Day 1: August 21, 2010
Racing on the River
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These are day old pictures. The Great Darke County Fair opened while I was in Greenville yesterday and I just had to stop by. Even though I did sleep in my own bed last night, it kind of feels like this road trip kicked off there and I feel completely justified in starting things off with a panel of fair pictures. The first one is of a Snow Cone stand where I worked in the early 1960s. It didn't say "Hawaiian Ice" in those days and I'm sure the frame and tarp have been replaced a time or two but it's the same stand in the same location with what looked to be the same ice grinder. Of course I bought one. Then I checked out some of the livestock, recorded the fact that Darke County is the "Horseshoe Pitching Capital of the World", and watched some of the cheerleading competition. These girls represent my old high school. I think their grandmothers refused to go out with me.

These pictures are even older. I intended to eat breakfast on the patio at The Landing in New Richmond but it was raining ever so slightly when I arrived so I ate inside. The first two pictures are from a sunnier visit back in May. Weather wasn't the problem at the Cardboard Boat Museum. The problem was that many of the exhibits were down by the river getting ready to race. The last three pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago.

Here, at last, are some current photos. It had completely stopped raining by the time I finished eating -- and watching Little Leaguers from Hamilton, Ohio, pile up an insurmountable lead in the World Series -- but the crowd was sparse. Both weather and crowd improved rapidly. I found some opening ceremonies at the park.

Mark Miller and his two sons skied the entire Ohio River, minus a few really choppy miles, to raise money for and awareness of Disabled American Veterans. Today they presented a $5500 check to the DAV. Next, every veteran in attendance was asked to stand near the stage and given the opportunity to give their name and service details. Pretty cool.

Across the street and over the wall boats and racers were gathering along with lots of spectators. I headed to the river's edge.

The bank was lined with good looking boats made even more impressive by the fact that they are made entirely of cardboard, tape, & paint.

After several announcements that racing would begin in "about ten minutes" racing actually did begin. The delays bothered no one. Boats raced in heats of four or five with youth classes filling the first few heats. There's no doubt these kids were having fun.

They weren't streaking fighter jets but we did get several nicely coordinated flyovers by planes from nearby Lunken Airport. Reportedly, Local 12 TV had a hand in this. There is a short video of one of the flyovers here.

The older racers had fun, too. Even the guys who were somewhat serious about speed. These aren't them.

The last class was for boats with a mechanical "advantage". I used quotes there since the various contrivances did not appear to be advantageous in all cases. These boats cry out for videos and I've posted clips of the Big Red Machine and Rooti Tooti Aim & Shooti.

The last event, the race for the Cardboard Cup, is open to everyone. It's sort of like that jam session at the end of a benefit concert. The number of boats that showed up meant two heats were required. The photograph is of the first heat. I think this video of the second heat sums up the day reasonably well.

My exit from New Richmond was perfectly timed. A drizzle appeared within a few minutes and that turned into an honest, though not heavy, rain by the time I reached US-50. Rain came and went all the way to days end in Chillicothe.

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