Day 3: May 30, 2016
Memorial Day

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I had originally thought I'd take US-68 most of the way home but, once it sunk in that this was Memorial Day, I changed plans in order to visit a couple of spots in my home county. The new route involved US-224 to US-127 with no stops planned short of Darke County. In Ottawa, this busy drive-in caught my eye and triggered a turnaround. There had been cars parked by those tables at an angle that made me think there might be car hops. That turned out not to be the case but there were picnic tables and a busy drive-thru and a good small town vibe. The menu board included both hard and soft ice cream along with 'burgers, dogs, and other drive-in fare. I ordered a small chocolate shake. I have a photo of my shake being made but I'm not posting it so I can tell this story.

The price of the shake was $2.15. I handed the girl the $5 bill I'd been holding then reached into my pocket. She picked up on that and waited for me to produce the anticipated correct change. That was my intent but keys in the pocket prevented me from grabbing all the coins it held. I came up with a quarter and a few pennies. I'll admit it wasn't the cleverest thing I've ever done but I handed over the quarter in hopes of not getting back nearly a dollar in coins. The girl froze. "I'm not very good at math", she managed to get out eventually. She turned to another girl standing beside her and asked if she could figure it out. The second girl looked as lost as the first and shook her head. By now I'd managed to extract more coins from my pocket and suggested she return the quarter and I'd give her fifteen cents. She looked uncertain for a second or two then broke into a smile. The quarter was quickly exchanged for a dime and a nickel and the girl counted out three dollars and confidently handed them to me. Guess it's good to know your limits.

I also turned around for this history-on-a-stick I spotted a short distance off of US-224 on a side road. It being fenced in was just too unusual to ignore. The plaque tells the story of a shootout that occurred here in 1948. In hindsight I wish I had tried that pump.

Like others, I tend to use Memorial Day as a time to remember all departed friends and family members and visit the graves of many but I don't want to lose sight of the fact that the day's real purpose is to honor those who lost their lives in service to our nation. I visited other grave sites today but these two have special meaning. One is a high school classmate who died in Vietnam. The other is an uncle I never knew who died in Normandy. He is buried overseas but his parents, my grandparents, put his name on their stone so he would be remembered here. I'm glad they did.

The picture in between is of the Ansonia Cemetery where, as a member of the high school band, I marched on several Memorial Days many years ago. I don't think they do that anymore.

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