park was musical. Among the food vendors was new-to-me Island Noodles. I happened to be Brad’s first customer of the day which meant I had to wait awhile for dinner but I got a great show and absolutely fresh food in return. Although it’s hard to beat a huge flame, it was also fun to watch the veggies get chopped into the big wok. Before I even finished paying for my noodles, the next customer was beside me and business picked up from there. This is good eating.

This particular operation is based in Florida. That’s where Brad lives but he is originally from Toledo and has spent the summer staying with his parents and working festivals around the state. Events included July’s Bunbury Festival which was also in Cincinnati. As he cooked, we chatted, and Brad said he wished he had learned more about Cincinnati when he was growing up near the other edge of Ohio. “This”, he says, “is the friendliest city I’ve ever been in.” That’s nice to hear. I think so, too.


Montgomery Inn ribs & shrimpI was in Indianapolis last week and in my trip journal I raved about a bar-b-que joint named Squealers. It deserved the raves but it reminded me of two things. One, I hadn’t eaten in my favorite ribs joint in quite some time and, two, I had a gift card that would let me do it for for free or close to free. I made use of that card on Wednesday. If I am ever convicted of a capital crime in a country that honors the last-meal-for-a-condemned-man convention, this is what I want; Montgomery Inn ribs, shrimp, and Saratoga chips. Being warned about stirring the sweet plum sauce and hot mustard is as reliable as death and taxes. I kidded the waitress about it and she shrugged. “You don’t know what they do to us if we don’t tell you”, she said.

Sixty Six:
End-to-End and Friend-to-Friend

Route 66 decalTomorrow, July 26, I start down Historic Route 66 for the third time. The reason, or excuse, for this trip is to attend the 2012 International Route 66 Festival in Victorville, California. For the first two trips, in 1999 and 2003, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an International Route 66 Festival but since then I’ve attended six. The journal for the drive and the festival will be here. It will include the drive home which I expect to be largely on US-70 and US-80.

As I prepped the website for the trip, I added an FAQ page which might help in understanding the site. That page is here.

This blog entry is here to handle comments and questions regarding the trip.

It Is Balloon!

Middletown Balloon Festival - performerJust as I can no longer hear The Banana Boat Song without seeing a certain dinner party, it’s nearly impossible for me to see a hot air balloon and not think of F Troop.

OK, now that I have that out of the way, I can move on to the 2012 MidUSA Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival that I attended on Friday. The official opening ceremonies were scheduled for 6:00, the gates opened at 4:00, and I arrived a little after 5:00.

Middletown Balloon Festival - performersMiddletown Balloon Festival - performersThe early crowd was naturally sparse but things were happening well ahead of the opening ceremonies. Food, crafts, and other vendors lined the big spectator field and virtually all were open. A small troop of acrobats warmed up near the middle of the field and an Indiana band, The Skallywags, completed their sound check and immediately stepped into their first set on the main stage. Several skydivers rather casually fell out of the sky. There seemed to be just about everything needed for most festivals but this was a hot air balloon festival and there was not a balloon in sight.

Middletown Balloon Festival - opening ceremoniesMiddletown Balloon Festival - opening ceremoniesMiddletown Balloon Festival - opening ceremoniesOne reason for the lack of balloons would be explained during the opening ceremonies. They started with a fellow named Rick Gibbs singing the national anthem. Then Team Fastrax jumped in with gigantic U.S. flags and a group of Native Americans provided a prayer, some music, and some dancing. A small Indian village with a huge tepee is part of the festival and dancing and other activities would take place there throughout the weekend. There were also a couple of short speeches and announcements. One of the announcements  was that there was just too much wind for safe ballooning. The announcer pointed out a pole with a red flag flying from it on the far side of the field. No launches could take place under a red flag. A window of opportunity could open later but, instead of a 7 o’clock launch, there would be a 7 o’clock pilots meeting. The red flag might turn green after that.

Middletown Balloon Festival - red flagBy 7:20, I was convinced that there would be no balloons flying tonight and started for the gates. At that exact instant, a car with a trailer in tow pulled onto the field; Then another and another. The red flag was still flying but balloonists were at least getting into position. Some unloading was also occurring through at a pace that indicated a complete lack of urgency.

