6 HOUR ROUND TRIP – 57 YEARS IN THE MAKING

Actually, this post could have several appropriate titles – so here as sub-titles:

PINCH ME – END OF A DREAM
WELCOME HOME BELZEBUTH II // LADY RAB II
THERE’S A “NEW” CAR IN TOWN

Remember, I write for myself, and for my memories – but do enjoy sharing. Today truly began over 57 years ago – and as I reflect, there are threads that have run through my life since my pre-teens. And, in a simple way, that is what I am made of, and what brings me pleasure.

Remember, I introduced BELZEBUTH II aka LADY RAB II on 19 March?  Well, an attempt was made on a projected beautiful day, 29 March. But after unpredicted pouring rain from Exit 5 to Exit 3 on I-91, that retrieval mission was scrubbed with tears. Watching the weather, today, 7 April, was another potentially clear target of opportunity – some sun, 50 degrees plus, and no rain projected – hey, I was driving a 90 year old convertible home (top down always) 85 miles.  And, this time it did not rain. Carolyn graciously picked me up at 8, and we arrived in Charlton, Massachusetts about 10:15 – backroading, of course.

Attached my plates (from my last Model A, sold in September, but I renewed them anyway, something – somebody – told me to do so), chatted with previous owner (know from experience it was hard), and off I went. To put things into perspective, Charlton, Massachusetts is just east of Sturbridge (and OSV that I love) and about 9 miles north of the Connecticut border.

Only scheduled stop (and fortunately no unscheduled stops were required) was the Country Store in Petersham for lunch. We arrived on schedule a few minutes before noon.

You know I love old county/general stores. Make sure you plan to stop when in the Quabbin area for a bite to eat. RAY RECOMMENDS – A Visit to the Petersham Country Store.

The Common in Petersham is worth a visit.

We continued north, leaving about 12:30 following Route 32 crossing the border, through Swanzey, and into Keene, and then north to home. Arriving back home just before two, the first stop was to “show off” at a friend’s house – having just adopted a new dog, she could not travel on this trip – priorities!

Note above that I was “bundled” but I was comfortable the entire ride and never put on my gloves or earmuffs. And then it was back to “44.”

and, then tucked in with her new “siblings” – never, never to leave again !!!

Trivia History Lesson. First stop in town to “show off,” T asked, “why is it called a rumble seat?” Sadly, I have never questioned the derivation. I do know that if you wanted the optional rumble seat in a 1928 or 1929 Model A Ford Roadster (instead of simply a trunk) it cost $35. A single seat in the rear of a vehicle in the early days was called the “mother-in-law” seat. My Dad had two such vehicles, a 1908 Buick and a 1909 Model T Ford, with the single seat in the rear. Well, continue below for some possible explanations. But, first an image of glee and approval, from a rumble seat.

There is no definitive reason for the nomenclature – rumble seat. But “playing on-line,” here are some ideas:

1 –  Sir Hubert Malcolm Rhumble, a prominent carriage designer of England’s late 1800s., designed a coachman’s seat that stuck in the car lexicon, according to the Automobilist Magazine in August 1958. In early vintage automobiles the trunk lid folded back to form a seat area, sometimes called a “mother-in-law” seat.

2 – Early use of “Rumble Seat” referred to the seat behind the body of a carriage on which the servants rode, well before cars existed. The application to cars evolved from the fact that the seat was indeed behind the enclosed portion of the ‘coach’ of the car. With regards to the expression rumble seat itself, perhaps it was due to the ‘rumble’ the carriage made as it travelled, and the open nature of the seat making the occupants more susceptible to the sounds of the rumble?

3 -The rumble seat (or auxiliary seat or ”mother-in-law`s seat”) first appeared on several models at the 1925 auto show in New York. Like the convertible, it swept the country. Everyone was talking about rumble seats.

4 – and, a simple definition – An uncovered passenger seat that opens out from the rear of an automobile. 

Did I tell you there are “threads through my life?” Printing, stamps, history, shunpiking in my special cars, 19th century general stores, photography, and places that bring me pleasure?

Well, in the summer of 1963,  high school friends and I painted a barn in Charlton, Massachusetts. One friend’s Dad owned the place as a weekend retreat/investment. We ate breakfast at the HoJos on the Mass Pike, entering from the back entrance off US 20. In the evenings we visited the now gone car museum in Sturbridge, and I visited antique shops (see the pattern). Well as I am writing this, to my right on the radiator is the view below. The two toy cars on the left I bought in Charlton, Mass. in 1963, just miles from where my “new” roadster came from. And, see the cast iron fire truck? Cost me $4 at an antique shop in Gaylordsville, Connecticut on a Belzebuth I excursion in 1963.

Too much fun. Thank you for getting this far, love, RAY

 

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SUCCESSFUL DAY – 19 MARCH 2019 – ADOPTION COMPLETE

Did you read my last post – GENESIS OF A SHUNPIKER from March 12 (an important day)? If you missed it, click on the link above. But a quest was on. On March 9, before I completed that post, I posted my want ad for a 1929 Model A Ford Roadster on Craig’s List. Then I just checked to see if there were any new listings on Craig’s List – and there was one. I started emailing with Joe, Jr. Talked with his Dad, Joe, Sr., and both were helping Jon – Joe Senior’s brother, and Joe Junior’s Uncle. It was one of those good email and phone exchanges leading to my journey today to Charlton, Massachusetts. We met just before 5PM, and I left at 6:10PM. Adoption COMPLETED.

Introducing
BELZEBUTH II
aka LADY RAB II

Jon owned this 1929 Model A Roadster for five years, driving it about 600 miles a year, and is selling only because of health. I got under, over, and into all the trouble spots. Not a show car (don’t want a show car) but a clean, solid, well redone roadster – just what I started Shunpiking with (but I forgot to tell you about all the sports car back road rallying I also did with a high school friend – well more stories)

The plan is to drive her home in a few weeks (90 miles from home) and at worst have to call AAA to get me the rest of the way. Below is Jon, the previous owner.

and, here are a few of the pictures that were on Craig’s List.

Yes, I have learned you can drive three cars at once – but now it means I just have to “shunpike” more miles this summer. Let the driving begin – and stories to follow.

