Gas is how much?!

I returned yesterday, took the shuttle to my car, realized I didn’t have enough gas to get home.  I thought I had enough to get to at least Livermore and I didn’t want to pay 3.19 a gallon by the airport.  After getting turned around and misguided in the pretzel of roads, freeways and onramps by the airport I had even less gas.  “I can make it”, I thought.  Well, around the “last SF exit” toward the Bay Bridge I figured I’d better not risk it, so I got off and found a Shell station with gas for the low, low price of 3.49 a gallon.  Sometimes I’m just not that smart, but after filling up I had a stress free drive home.

This will be my final post for this adventure as I am no longer in Ohio.  Wednesday we went to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame from which I only have one picture because I didn’t know they did not allow photography inside the museum.  So if you haven’t seen it before, here it is:

There was much to see inside.  My favorite part was the music video room, lots of videos edited together nicely.  They also had a special exhibit dedicated to Bruce Springsteen, that was cool especially seeing handwritten lyrics.  Among the unexpected things, maybe unexpected isn’t the right word as I really didn’t know what to expect, was a collection of drawings done by Jimmi Hendrix when he was a kid.  Speaking of kids, there was this one there that was definitely obese.  I’d say he was between 7 and 10 years old and 500 pounds.  Ok, maybe not 500 pounds but easily over 100, and under 4 feet tall.  I didn’t want to judge, I mean, maybe he had some sort of genetic issue, but I don’t think so; maybe he’ll grow real tall and his girth will stretch out.  Man he was big.

At lunch I remarked how weird it was to be looking over a large body of water, lake Erie, and not see any waves.  Ten pointed out that it was a lake and I said, “Oh, duh.”  The rest of the afternoon was spent waiting for Ten’s car to be delivered then we went to the Mt. Carmel Catholic Church festival in Niles, OH, a suburb of Youngstown, or more correctly the white trash suburb of Youngstown.  I am not kidding.  We saw some kids there that Ten’s mom referred to as “dirty high school kids”, and they were dirty.  Beyond that the festival was full of good food and entertainment including the, Rudy (I think that was his first name) Chiciglia band, consisting of a lead guitar, bass, accordian, and drums.  All of the members, except the drummer, were probably over 70; fun to watch.  That evening we hung out with Ten’s cousin and some of her friends two of which were riding tall bikes.  These are bikes that this guy built by welding several bike frames on top of one another.  Imagine a bike that has about three stacked frames and you’ll have a tall bike.  One was about 6 ft at the seat, the other was 9; crazy.

When I first was heading out to Ohio and was discussing the itinerary with Ten specifically driving through the not so good parts of Youngstown she said, “Be ready not to give a fuck.” I didn’t get that at first, but it’s clear to me now.  All over Youngstown, and I mean all over, are neighborhoods that were once full of houses.  Now those neighborhoods are full of blocks with empty lots where houses used to be and houses that are on their last legs, and homes that people shouldn’t be living in but are; it’s sad.  There are good neighborhoods but urban blight is everywhere.  We went into one house in town that had burned not to long ago that also had bullet holes above the fireplac and Trivial Pursuit cards on the windowsill, just a few houses away people were hanging out on their porch.  There was another we went into on a different block that still had a family picture on the wall.  Not sure what, if anything, can be done for areas like this, but it was definitely a new reality for me.

Note 'Trivial Pursuit' cards

 Overall an awesome trip.  Suffciently planned yet random, lots of cool tangents just the way I like to travel.  I was the beneficiary of a phenomenal tour guide and gracious hosts. (that sentence sounds funny)  Ten’s mom, while she could possibly talk your ear off about nothing, was great, even packed me some pie to eat at the airport while I waited for the plane.  And how can I forget Kadence, the sweet 12 year old yellow shepard/lab, and her one ear that sticks up all the time; silly bowlegged dog.  Thanks to all who followed along and commented,  I had fun!


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