Middletown Balloon FestivalMiddletown Balloon FestivalThe original plan had been for all of the balloons to take off around 7:00, fly for about an hour, then land and return for a “balloon glow” shortly after 9:00. As I thought about that, I once again became convinced that there would be no balloon flying tonight. I theorized that the balloons had come onto the field in anticipation of the “glow” with no intention of taking off. Again I started for the gate and again action on the field stopped me. Balloons were starting to inflate. Some fellows hauled down the red flag and ran up a green one.

Middletown Balloon FestivalMiddletown Balloon FestivalSoon the announcer was describing a “Hare  & Hounds” competition where one balloon, the hare, lands somewhere and marks the spot and the other balloons score points by dropping a bag of sand as close as they can to the mark. The hare and the first hound, a sunglasses wearing cutie named Lindy, got off in quick succession. A few others followed but it wasn’t long before a yellow flag was raised and a red one soon followed.

Middletown Balloon FestivalFrom photo time stamps, It appears that the green flag flew for barely fifteen minutes. I believe that about a half-dozen balloons slipped through that small window. That’s but a fraction of the thirty-five competitors listed in the program and I have no idea whether the flight will count for scoring points or not. I suspect it will since the competition appears to be anything but cutthroat and balloonists are somewhat used to being grounded by winds. So this is as close to as I got to the picture I’d envisioned of a balloon filled sky. But it’s a nice little group floating serenely into the sunset and it certainly looks inviting.

Middletown Balloon FestivalMiddletown Balloon FestivalWith the late launch, it was a fairly short wait for the glow preparations to begin and I suspect some of those hounds were still in the process of being loaded and trailered back when the glow took place. A laser light show and fireworks were to follow but neither interested me all that much and I left after the glow peaked. This was the event’s tenth year and I’ve wanted to come several times. I’m glad I finally made it and consider a return quite likely. It’s definitely a worthwhile event and I still want to see that balloon filled sky.


I did not make it back to a World Choir Games Champions Competition as I wanted to. Thursday would have been good but it was sold out. I decided to settle for a free Friendship Concert that was to be held on Friday in a park not too far from my home. It was moved, however, and by the time I learned of that and reached the new location, the parking lot was filled to overflowing and I’m sure everything else was, too. I drove on by and on to the balloon festival instead. I had planned on attending the festival on Saturday so this was just a little time shift. It all worked out well except for that Champions Competition thing.

Carillon Park Heritage Fest

Carillon Park History FestivalOn the south side of Dayton, Ohio, there is what amounts to a small Greenfield Village. It’s now called Carillon Historical Park and is part of the Dayton History organization. Just as Henry Ford was behind the collection of historic buildings that is Greenfield Village, Dayton industrialist Edward Deeds was behind the collection here. I believe the place was actually called Deeds Park once upon a time. In fact, I didn’t realize that Deeds was not part of the official name until I started doing research to write this. At least the carillon that gives the park its name is still called the Deeds Carillon. It was built in 1942 and, at 151 feet tall, is the largest in Ohio.

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalCarillon Park Heritage FestivalToday was the day of the Heritage Festival which meant admission was free (just pay for parking), all the buildings were open and staffed, and there were plenty of food vendors. There was also entertainment scheduled throughout the day with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra preceding event ending fireworks.

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalCarillon Park Heritage FestivalQuite a few bicycle manufacturers called Dayton home and that included the Wright Brothers. Two of the five surviving Van Cleves (the Wright’s  , brand name) are in the park but are not part of this display. Both are in a building devoted to the brothers. Huffy originated in Dayton and introduced the Radio Bike in 1955. The three tube radio was built into the “tank” with batteries and antenna on the rear fender. Only a few more years separate the 1890s high-wheels in the first picture from the Radio Bike than separate the Radio Bike from today.

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalCarillon Park Heritage FestivalThere’s some big stuff, like rail cars and buses, in the transportation building. The 1835 B & O engine is the oldest existing locomotive built in the United States. Because of the way the vertical pistons and connecting rods looked when in motion, locomotives of this type got the nickname “grasshoppers”. The horse-drawn steam-powered pumper was built in Cincinnati in 1883 and used in Sidney, Ohio, until 1916.

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalI remember this clock standing beside I-75 just south of Dayton. It marked the Reynolds and Reynolds Company headquarters and I guess I thought it always had. Nope. It started out in downtown Dayton on the Callahan Building. That building was demolished in 1978 and the clock moved to Reynolds and Reynolds. It has been patiently waiting here since 2006.