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GENESIS OF A “SHUNPIKER” – BEGINNING IN 1962 and EARLIER

BELZEBUTH – My 1929 Model A Ford Roadster in December 1962

My Shunpiking is nothing new. It goes back more decades than I would like you to know I have been alive. My Dad loved, collected, bought, restored, and sold antique cars as a hobby. I would travel with him to explore barns. Often he had me sit in the car and wait, but sometimes I got to explore barns, garages, and attics too – still wish he would have let me bought the Edison Cylinder Photograph and records in that attic ($25) on Olmstead Hill Road where he bought the rare 1910 Barker truck. Those explorations with him, my introduction to American History via collecting US Commemorative stamps, thanks to my grandfather in 1952, my exposure to letterpress printing, and photography, made me what I am, and enjoy today. Sorry, this reminiscing post got long, but remember, “I write for myself.”

Above, and directly below is my BELZEBUTH, with my Dad getting her ready for me in December 1962. He bought and sold cars as a hobby, wanted to make money on this one, I remember picking this roadster up in Darien, Connecticut. It had been used as a “station car” taking the previous owner to the train station every day. I begged and begged him to sell it to me, and he finally did for the $350 he paid for it – (always regretting not making something on it). She was mine on December 10, 1962. We shunpiked together until I left for college in the fall of 1964 (those are more stories I will have to relate with all my back road discoveries).

When I got to South Carolina with the Navy in 1970 I had BELZEBUTH shipped south, and used her to commute to the Navy base. I towed her to Rhode Island when transferred there in 1972, but do not remember exactly how she got to Florida when I was transferred there in 1976. Transferred to the Philadelphia Shipyard in 1977 the car stayed with my Dad in Florida, but he eventually sold her for me. But, the gentleman died, and I bought her back, and my Dad brought her to New Jersey in about 1980. But alas, sadly, with tears, I sold her the end of 1982.

Below is the inside cover of a reprint of a Model A Ford Owner’s Manual I have owned since the late 1950s. I listed my Model As as they came and went.

Below is some of the documentation of my shunpiking with BELZEBUTH. You can click on the images to see them in larger size. Do note what I had to pay for gas, my flat on I-95 in NH while heading to Maine to inspect a 1915 Model T all aluminum body Sedan for my Dad. BUT, of particular note you will see my stops in Chester, Vermont, and Grafton in 1963 and 64. Yes, definite threads to my enjoyment over the years. Also note the stops along my favorite US Route 7, and I even passed the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge where I am now writing this. I also fondly remember pulling into Main Street in Historic Deerfield in the pouring rain. But more stories for another time.

I had not even finished my Freshman year when I had to get another A. Freshman could not have a car, but I justified it as a “hobby item” and hid my “new” ’29 Tudor off campus. Purchased January 11, 1965, from Model “A” Frank, Oak Lawn, Illinois for $239.25 (of course I have the itemized receipt). I drove it home on US Route 6 from Evanston, Illinois to Connecticut on spring break. Had to replace the head gasket in Ohio, crossed the George Washington bridge after dropping a rider in NJ, burned out the rings, and with no compression barely made it up the hill home. My Dad let me drive his newly restored 1930 Cabriolet back to school. Below is that Tudor parked on campus in 1965.

High school friend, Leland, went to school in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and bought the 1930 Sedan pictured below. He agreed to sell it to me, and off I went in my 1956 Chevy 2-door hardtop to tow it back. It only lasted awhile

But, as I said before, I repurchased BELZEBUTH. I had installed the dual side mounts in 1964 from a chopped farm car my Dad had, and when in Rhode Island I had the new top and upholstery installed. Following are images of this beauty (not really restored – but a handsome driver) before she was sold again. Remember to open up my photo galleries.

BELZEBUTH’s Engine Serial Number is A1-L92965
if you have her, CALL ME
Her birthday (stamped on the cowl) is May 31, 1929
and I know the holes and warts in the body

In 1995 Cathy and I married and moved (along with the bookshop) to the waterfall in New Preston, Connecticut. Yes, I wanted another “A”, and thought having a pickup I could advertise the shop on the side. Below is my 1931 Pickup. We were working just too hard to use the truck, but… a 1930 Roadster materialized, and in September 2001 I bought and sold.

Below is some history from rayboasbookseller.com

My 1930 Roadster moved with us to Walpole. Not counting the fellow who restored it, I was the second owner, and can show you the barn it spent most of its life in. Below is during an Old Home Days’ Parade…

and with one of the brides I drove to wedding festivities.

In January 2010 I finally bought a 1958 TR3A (BLACK BEAUTY), wanting one since new. Figured I could not drive both cars at once, and a friend was begging to buy my ’30 Roadster and take it back to Connecticut, he won. Two years later I added an original 1960 MGA (BLUE BELLE) to my stable, and realized you can drive two cars at once – you pull one in, and back the other out.

Realizing this, the quest was on for a 1930-31 Tudor Sedan, the body style I wanted to die with. LADY RAB joined us on December 4, 2013. 

But with hip problems it was hard to get in and out, and she sat for two years. Decided I should sell, started her right up, and she went to a new home in September 2018. But now I am longing for a 1929 Roadster just like I learned to explore the world in. Top was never up, thus easy to get in and out.  And, the search is on — currently there are two for sale with two hours drive.  Thinking, thinking, and will have to look. Maybe I will come full circle with “shunpiking wheels”

Finally, two other things that have “captured” me for decades. I saw my first Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and then the famous one in Pittsfield while shunpiking in Belzebuth in 1963. In 1965 I found my Bartholemew Peanut Roaster in Darlington, South Carolina, and have had her since. Here I am in the 1980s getting ready to hustle popcorn at a school fair.

And, a Model C Cretors is way too big, but my reproduction 1902 Cretors sidewalk machine is just perfect. Of course you know CORNELIA. (note yours truly in same outfit, and same “good form”)

Thank you for bearing with my indulgences and memories, as always, yours, RAY

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CANDLES – TRAINS – MUSEUMS — HIP, HIP HOO-RAY — 25-27 January 2019

December 4 – remember the day? I do, my first new hip, home the next day, on my own from the start rebuilding my mobility and planning new experiences. This past weekend there were three things I wanted to do, each could have been a day trip, but I tied them together with two overnights. A first travel experiment, just as I did after back surgery.

