Cleveland

Mike and I left St. Louis Missouri and then drove through Indiana enroute to Cleveland Ohio. Somewhere we went from central to eastern time. We discovered this when we were in a restaurant eating dinner. We talked to the waitress and she said that we were about 20 miles past the dividing line. She was telling us about a school where most of the families lived in the eastern time zone but the school was actually in the central time zone. What a headache that would cause throughout your child’s school years.

At one point in our drive we came to a Y intersection with signs to two local towns. Our choice was Peru in one direction or Mexico in the other. I guess some people where homesick when town names where being chosen.

When we got to Cleveland we had hoped to take a tram tour around the city to get oriented and see the highlights. At this time of year the tram runs once a day at 1pm. The timing was really inconvenient. Since the tram boarding place wasn’t in the area where we were spending the day we had to give it a miss. We considered going back into town for a second day to take the tour but in the end we didn’t bother. We decided to go biking in the nearby national park instead.

At the Lake Erie waterfront there is an area where you can take boat tours in season or go to one of two buildings: the science centre and iMAX or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That is all that was there. It looks like an ideal place to develop further for tourists. This may be the long term plan but I didn’t see any indication of it. The two buildings were very close and Mike and I ended up running back and forth between them all day. We wanted to see a couple of the iMAX films and we wanted to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the iMAX we saw a film called “Fighter Pilot” which was really interesting. It was about a military war exercise called Red Flag. This is really a major training exercise and flight crews from multiple countries participate in mock battles. They said at the beginning of the film that if a pilot lasts past ten missions then his chances of surviving go up tremendously. The aim of Red Flag is to have those ten missions take place in a controlled environment.

The other film we saw was about the Great Lakes. Something they said that really made me think and that was that the Great Lakes hold 20% of the fresh water in the world. I am sure that I knew that figure when I was younger but I hadn’t remembered it being as high as it is. For someone living on one of the Great Lakes it really makes you stop and think and appreciate what we have.

Mike and I enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but I think my sister would have appreciated it even more. We weren’t particularly interested in any of the memorabilia from the different artists. They had multiple small theatres which were very interesting. In one of them we watched a fifteen or twenty minute show about Elvis that was put together specifically for the Hall of Fame. In another we saw a thirty minute film about Dick Clark and the American Bandstand. I really enjoyed that. It brought back lots of memories. Mike preferred the concert film. I guess that change what concert they are playing on a regular basis. We saw part of a Paul Simon concert where Art Garfunkel was a guest for a few songs. Mike like it because you actually heard full songs and not just clips like you did everywhere else.

They had a really interesting exhibit about how Rock and Roll was demonized and banned in many places when it started. It sounded like McCarthyism switched from Communists to Rock and Roll music. At first glance this seems ridiculous from our current perspective. As I am writing this I remember that many of the music festivals that were held in that era did include a lot of drugs and sex and were outside the normal lines of society. It is hard to blame that on the music but I can see some of the concern. Still the comments from various people, including US Senators, were really over the top.

The most amazing thing that I heard in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was about the Beatles. They said that the first record released by the Beatles as we know the group today, was in 1962. They announced their disbanding in 1970. That means that the entire Beatle era lasted less than 8 years in the mainstream public eye. I couldn’t believe it. I lived through it and would have sworn that it went on much longer. What an impact for such a short period.

We looked into going to the theatre in Cleveland. Les Mis was playing but they take Mondays and Tuesdays off. These are the two nights that we were staying in the area. It was too late in our trip to stay an extra day to see a show that we have seen many times before. We had considered coming back into Cleveland for another day but I think that instead of the big city we will go to the nearby National Park instead.

Home in just a few days and work next week. Where did the three months go? Mike and I have purchased the sum total of one Navajo necklace on this trip and it was from an outdoor stand. As many of you know, we don’t particularly like shopping and have done basically none this entire trip. Walmart for groceries and RV supplies doesn’t count. Luckily my family is used to us by now and don’t expect anything from us even after three months away.

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