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalI’m not sure what this fellow’s real name is but he calls himself Wilbur
“…because I can’t grow a mustache”. He is standing in a replica of the Wright’s work shop since Henry Ford took the original to Greenfield Village at the Ford Museum. After doing a wonderful job of telling about the wind tunnel and other experiments that both preceded and followed that first flight in 1903, he tells us that there is a real airplane just down the hall that “…I’ll be flying this afternoon about 3:00.”

Carillon Park Heritage FestivalCarillon Park Heritage FestivalThis is the plane. It is the Wright Flyer III from 1905. With the 1903 flyer, they got off of the ground more or less when they wanted but they returned the the ground when the plane “wanted” and the flight path was essentially straight. With this plane, they learned to fly where they wanted and land on their own, rather than the plane’s, schedule. When Orville gave the pieces of this plane (it’s about 80% original) to Deeds in 1948, he insisted that it be displayed in a pit so that visitors could look down on the plane and see what was involved it operating it. The pilot’s right hand works a horizontal lever that controls the rudder. The left hand works a vertical lever that controls the elevators at the front of the plane. By moving his hips from side to side, the pilot controls the twisting of the wings which the Wrights called “wing warping”. Orville died before the park opened.

I didn’t make it to the fireworks or even to the Philharmonic but, as always, I very much enjoyed a visit to my favorite neighborhood historical village.

 

Dickens of a Christmas

Ohio History Center ControversyI missed it. I missed an exhibit I really wanted to see. From April through November, the Ohio Historical Center had a display entitled Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See. Of the five items it contained, the retired electric chair seemed to be the main attraction with a KKK outfit, a thumb mitt, an adult crib, and a nineteenth century condom rounding out the bill. I’m sure I drove by the building more than once while the exhibit was in place but, as we often do, I assumed there would always be another chance. It wasn’t until I visited the Ohio Historical Society’s website to sign up for Dickens of a Christmas that I realized that I’d blown it.

Dickens of a Christmas is an annual festival sort of thing that takes place in the recreated nineteenth century village adjacent to the Historical Center. I registered to attend the first night of Dickens of a Christmas and, even though there was no electric chair or condom to be seen, headed to Columbus in time to visit the Historical Center in the afternoon. That’s how I got the picture of the entrance to the recently closed Controversy exhibit.

The American Soldier Photographic TributeOhio Battle FlagsIn addition to the many worthwhile permanent exhibits, the Center currently has a captivating temporary exhibit called The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute From The Civil War To Iraq and several of the 434 Civil War battle flags in the museum’s possession are on display. Plus, although it’s a poor substitute for an adult crib from an insane asylum, there was, once upon a time, at least a little controversy associated with the two headed calf.

Saint Nicholas at Dickens of a ChristmasThe Ohio Historical Center is certainly a cool place to spend an afternoon but the title of this entry is “Dickens of a Christmas”. My evening at Ohio Village is covered in a separate Oddment page here. It is only the second Oddment page added since the start of this blog. While there is no precise definition of what qualifies one subject for an oddment page and another for a blog entry, it seems likely that I’ve completely covered a subject in a blog entry that might have appeared as an Oddment in pre-blog days and it is all but certain that some of the existing Oddment pages would have instead been blog entries had the blog existed at the time they were created. I believe one of the things that helps decide Oddment or blog is number of pictures. I haven’t posted a huge amount of pictures from Dickens of a Christmas but there are more, sixteen, than I feel comfortable with in a blog entry. Look them over at the Dickens of a Christmas Oddment page.


I know some who see this will have heard of Kickstarter but I’m guessing not all. It’s a method for funding projects with large numbers of small contributions. Learn more about it at the Kickstarter website. Kickstarter depends a lot on word of mouth. Friends tell friends, usually in an indirect Facebook/Twitter/newsletter sort of way, about projects they like and that, in case you haven’t guessed, is what I’m doing here. I’ve contributed to a couple of projects that I liked and blown off a couple more that didn’t quite click with me. I recently learned of a documentary project that I like and, since you’re reading about it here, there’s a chance you will too.

I heard of the project from Dirk Hamilton. It isn’t Dirk’s project but he is in it. I was inclined to give it a couple of bucks ’cause I like the general subject and, of course, I like Dirk but I was hooked for sure when I read the “Part music documentary and part road trip movie…” line. The documentary is called Folk. Check out its Kickstarter page here.