EVENING OF ILLUMINATION – OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE

Tin Lanterns – OSV image.

I attended Friday evening 25 January. A sold out event at OSV, groups of fifteen are guided by lantern light around the Village Common for almost two hours, visiting several homes and shops to see how early New Englanders spent their evenings before electricity. The village’s publicity goes on, “Visitors will be treated to music and storytelling throughout the tour, and will see Village artisans at work by candlelight. According to Old Sturbridge Village historians, early New Englanders stayed warm and productive during the fall and winter despite dwindling daylight and long hours of darkness. With light and heat coming only from candles, oil lamps, lanterns, and fireplaces, 19th-century families gathered around the fire and played music, games, or listened quietly as someone read aloud by candlelight.” You should, by now, know me and my affinity for candles, candlesticks, and all things flickering.

I have now attended a number of special events at Sturbridge, enjoying each unique one. Unlike the evening Christmas program there was limited illumination to accurately replicate what 1837 would have been like — thus, my images are dark (would not be appropriate to use flash, and would not be a true representation – thus I do not have views of all stops to share.

The guide’s lanterns waiting at the Visitor Center – two for each group

The route was basically counter-clockwise around the Village Common. The first stop, Isiah Thomas’ print shop, included a printing demonstration. But, printing at night would have been only in rare instances due to the cost of burning candles. The next stop at the head of the Common was the Salem Towne House. Here in the large central hallway we were entertained by a storyteller relating the ghostly tale of the cursed tomb in Bucksport, Maine.

The Fitch House was the next stop. Brightly lit with a number of candles, and there was a reason. The docent discussed Michael Faraday’s, The Chemical History of a Candle, a series of six lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames given in 1848. Bet you never thought about how a candle really works – I hadn’t.

He encouraged us to google (not really a 19th century thing) Faraday’s candle, I have, and I encourage you to do the the same – there are even videos of the lectures. He then entertained us with stories illustrated by shadows projected on a white surface by candle light through cut-outs. This stop was worth the entire visit for me.

Stopping next at the Fenno House we saw spinning and knitting performed – also evening activities from the early 19th century. Very little light was used in these activities – so adept were the ladies that they could work almost with their eyes closed.

Around the corner at the Small House a gentleman was roasting chestnuts, and offered samples. To allow moisture to escape during the roasting, the “raw” chestnut must be scored with a knife nudged by a “persuader.”

Heading back to the Common the next stop was at the Friends Meetinghouse where singers were performing.

They did three selections. I was entranced by their version of Yankee Doodle, which was written in 1847. I missed that on film, but decided to record the next piece for you.

Next we entered the Center Meetinghouse where the parson was engaged in a lengthy oration.

At the Asa Knight Store (you should know that I love old country and general stores) the clerk and a customer were settling their accounts. Each had debits and credits with the other (customers would often trade items with a shopkeeper). Usually once a year accounts were settled – cash paid, or the credit/debits carried forward. The “customer” below is Phil, who is the tinsmith in the village, and was my teacher in September in the craft.

 

 

The next stop was at the Parsonage. There an “oracle” was entertaining the group as would have been done during that time period for a charity fundraiser. An audience member would give a number, and the oracle read the appropriate response from her book. The final stop (before going to the tavern for mulled cider, squash soup, and cheese and crackers) was to learn about various lighting devices in the Tin Shop

 

The village was not serving dinner this evening, so I headed to the Oxhead Tavern across the street. Lots of history about this building, I sat in front of the fire and had a nice pot roast dinner.

End Hip Experiment Day One – almost three hours on my feet.

RAILROAD HOBBY SHOW – AMHERST RAILWAY SOCIETY
Eastern States Exposition – Springfield, Massachusetts

Leaving Sturbridge Saturday morning I travelled a new to me southern route passing through Monson, Hampden, and Longmeadow to West Springfield and THE BIG E grounds. Hip Experiment Day Two – almost five hours on my feet wandering (and wondering) through 4 buildings (over 9.3 acres with just over 400,000 square feet), and all hard concrete. This, the 52nd annual show, is one of the largest, and I attended a few years ago. So much eye candy for model railroad enthusiasts – layouts constructed by various clubs, exhibitors with supplies to build scenery and buildings, new train equipment, and my favorite – old vintage toy trains.

Greeting visitors outside was the Boothbay Railway Village recently restored S.D. Warren #2 0-4-0T locomotive. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1895. Under full steam it was running back and forth on narrow gauge track (probably a Maine Two-Footer).

I am just going to share with you some of the eye candy with brief explanations. Remember you can click on any of my galleries to open large size images.

The cars below were in a very large scale – about $400 each, just having an image is enough. I love the real observation cars, and dining and Pullman sleeper cars.

This was a New England LEGO club with their layout exhibit

This club built its own miniature steam engines, and brought them to share.

The two competitors – LIONEL on the left, and AMERICAN FLYER on the right. This dealer had nothing but the less popular AMERICAN FLYER, and no one was looking.

It was then off to my B&B in Springfield to collapse and rest up. I headed out to scope out the MGM SPRINGFIELD casino. My neighbor asked me to take a look. Not my thing (note no images), and this is the report I emailed her, and recommend to you – “Don’t bother, unless you like low-end shopping mall atmosphere, food courts, and over (way over) priced faux restaurants with little glitz. Packed (Saturday night). Can say I have been there – same with glitzy Connecticut Casinos – been there – which I also never have to see again.” And, then back to sleep for Sunday.

SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS
ART – HISTORY – SCIENCE – SEUSS IN SPRINGFIELD

Hip Experiment Day Three – was about almost five and one half hours on my feet at the museum. But first I stopped at Springfield’s Union Station.

Springfield’s 4th station, built in 1926, handled up to 130 trains every 24 hours. When the Penn Central went bankrupt in 1970 it was abandoned, deterioration set in, and efforts to save the structure crawled. Redevelopment funds were obtained, work began in 2012, and the deconstruction and the reconstruction of Union Station lasted four years and one month, officially ending on December 31, 2016. The main hall was restored to close to what it was.

