My Journey Into The Past

This past weekend we, the Family DeDay (not the whole Clan DeDay, just us, the family) hit the highways and byways (both) of this Great Land of Ours and saw some stuff. It was time for the Great Family Vacation. (Do not attempt this if you have a weak heart, or are susceptible to motion sickness. It’s really best if you do this without your actual family.)

Off we went, up I-74 to Indianapolis for a weekend of fun and adventure. The first adventure was getting there. Two hours on the road with a five year old and a two year old, yeah, that’san adventure. (Next time we’re dosing them down with Dramamine, or at least bourbon.)

Since Cincinnati is notoriously close to Indiana, we crossed the State Line fairly quickly. Indiana doesn’t hold any truck with messin’ with the clocks. They stay resolutely on Slow Time. Ohio is bustling into the Future, and we hop onto Daylight Savings Time without a backwards glance and all abandon. This would be Fast Time. So all weekend, we were an hour into the past. Didn’t see any dinosaurs roaming the Earth though. I think we were gypped. (Not to disparage Gypsy (or more properly the Rom) people. They don’t get to see dinosaurs either.)

Off we go for a weekend of fun and adventure. In a Hampton Inn. Hampton Inns have the most important things for a good Family Trip. An indoor pool, the Cartoon Network and a free Continental Breakfast. As far as the boys were concerned , the indoor pool, the Cartoon Network and doughnuts for breakfast werethe vacation. We also went to the zoo. (Note: No matter what you hear, the Indianapolis Zoo is NOT a reciprocal zoo with ANYONE. They will give you a discount on admission though.)

It was loads of fun at the dinky Indy Zoo. The day we went was Mennonite Day. That was something. Swarms of Mennonites were all over the zoo. I don’t think I would want to be a Mennonite. First, I can’t grow a beard. Second, I don’t think wearing hand-sewn polyester clothes would bring me closer to God. Any god. I’m not sure there’s a god out there who’s really hot to get close to shiny black hand-sewn polyester pants. Even with the snazzy suspenders. But I could be wrong.

I got really excited one time there at the zoo. I heard people talking about seeing the eldest son of the King of France. He was supposed to be putting on a show in about a half an hour. That would have been so cool! And educational! I was hoping for guillotines too. (Not with real peasants or anything, just straw dummies. Real peasants would be cruel. And hard to keep in stock.) (But easy to keep in the stocks! Ha!) (Sorry.) But the Indianapolis Zoo is kept in Indiana for tax purposes and the Dauphin Show was really just the Dolphin Show. We went to see it anyway. It was pretty neat. Even without the guillotines.

The whole trip wasn’t just for the exciting two hour car ride and a trip to the zoo. Nope. Saturday night we saw some friends that we haven’t seen for a bunch of years. That was fun. So it was the zoo and dinner. (The Olive Garden, we thought the boys would eat something there. Nope, wrong. But don’t olives grow in groves? Shouldn’t the restaurant be called “The Olive Grove”? Or is that just me?)

On the way home (hopped up on free doughnuts), we stopped in Greensburg. You know why. The Tower Tree. You’ve hear of it, it’s World Famous. That’s what it says on the sign: “The World Famous Tower Tree”. And we went to see it. In all the years I’ve driven past the billboard telling you about The World Famous Tower Tree, this was the first time I stopped. Dad never stopped no matter how insistently we asked. Oh, he said he would “some day” but he never did. I think that had a profound effect on my childhood. Wanting to give my boys all the things I never had as a child (not really allthe things I never had since I never had, say, polio) I stopped in Greensburg and saw The World Famous Tower Tree. It was very tree-like. Growing out of the top of a tower. The clock tower on the courthouse in town square. I took pictures. Then we drove home.

That was pretty much my weekend. There were a couple of other things worth mentioning. That I think is worth mentioning anyway. So I will.

Friday night there was a woman with a good attitude next door to us. At least I think she was next door. I could faintly hear her through the wall saying “Yes! Oh yes!” a lot. I think she was watching sports and her team was winning. I’m pretty sure her team was winning one way or the other.

Also, this weekend I was haunted by the spirit of Christopher Walken. Just the spirit, not his ghost, because he’s not currently dead. All weekend I was trying to remember his name. I knew it was the guy who pushed Michelle Pfeiffer out of the window to make her Catwoman, and Brendon Frasier’s dad when they were in the fallout shelter, and the creepy guy who was in a bunch of other movies. I knew who he was, but I couldn’t remember his name. It was bugging me all weekend. I was stuck on Willem Defoe, but I knew that was wrong. As we were nearing the State Line again coming home, I remembered his name, Christopher Walken, and my mind was at peace. Of course that could have been the Dramamine and bourbon.

Dauphin Show. Groan.

