Detroit Trip - Day 4

Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio

Up from idyllic little towns. Strange place of various temples - of technology, history, valor, death, and oddly in WWII displays, sex and life.

Technology - obviously - hundreds of planes, gear and devices from all eras. Earlier planes more engaging, personal - irregular skin - equipment whose function, operation could he divined.  Modern planes, especially B-2 bomber more impersonal. Digital, like video games. Death not quite so personal.

History - planes grouped by eras - with lots of dioramas, text explaining what  had happened. I was touched by WWII displays - war of my father and uncles and Vietnam displays - my war (although I wasn't there).  Two ways to do museum - concentrate on history or technology or come back another day and do both. Bob did former; I did latter - his was better approach. Not much irony on display except irony of WWII boys inadvertently revealed. Nothing from Catch 22, Apocalypse Now.

Valor - a lot of that here - I was awed by paratroopers  who jumped out of C47s. Could I have done that?

 Death - place is a monument to death - that is the work product. The way it is. I was not bothered until I saw plane that dropped atomic bomb on Nagasaki and ICBM's. They were obscene.

Sex and Life - The WWII boys had images of naked, half naked women everywhere - where they lived and worked - on the planes. I think the girls were there to remind the boys that there was life after all this. That they were fighting for something worthwhile. Voluptuous fecund women to grab onto, children - life. Not much worthwhile in the wars since then. 

Memorial park out front where waited for museum to open. Monuments to groups, individuals.

The woman theme. Innocent Bob Hope humor not seen in later wars. (In Vietnam the humor is dark ironic.)  

Monument to Flying Tigers.  

Continuing bathroom theme. Note serrated edges of towel. Never seen that before.  

Kennedy Air Force One. Jackie came down this ramp in pink suit stained in blood.  

Wax Dwight Eisenhower 

Kennedy plane in foreground, maybe Roosevelt, Truman plane in background.  

Never worked. Airplane design - at least back then - was not an exact air. 

Mock-up of maintenance in South Pacific

Boxcar - dropped second atomic bomb - this one on Nagasaki. 

Fat Boy - name of second bomb - cute little phrase. Bomb dropped dropped by Enola Gay was Little Boy.  

Detroit Trip - Day 3

Through the Ohio Valley and beyond. In last of blue grass country Bob noted that many of the big houses must belong to nouveau riche - that classy people lived in the old houses. I said I wanted a low house built into side of rolling pasture. He wanted an old house where he could dress up as colonel sanders.  We got into political and race discussion. Bob noted that the lawn jockeys had changed color. Offered a modest proposal.

Discussed health. Bob said he was worried that I might have an episode, and, not knowing who I was, sell car, buy fast motorcycle and disappear out West riding 100 MPH. Said if I was wandering lost in lobby at breakfast he would leave me. I said that if he died I would have him cremated put him in trunk and keep on going.

We discussed day at Belmont festival I bought confederate battle flag from re-enactors how I  waved flag around to the discomfort of my companions (Allie seeing the unease wanted to join in) then buried flag upside down where people sat on hill. He said I was weak.

We drove slowly along back roads through countryside and little towns. All in a state of genteel decline. Every house every business slightly different - people same, different. Each town with it's own historical society.  We agreed that the trick to these trips is to stay off interstates, drive slowly and and watch details. Greet people. BMW rumbled in tasteful agreement.

Paris Ky (in Bourbon county) - same name as my mother's family. Every little town has sad boutiques, coffee shops, maybe an art gallery, failing book store. But lovely in decline. Death becomes towns, barns falling back to earth

Bourbon county courthouse

Harriet Beacher Stowe stayed here. Bob wanted me visit this liberal place. 

Place appealed to me.

Maysville Ky estate overlooking Ohio River.

Beat up cab parked near river overlook.

Woman on steps overlooking the river waiting for driver of beat up cab to show up. We startled her. On whim I asked to take her picture. Who could refuse jolly old men. A story here.

Bridge over Ohio.

Mr. Bob beside river.

Me beside river. Fanny pack (resembling a codpiece) is to keep glasses safe. In past several months I have lost more than $500 dollars worth of glasses. Bob says I am last of big time spenders. I say he is tight.

Limestone strata underlies everything.  Near surface. Might be looking at 50m years of geologic history. The people live a few feet removed from time.

Little three or four car ferry across Ohio. No waiting, just show up, pay 5 dollars and ferry goes. Ferry operator might hate us.

Where Little Eliza and Uncle Tom crossed frozen river - another liberal place Bob wanted me to see.

Place has same name as Bob' daughter Robin. Featured Elvis and Marilyn posters - a few James Deans. "We ate hot dogs here and were stared at in amazement by locals. I offered a  jolly hello. 

More in the series "urinals I have seen". 

Darrin designed Packard at Packard museum. Not really a car, but art object.


V-16 engine. Intake manifold is inside head and there are two coils - one for each bank. Only Karen will understand this.

50 Packard like the one in which my dad, his boss and two coworkers went West ostensibly looking for a new supply of lumber for Shelby Millwork - reportedly they were drunk for 10,000 miles.

Detroit Trip - Remainder of Day 2

Saw blue grass country,blue grass horses and three bourbon places. All depend on limestone aquifers. Provides filtered water for breweries and calcium for blue grass and horses. A shot of bourbon a day is said to help people with osteoporosis.


View of Frankfort KY Capitol bldg from cemetery/Daniel Boone grave

Blue grass country - huge stables, huge houses - Mr, Bob's daughter lives near such a place in Camden, women are hard with leather faces (not his daughter)

Wild Turkey distillery near LawenceBurg. I drank two shots in memory of my old dad. Visited two other distillers... Buffalo Trace (Frankfort) and Woodford Reserve (Versailles) - drank a shot of cream bourbon at Buffalo place - very good. Two places had bourbon chocolate candy with pecan on top. Trace named after path worn by buffalo. Pioneers followed these trace paths.

Blue Grass mares and offspring - saw some horses with blinders. Lovely creatures, but stupid and temperamental. 

At Woodford Reserve - two large Australian and two large somber men - who might have been brothers - chapel-like place just before tour - Buffalo Trace also had chapel.

Where barrels are stored for anywhere up to 23 years. Lots of these buildings. Wood in some Buffalo Trace buildings over 200 years old. Bourbon gets color, flavor from char inside barrels. Starts our as clear moonshine. Very complicated process. Bourbon, barrels seem to be alive. 

Me at mash vat.

Barrel storage.

Looking toward Frankfort from cemetery on hill across Kentucky.

Daniel Boone's resting place

Capitol at Franfort. Lovely town. Lots of old funky places. 

Optical illusion at Buffalo Trace pointed out by Freddie genial tour guide. Third generation in business.

Funky places in Frankfort. Top of Mr, Bob's hat in BMW. Not so funky.