If you are an automotive historian you should know what happened in Springfield. Do you? America’s first gasoline powered car was built here by two brothers, Charles and Frank Duryea, and on September 20, 1893, was successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. Near the train station is a park at 47 Taylor Street – the location of the Duryea’s garage. This model of their 1895 vehicle, which won the Chicago race in 1895, is in the middle of the park.

as you will learn at my final stop for the day, much has happened in Springfield, and industrial history abounds.

Shortly after its Sunday opening time of 11AM, I arrived at the Springfield Museums complex and campus which almost adjoins the Springfield Armory, which I have twice toured.  I started with the history museum – about 2 1/2 hours – and I need to go back.

One of the best history museums I have been in – very informative, packed with local importance. Possibly wonderful because everything dovetailed with my interests, but I bet you would be captivated also. To give you a flavor, I am grouping a number of image galleries that you can open if you wish to learn more.

There are a number of Springfield related autos in the museum. For the 100th anniversary of the Duryea’s first gas powered vehicle this replica was built in 1993. Yes, the original was built on a buggy.

Frank and Charles had a falling out, and in 1900 Frank went in business with the Stevens Arms and Tool Company to produce automobiles. Here is the oldest known Stevens-Duryea – a 1903 Runabout

Did you know that Rolls-Royce also manufactured its luxury autos in the US – and right in Springfield from 1919 until the Depression? This 1928 Phantom has the distinction of having been owned by M. Allen Swift for 77 years – longer than any other owner in company history. He gave it to the museum just before his death in 1994 along with a major donation for the museum.

I found it amazing all the products and inventions coming from this area.

here is just a sampling of what you will see on exhibit and explained

And, then there was the Indian Motorcycles – made right here in Springfield. So much history, here is but a sampling to entice you to visit and learn and drool.

Born in Torrington, Connecticut, just north of the former home of Ray Boas, Bookseller, abolitionist, John Brown, spent time in Springfield solidifying his beliefs. Ironically I have been learning about his raid on Harper’s Ferry, so found this exhibit of interest.

Two major retainers started in the area. Friendly’s Ice Cream shops began with two boys with $50 creating a summer business. On display is the counter, stools, and other memorabilia from their first store.

And, this store front is a replica of what became the BIG Y chain.

I then toured the science museum, but realizing I would not have time in one visit to get to the two art museums decided I had better at least run through the Dr. Seuss building. Originally from Springfield, many of his tales go back to his youth here, visits to the zoo, etc.

It is impossible to not see this exhibit without a smile on your face.

here is some background

And, a few images around the museum

Outside is the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden. This is an image of a mural inside the museum of the garden.

I hope you got this far — what I have related here are three “day trips” that I rolled into three days and two nights to save some travel time.

RAY RECOMMENDS — Plan to spend a day and head the hour and twenty minutes (from here) to THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS. I guarantee you will be glad you did, and there is much to explore in the area also – The Springfield Armory for a start. ENJOY, as always, yours, RAY

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NEW YEAR’S EVE 2018 — HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019

You have not heard from me since 25 November. I have missed writing my travel posts here, not to mention missing the adventures to share. Have you wondered why? My hips prevented many of my desired travels in 2018, as well as in 2017. To fix the situation, I had my first hip replacement on 4 December. I was bone on bone, and have the left hip to go. Four hours after surgery I was up walking, and was home thirty hours after surgery. I’ve been taking care of myself, physical therapist has been visiting, and I have been exercising to build up strength. I just want to wake up and take off, but it is a process, and this week I have really been moving about. Enough so to go out last evening and take some images of “my neighborhood” – the Common outside my windows – albeit sadly without snow.

Next to the Congregational Church across from me these carolers have not moved a muscle in weeks (their arthritis must really be bad).

I have kept busy in the house, and not even gotten to the piles of projects I set up before surgery. The January issue of the CLARION was completed, and in starting a new hobby (miniature buildings) I bought a few “new” “old” books. The last chapter of one book on savings banks had the following chapter. I shared it in the CLARION, and am sharing with you below – it is worth reading and contemplating while you are RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR.

86,400 SECONDS

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during that day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows you no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost health, happiness and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

To realize the value of One Year, ask a student who failed a grade. To realize the value of One Month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. To realize the value of One Week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize the value of One Hour, ask two lovers who are waiting to meet. To realize the value of One Minute, ask a person who just missed the train. To realize the value of One Second. ask someone who just avoided an accident. To realize the value of One Millisecond, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

Author Unknown

Here are two more views at the north end of the Common.

I have spent my time “working” between my computers in the kitchen, and a laptop and piles of reading material in my front informal parlor. I have some of my trees set up around the house, and below is what I see while sitting in the front room. The model of the Red Lion Inn I got last month at the Mistletoe Mart at the Congo Church. Never saw this Christmas decorated cutout before – no hesitation in buying.

Yesterday I sat here with my folders of yearly travel accomplishments and ideas. I am looking forward to getting back out to explore by car, rail, and water. I have also reread many of my travel posts here – remember I write for myself, but love to share. Hopefully I will have a great deal to share with you in 2019.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
as always, yours, RAY

 

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TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS – SANTA’S LAND – AND MORE – 25 NOVEMBER 2018

This weekend I did a few holiday things I want to share with you, and I have listed some holiday events I encourage you to explore. Many I have done, and will link you to my past adventures to further whet your appetite – the real purpose for this post to get you out to experience these wonderful events.

Recently I saw something new to me – ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS in nearby Springfield, Vermont, presented at the Hartness House Inn.  All proceeds of the day were to benefit the Springfield Area Parent Child CenterThe announcement read: “journey through the historic Hartness House Inn and experience the legendary tale of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in an interactive performance provided by local talent! Moving room to room you will witness the skill of real dancing elves, glorious singers, hilarious puppeteers, and many exciting surprises along the way.” The event was Saturday the 24th, I bought my ticket on-line, and then booked my dinner reservation afterwards.