Rue I think Soupo and Katcha have the right idea about how free doughnuts and the Cartoon Network make for a great vacation. Just be glad it wasn’t me. What with all the doughnuts and the fact that CN shows a buncha Looney Tunes cartoons on Saturday morning, you would not have gotten me to the zoo. I woulda gone down to the lobby of the Hampton Inn early Saturday morning, loaded up a suitcase or two with doughnuts and laid on the bed watching Looney Tunes and munchin’ doughnuts. Now that’s living!

That Dauphin show might have been interesting tho. Especially being as France hasn’t had a king for a coupla hundred years. That woulda been one oooooooooooooold Dauphin.

I have actually seen “The World Famous Tower Tree” in Greensburg, Indiana. I didn’t actually just decide to go to Greensburg just to see it tho. I mean, I live in south GA and just deciding to take a trip all the way from here to there to see “The World Famous Tower Tree” would be weird, even for me. I was actually in Columbus, IN on business and as a part of that business I had to go to Greensburg, so that’s how I saw it. I thought it was kinda cool. I also went to Seymour, IN on that trip, which is the birthplace of John Mellencamp, or John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp. I can never remember what that man calls himself these days. I like his music tho. I saw the house that John Whateverhislastnameis lived in tho. That was cool, too.

I was haunted by a spirit too, but not for as long as you were. Mine only lasted a few hours yesterday. See, I went to church yesterday morning and during Holy Communion the organist was playing this song that I know but couldn’t think of the name of the song. So, it was on my mind for a while yesterday afternoon. I thought of the name of the song around four o’clock yesterday afternoon right after I finished ironing four pairs of pants that had been washed and dried earlier in the afternoon. The song is “Come and Taste”. It’s one of those “hippie type Christian folk songs” I learned somewhere along my way in life. I put “hippie type Christian folk songs” in quotes cause a friend and I use that phrase at church when ever we sing a new hymn in church. We say, “Sounds like one of them “hippie type Christian folk songs” to me”, whenever one of them songs are sung. Our definition of “hippie type Christian folk song” is anything written from 1970 on. We picked that definition out of thin air cause we just decided we needed to have a definition and liked that one. One of my favorite “hippie type Christian folk songs” is “I Got Peace Like A River”. I like it cause I sing my version of it which goes: I got peas, rice and liver; I got peas rice and liver; I got peas, rice and liver in my booooowl!

Sounds like a good trip to me. Did you bang on the wall and tell the woman next door to “get a room”? That would have been funny.

Ah, the Dauphin show. It’s amazing what you can get a Dauphin to do for a sardine and a pat on the snout. When we lived in Geneva we lived on Rue Jacques Dauphine, I don’t know if there was any relation to the Indiana Dauphins. Since they have such strange pronounciation of French in Indiana I would somehow doubt it. Versailles, Indiana (the pronounciation thereof) is my personal “how do you know that you are in the Midwest and have lost touch with the rest of society” moment.

Did you get by the Children’s Museum? I always wonder if it’s as nice as it looks from the outside.

We didn’t get to the Childrens Museum (Children Throughout the Ages!) this time Shibb. I think one more thing and the boys would have spontaneously combusted. (Which would have made the drive home much quieter, now that I think about it. But then I’d have to get a real job. No plan is perfect.)

But we did get there before the move. It was nice. About on par with ours here. The building is way-better though. And they had model trains upstairs.

Looking back on things Swampy, we could have just hung out at a local Hampton Inn. Ate their free doughnuts and watched their Cartoon Network and swam in their pool. It would have saved a lot of travelling. (Except for the pool part, we could have just gone to Mom’s for the weekend. But she has a sprinkler we could set up in the yard…)

The experience made me appreciate the whole Westward Movement and Manifest Destiny thing more. Driving across the continent in a covered wagon and the whole family piled in back. No roads, no road-side attractions, no rest areas, no hotels with free continental breakfast or the Cartoon Network.

This country was settled by crazy people.

Although the covered wagons travelled at about a walking pace. When the kids started bickering you could shove them out the back and let them walk. And with a load of kids the Indians wouldn’t attack. Then they’d have to take the kids into the tribe, and why would they want to do that? They had their own kids bickering in the teepee (if they were Plains Indians).

Nope. This country was settled by crazy people.

You didn’t like that Crusoe? I wrote it just for you.

So the Plain Indians live in teepees. Where did the Fancy Indians live?

:sigh:, Shibb pay attention will ya? The Fancy Indians were at the Hampton Inn scarfing down free doughnuts, watching Cartoon Network and swimming in the pool. (well, they went swimming after scarfing doughnuts and when CN started showing a ScoobyDoo marathon cause Fancy Indians find ScoobyDoo beneath them and well they should! ScoobyDoo is definitely a plebeian cartoon.)