Hartness House Inn – Springfield, Vermont

I learned that this was the second year for this fundraiser. The Inn had been closed for a month during “twig season,” and reopened with this event. The Inn is a wonderful old mansion, but several dormitory style additions have been added to the rear. Cathy and I attended a New Year’s Eve in the former dining area on the right, now there is simply a tavern for eating on the left.

I arrived early, and enjoyed some holiday music in the lobby, and then was greeted by my Elf (does she look familiar?) to experience ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas throughout the Inn.

 

Following Ms. Elf from room to room, she recited Clement Moore’s poem to the group at the various tableaus. We followed a route (you can click on the image for an enlarged view) and at each stop were entertained by youngsters, puppets, young dancers while our Elf related the next part of the story.

 

Here is a slide show of some of the tableaus. Click on any image to scroll the larger size images. The first, “It’s Christmas Time” was amazing with many young ballerinas – two popped out of the poinsettia pots and started dancing.

The performances were impressive, particularly considering all the youth that were involved and choreographed. It was a fun setting, and a nice opportunity to see three floors and inside several rooms at the Hartness House Inn.

I then had dinner in the Tavern. Opening after a month, and for this event there was a “kid friendly” menu – not full dinner. Nice, but the ambiance not what you expect in a mansion, nor what I experienced in the dining room more than a decade ago. Furnished with wood board tables, and wooden benches. Not Ray’s style for dinner

SANTA’S LAND – PUTNEY, VERMONT

 

On Sunday, the 25th, I had to visit Santa’s Land in Putney. It was exactly a year ago, November 25, 2017, that it reopened, and I was there and shared that day with you.  It was fun to get back and visit. The new owner, David, and Santa greeted me upon arrival.

 

Entrance to Santa’s Land, Putney, Vermont – 25 November 2018

It was so enjoyable strolling the grounds, visiting with the trainman who remembered me, and the carousel operator – everyone is there to bring pleasure to all. Everything is fresh and bright. David has added a 9 hole miniature golf course for summer visitors, and Santa strolls the grounds meeting and interacting with everyone. A great idea instead of staying in his home. Open weekends, please visit before the last day this year, 23 December 2018.

Here is a gallery of images I took today, just click on any to open for larger size pictures.

And, to further prod you to visit this year, take a ride with me:

Here are links to some of my previous visits to this magical and historic remaining treasure of true early Roadside Americana. Click on the title lines to view my posts:

 

SANTA’S LAND, PUTNEY VERMONT
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY
16 DECEMBER 2017

 

SANTA’S LAND – PUTNEY, VERMONT – REOPENED NOVEMBER 25, 2017

SANTA’S LAND – PUTNEY, VERMONT – HISTORY OF THE PARK, 1957-2017

SANTA’S LAND – PUTNEY, VERMONT – HISTORICAL SOUVENIRS

Other Recommendations for You

In past years, and particularly last year, 2017, I have enjoyed a number of holiday events and shared them with you. I want to provide you a list of some things I have done, and have wanted to do, so you can grab your coat and keys, and go explore with a holiday theme. For some reason many of the events have migrated to the first weekend in December this year, so it will be hard to pick what to focus on. But here are my recommendations, and links to my previous experiences.

MAIN STREET AT CHRISTMAS
STOCKBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

November 30, December 1 & 2, 2018

Yes, Stockbridge and The Red Lion Inn. I have always had conflicts (previously it was later in the month) for this event which on Sunday recreates the famous Norman Rockwell painting that is now in the Norman Rockwell Museum.

There are about six places I want to be on the weekend of December 1 & 2, including Newport, Rhode Island with a dinner train with A CHRISTMAS CAROL performance. But I decided not to head too far that weekend (you will read why at the end), and I really don’t “do crowds.” But, someday I will attend Christmas in Stockbridge, and click on this link if you wish to learn more.

OKEMO VALLEY INNDULGENCE TOUR
December 1 & 2, 2018

What a tree !!

 

In 2016, friends and I spent a very enjoyable day touring eight Vermont inns and B&Bs that were decked out for the holidays, and each serving their own special treats. It has become an annual event, and I highly recommend you give it a try – click on this link for this year’s information.

Your ticket is good for two days, and it will take you two days to enjoy all there is to see and eat.

 

 

COOLIDGE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
PLYMOUTH NOTCH, VT – December 1, 2018

My first Christmas visit was in 2013, and it was two weeks later that year. It was wonderful, and I have returned just about each year since. My picture below was used by the Vermont Tourism Bureau to promote the event last year.

Click here for this year’s details, and the links below share my Holiday experiences there in the past. I have always loved my visits to this bucolic, and isolated hill town – a step back in time to the 19th century, even though it has captured it’s 1920s ambience (which is 19th century anywhere else).  Following are my Holiday visit posts. For some reason I never completed one for 2017.

PLYMOUTH NOTCH, VERMONT – 15 December 2013

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION IN PLYMOUTH NOTCH
10 December 2016

HISTORIC DEERFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS
1 & 2 December 2018

Less than an hour from home, I have since 1963 enjoyed driving down Old Deerfield’s historic Main Street. I have attended many events, and classes there this past year, and probably will venture here on 1 December to take in their holiday activities that day. Click on this event link to get an idea of what is going on that day. Maybe I will see you there?

 

STORROWTON VILLAGE and MANCHESTER, VT

And, here are two other Christmas experiences from 6 and 9 December 2017. Read through the post linked below about Storrowton Village in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Manchester Vermont Holiday Inn Tour. Hopefully you will then search for this year’s information and possibly attend. Lots to see in the post below, please do take a look.

 

HOLIDAY EXPLORATIONS – GETTING YOU IN THE MOOD
6 and 9 December 2017

CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT
OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE – Massachusetts

I have spent many enjoyable days at Old Sturbridge Village this past year, and attended the holiday event, enjoying 1830s decorations, traditions, and food, on 21 December last year. Click on this link to see what I shared about my visit.  This year running from 30 November through 23 Decemberclick on this link, to read what is happening – and then plan your trip there – but two comfortable hours from home.

 

And, a few other suggestions

Not things I have done as yet. I just have not had time, and it seems everything is now happening at once. But, for your consideration (and it is at least fun to look at websites to see what is going on, and get into the mood) here are a few more local Christmas events.

34th Annual Christmas in Weston, Vermont – 1 December
click here for the website

Second Annual Christmas in Grafton, Vermont
1 & 2 December 2018
click here for the website

Wassail Weekend – Woodstock, Vermont
7, 8 & 9 December 2018

click here for the website

Well, there is a great deal going on in the area, and I hope in presenting it all to you that you may find something to enjoy with your family. I will vicariously travel to the various events on-line because I will have some “down time” soon. Wanted to have both hips replaced at once, but doctor said one at a time, and that time is very soon. I am currently lining up what I will accomplish during that “down time.” I owe you some adventures from this year still, and will work on “July Rocks” and “All About Pitts.” You will hear from me.

Happy Holidays,
love, RAY


 

 

 

 

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SAVING THE “GATEWAY TO WALPOLE”

As many of my “shunpiking” friends know I am involved in much more than traveling and bookselling. I publish the local newspaper THE WALPOLE CLARION, and for the past six months have been working with a group to preserve and conserve 10 acres of land, with 1,000 feet of Connecticut River shoreline, at the entrance to our village. I like to think that the CLARION has raised awareness of this project, and motivated many into action to support and donate to this project. We have completed a video about our project, and this morning I shared it with my CLARION readers. Thought I would also give you an idea of what makes Walpole the wonderful Walpole it is. I still cannot believe I am fortunate to be here, and now for over sixteen years. So, below is what I sent out this morning, and please do watch the video.

Still wondering why the efforts to conserve the 1,000 feet of Connecticut River frontage at the entrance to the Village of Walpole, New Hampshire? This video will answer your questions, show you this special property, and its importance.

At the end of the video are details for sending your tax-deductible contribution either by check, or on-line with GoFundMe. Those details are also at the bottom of this page.

 

CLICK THIS LINK BELOW
to make your contribution on-line
https://www.gofundme.com/WalkerRoadConservation

or,
MAIL YOUR CHECK to:
Walker Road Conservation
Town of Walpole
PO Box 729
Walpole NH 03608-0729

On behalf of future generations who will have the same enjoyment we have, I thank you for your donation – yours, Ray Boas, Publisher, THE WALPOLE CLARION

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ARMISTICE DAY – 100th ANNIVERSARY – NOVEMBER 11, 2018 – VETERANS DAY

This is the first time I have shared something other than my travels here on “Shunpiking with Ray.” For years I have received a daily email from The Week – a magazine and website – providing top news stories and information. Even as a student of history, I have never had a grasp on the events surrounding the First World War. But in just over 1,000 words, The Week Magazine Staff has captured and explained “the war to end all wars,” and its aftermath still affecting us today. I encourage you to read those words below, and share this story about the events leading up to the day that is now “celebrated” as Veteran’s Day. Thank you, yours, RAY

 

The Legacy of World War I
The Week Magazine Staff

Theweek.com – AP Photo


The Great War ended 100 years ago this month.
How does it still shape our world now?
Here’s everything you need to know:

What caused the war?

In 1914, the great powers of Europe were enmeshed in a tangled web of alliances that had formed over decades of colonial empires jockeying for dominance. The assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a 19-year-old Bosnian Serb activist started a chain reaction that plunged these nations into a cataclysmic struggle. Austria-Hungary, which had been looking for an opportunity to project strength in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia, accusing its government of orchestrating the attack. Russia then mobilized to defend its ally Serbia. This led Germany, which was allied with Austria-Hungary, to declare war on Russia and its ally France, and to invade France’s neighbor, neutral Belgium. Britain, which had promised to protect Belgian neutrality, then declared war on Germany, which it had been battling for naval supremacy. In the four years that followed, some 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians died in a conflict so ghastly that many survivors returned with “shell shock,” haunted by what they had witnessed.

Why did so many die?

Technology. The introduction of machine guns, barbed wire, and highly accurate artillery made advancing over open ground tantamount to a suicide run. Nevertheless, military leaders still clung to 19th-century tactics for much of the war, ordering massed infantry assaults meant to overrun enemy positions. But when soldiers left their trenches and went “over the top,” they were mowed down by the thousands. The industrialization of war produced death on an unprecedented scale; in France, for example, 13.3 percent of the male population between the ages of 15 and 49 died in the war. The fighting provided a grim preview of even greater horrors to come, with the first widespread use of military aircraft, bombing of civilians, chemical weapons, and armored tanks. World War I was “the first calamity of the 20th century,” wrote historian Fritz Stern. “The calamity from which all other calamities sprang.”

What followed the war?

The war’s end set the stage for a new series of global conflicts, some of which are still raging today. In Russia, war fatigue led directly to the collapse of the centuries-old Romanov dynasty, the 1917 Russian Revolution, and the establishment of Communist rule. The polyglot empire of defeated Austria-Hungary was dissolved into a collection of independent states based on ethnic identity, including former Yugoslavia, that are riddled with nationalist and sectarian tensions to this day. The harsh terms imposed by the victors in the Treaty of Versailles helped lead to a surge of nationalism in Germany, and ultimately to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Some historians see World War I as the beginning of a continuous struggle for Europe that didn’t really end until the reunification of Germany in 1989.

What about the rest of the world?

After World War I, the allies stripped Germany of its colonies in Asia and Africa. But instead of being given independence, these long-oppressed lands were absorbed into the victors’ colonial empires. Colonized peoples resented being denied the right to national “self-determination” extended to newly created or liberated European countries like Poland, fueling independence movements in India and several African nations. World War I also redrew the map of the Middle East. The British and the French carved up the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, which had entered the war on Germany’s side. Under the Sykes-Picot agreement, France claimed Lebanon and Syria for its sphere of influence, while Britain took control of what became Iraq and Jordan, as well as the Gulf States. The new borders were arbitrarily drawn, with no regard for long-standing religious and tribal identities. Iraq, for example, was created by lumping three former Ottoman provinces together, dominated respectively by Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds. When ISIS swept across Syria and Iraq, its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared his intention to erase the old colonial borders. “This blessed advance will not stop until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes-Picot conspiracy,” he said.

What was the impact on the U.S.?

America reluctantly entered the war on the side of the allies in 1917, but its late intervention powered the exhausted and nearly bankrupt allies to victory. The war made the U.S. the world’s leading creditor, shifting the seat of global finance from London to New York City. Untouched at home by the ravages of war while Europe was devastated, America saw its economy boom, surpassing the British Empire’s to become the largest in the world. President Woodrow Wilson hoped to shape a postwar order with the League of Nations, which was designed to prevent future wars. But the Senate rejected joining the League, with opponents calling it incompatible with American sovereignty. Nevertheless, Wilson’s declaration that “the world must be made safe for democracy” set a precedent that has endured. “That has been the foundation of almost all American foreign policy for the last 100 years,” said historian A. Scott Berg. “Whether you agree with it or not.”

The meaning of Armistice Day

The First World War effectively ended on Nov. 11, 1918. For the victors, Nov. 11 was immediately recognized as a day of celebration and thanksgiving. In the U.S., Armistice Day was celebrated until 1954. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the holiday to Veterans Day in order to honor all American veterans. But not everyone agreed with the name change. “Armistice Day was sacred,” World War II veteran Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions. “Veterans Day is not.” Veterans for Peace, an anti-war group, holds regular “Reclaim Armistice Day” events on Nov. 11, arguing that the day was originally meant to celebrate peace, not militarism. “Armistice Day was a hallowed anniversary because it was supposed to protect future life from future wars,” says Rory Fanning, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who became a conscientious objector. “Veterans Day, instead, celebrates ‘heroes’ and encourages others to dream of playing the hero themselves, covering themselves in valor.”

Wouldn’t it be nice?

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL HISTORY – 21 OCTOBER 2018

“Americans invent as the Greeks sculptured and
the Italians painted: It is genius.”
-The Times – London – 1876

About a year ago I clipped an article from an antiques magazine about a new museum in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – the National Museum of Industrial History. Earlier this year I was also emailing with a letterpress historian about a part I need for a rare press I bought, and he told me about his involvement in the temporary Printing and Papermaking exhibit at the museum. No problem deciding that on the drive home Sunday 21 October from Hershey that I spend time at this museum – only about two years old, and affiliated with the Smithsonian.

I back-roaded to Bethlehem, and arrived on the grounds of a Bethlehem Steel plant that is being conserved, and repurposed as a visitor area, and cultural center. The visitor center sits in the shadow of this furnace complex.

I walked around, poked into some abandoned buildings

and then found the museum in this restored building.

as you enter, the initial exhibit represents what a visitor would have marveled at in the Machinery Hall at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. If you know me, you know I have been fascinated for over five decades by world’s fairs and expositions.

 

these words provided an introduction to the Centennial Exposition exhibit. Much of this machinery at the beginning here is from the Smithsonian, having originally been exhibited in Philadelphia in 1876. Steve, there is even a piece there on loan from the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont. You can click on the image to the right to read it if you wish. Below are some of the equipments that were shown in Philadelphia in 1876.

 

I found these “facts’ interesting. If you wish to read the facts, click to enlarge

this display of files made by the Nicholson File Company of Providence, RI, was also shown at the fair in 1876. The company’s improved file-cutting machine (1864) revolutionized the industry. Files could now be made by machine (36,000 a day) instead of being cut by hand.

Continuing on in the museum, stories of iron and steel, and the silk and propane industries were presented.

These panels explain how iron, then steel is made. Was learning about the process in Pittsburgh, and I have these here so I can study again – but you may wish to open and read.

Many of my posts are read by people doing “on-line searches” and my hope is that this post will provide some additional information on, and incentives for people to visit the National Museum of Industrial History. I will not quiz my cadre of faithful readers to see what you have learned here – you are safe. But here is some more that I want to share.

Have you seen a worker’s “welfare room” before? A locker room – but see where in 1941 workers had for the first time a place to shower and store personal items. They placed their personal items in these “welfare baskets,” hoisted them up to the ceiling and padlocked it to their numbered spot on the central stand

there is a section on the silk industry that was in this area.

I was fascinated learning about propane and the distribution of LP gas – originally waste from the oil mines, but now used.

I then spent a little time looking around the printing exhibit. Below is a model of the Daye Press – the first printing press in the Colonies, arriving in 1638. It was made by the fellow I have been emailing with. Ironically, I just wrote an article about this press for my monthly “Did You Know That…” history piece in my newspaper – THE WALPOLE CLARION – click on this link to read that article.

There are several themes that run through my life, and have contributed to my foundation and interests. I have had printing presses since 1957. Wanted to print a newspaper, but quickly realized not something I could do with a 3×5 inch press. I currently have about 8 presses, equipment, and maybe 30 fonts of type. Sold a big press two years ago, third time I had sold a Chandler and Price 6×10 inch bed, and I was sad – did not have to sell it, but wasn’t using it – not fair to someone else and the press. No problem, found another two months ago in the back room of an antique shop – it is now in my garage awaiting some tweaking – mainly paint – pink is not correct on a printing press.

This model of a paper making machine was in operation. The model of a Fourdrinier Paper Making Machine was made in 1933 for The Franklin Institute, where it was used to demonstrate papermaking until 1999. The model turns out an eight inch wide web of paper at the rate of five feet per minute.

and, here is a fast fact for you.

RAY RECOMMENDS – If passing through Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, take a couple hours and experience and learn at the National Museum of Industrial History. And, if you can, plan a “Wayzgoose” event.

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FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL and a HERSHEY REDUX – 19-20 OCTOBER 2018

My program and introduction to amazing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (posts eventually coming) finished up before noon on Friday the 19th. Plan was to stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville on my way to Hershey for two nights with a full day in between.

I back-roaded (of course) to Shanksville and the Flight 93 National Memorial. I took US 22 east out of Pittsburgh, then cut down to US 30. I definitely have to get back to explore Western Pennsylvania, The Allegheny Mountains, Ligonier, Laurel Mountain, etc. Arriving at the Memorial I was overwhelmed with the number of cars (exceeding space in the parking lot) from all over the US – and this a mid-Friday, with school in session. A solemn place, I will let my images speak for themselves with limited words of explanation. A volunteer Ranger is on hand to give an introduction to the site and that day.

then you head down the path to the visitor center. The blackish path in the center is the track of the doomed plane.

people were crowded around all the displays reading away

the next three images I took from the displays. First here is a photo right after the crash that created a 45 foot deep crater with barely anything remaining. A stand of trees for forty feet was blown down.

this is an aerial photo taken of the site by helicopter

and, there is a bronze plaque you can touch to feel the destructive contours Note the swath of trees blown over.

at the end of the hall you can look out at the crash site, now signified by a 17 ton boulder. Probably the only National Memorial with tissue boxes strategically placed. I almost pulled one out.

the end of the ramp overlooking the site. This area was originally an open-strip mine, abandoned and covered over at the time. Two people working in the area saw the plane in its last few seconds – apparently upside down – and traveling at over 500 MPH.  A few more seconds of flight, and the plane would have landed in the local School.

the boulder marking the approximate site of impact

and, looking back to the Visitor center.

I headed to Hershey to settle into my B&B. I have fond memories of Hershey from the 1960s to the 1990s at the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Fall Meet and Flea Market – miles and miles of automotive related flea market. My Dad set up there selling cars and parts, and I would visit when I could. A few times David and Gary were also able to join me. I have a couple non automotive antiques in the house that I found over the years there, and I use, and cherish for the memories. But when you are focusing on a car show, there is no time left to “do Hershey.”

Hershey has changed since I was last there 25 years ago. I cannot image walking fields of blacktop — it was so much more fun, and a challenge, trodding through mud. It is crowded now, the Amusement Park has expanded into one of the former show fields, The Hershey Story is about 9 years old, and the AACA museum about 15 years old. I had to see it all. On Saturday the 20th I arrived at the AACA museum shortly after it opened.

Charles Duryea and his brother Frank are credited with building the first gasoline powered auto in the US demonstrating it September 21, 1893, in Springfield, Massachusetts, But in the museum is the 1896 Chicago Benton Harbor, now considered to be the first vehicle in America built from scratch as an automobile as opposed to construction on a modified horse-drawn carriage.

In a reconstructed blacksmith shop (the early automobile repair shop) is this original BRUSH – the only car made with a wooden front axle. I think my Dad had one once. I love original condition.

another original around the corner was this 1909 Buick Touring car. In the late 50s my Dad bought a 1908 Buick, with a “mother-in-law” seat in the rear from the Buick dealership in Brewster, NY. It was one of 14 known at the time.

This 1924 Model T Ford has won numerous awards, but of note and interest is this early camping trailer, a 1928 Zagelmeyer. Frank Zagelmeyer also invented the ball and socket trailer hitch so commonly used today.

and, a replica of an early filling station

and, a drive-in theater and refreshment stand. The exhibits at the museum rotate, and the temporary exhibit of Mustangs were departing. At the drive-in were these two classic Mustangs. In my “Mustang” days (late 1980s, early 1990s) I owned a 1965 Hardtop (Maroon) and a 1966 Convertible (Royal Blue). I know all the trouble spots in these models.

I love old-fashioned paper maps, and the frustration opening and closing them. Here is the exhibit on maps that I wanted to share, and you can click on the gallery for larger readable images.

On permanent exhibit is the largest collection of Tucker automobiles and literature. You should take time to read more about this revolutionary vehicle from the late 1940s.

When I was on the TV show “Giant Step” with Bert Parks (in 1957 opposite the Walt Disney’s Disneyland, so you probably missed me), I told him I wanted to own a diner when I grew up. I have been fascinated and collected diner items since (what else?). But I had never seen this small style diner – Flo Fortnoy’s restored 1941 Valentine Diner. Next to the door is a money slot where the owner would drop his/her payments for the diner to be collected by the Valentine Diner Company.

so much to see here, and with the rotating exhibits certainly worth additional visits. Outside was one of the Hershey “Kissmobiles.” I did not get one – a “kiss” that is – just waiting.

Almost three hours at the AACA museum, so off it was (skipping lunch to save time, of course) to see The Hershey Story – another new museum since I was last in Hershey. I read one book on Milton Hershey before this trip, and hope to attend a History of Chocolate adventure at Historic Deerfield in February – ending on Valentine’s Day, of course. I highly recommend a visit – I spent close to two hours – would have been more if I had not read a book beforehand.

Here are some views of the exhibits.

Next I headed over to the relocated and expanded CHOCOLATE WORLD to buy my ticket for a “Trolley Tour” of Hershey. Again, glad I did because I like to learn the “lay of the land” and how the roads are all connected. Here is a view looking from a Hershey School campus looking at downtown, the stadium and expanded amusement park (you have to learn how Milton Hershey built his atypical “company town”), and the now paved fields that I loved to explore cars and car parts on.

On the tour I saw Milton Hershey’s home

one of his golf courses, and much more.

My plan for dinner was to head to The Hotel Hershey – I had made my reservation a week beforehand. My Dad had a car friend who always stayed there during the car events. I wanted to stay, but with tax was facing about $500 a night – my Dad’s friend had sold a world renowned travel agency in the late 40s – he could afford it. BUT, I wanted to experience it – and HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do also, at least for dinner as I did.

With many dining venues, I choose the finest restaurant – The Circular. And, hands down, the best experience I have had. “Good evening, Mr. Boas,” my server Mike greeted me. And, it just got better. But, “please just call me Ray.” He corrected himself later and complied.

I was first given an iPad to view the drink and wine selections. Was there a choice? Yes – I selected – Hershey’s® KissesTM Signature Chocolate Martini with Smirnoff vanilla vodka, 360 chocolate vodka, and white crème de cacao. The gallery below shows you my table and its accoutrements.

Not knowing how to top this day, I headed back to my B&B to prepare for my adventure on Sunday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the trip home. I will get to Sunday at National Museum of Industrial History hopefully within a few days, and then get to telling you about all my fun and learning in Pittsburgh.

Thank you so much for spending your time experiencing my adventures with me – love, RAY

 

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