Day 2: April 30, 2011
Tending to Business
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I saved my pennies
And I saved my dimes.
Before I knew there would be a time
I'd be buyin' gas for $4.09

Just about two weeks ago I was driving in Indiana with a car that favored high octane gasoline. Regular was still under four dollars a gallon but high test wasn't so I kind of watched for a price of $4.09 so I could post the preceding drivel. The closest I found was $4.08 and $4.11. A week later, I was again in Indiana and saw a sign advertising regular for $4.09. I took a picture of the sign and posted it with my Beach Boys rip off on Facebook and this site's RSS feed. Another week goes by and I'm now in a car that uses regular unleaded gas and I'm in Ohio. The climbing prices have taken another step and this morning I really did buy gas for $4.09. Giddy up.

Last evening I scouted out the meeting site at the Farmers State Bank but it would have been much easier this morning after someone erected a Lincoln Highway banner at the entrance. At the back of the building, a Lincoln Highway post marked the steps to the meeting room and inside there was a nice display of memorabilia. Apparently someone once thought that what this country needed was a good nine cent cigar.

Things got rolling with a few remarks from Ashland Mayor Glen Stewart and Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce President Barbie Lange. Ohio Lincoln Highway League President Mike Buettner conducted the business meeting which included presentations from Amy Daubenspeck and Jim Cassler. Amy is president of the Ohio State Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. Jim chairs the committee organizing the 2012 LHA National Conference to be held in Canton, Ohio. Capitalizing on Ohio's large crop of US chief executives, the conference will use the name "Pathways & Presidents". I'm really looking forward to having this major event in my (extended) back yard. It's going to be a dandy.

After a tasty lunch, Cloyd McNaull started off the entertainment with some fun stories about the local Lincoln Highway and its people. Many involved Cloyd's family who have lived in the area since the 1800s.

Richard Taylor followed with a two in one story about a barn. The first story is about saving a sunken barn with a two foot bow in one wall. That story contains lots of digging, patient jacking, and slow and steady tugging on that bowed wall. The second story involves getting its western end painted by the legendary Harley Warrick, "The Last Mail Pouch Barn Painter". It's also the story of Harley's friendship with the Taylors but the centerpiece is the descriptions and photos of the retired Harley single handedly wrangling ladders and hoists and painting the giant advertisement in a total of six hours. There is also a story about the stories. The painting was done in 1986. Ohio hosted the national LHA Conference in 1997; the only time it's done so. At the conference, Richard was all set to do his slide presentation when the power went out and he spent the next half hour telling his audience what they would have seen if the electricity hadn't failed. Today Richard repeatedly apologized for the dimness of the pictures projected in the half light and I apologize for the dimness of the pictures I took in the half dark. For comparison, here is a picture from that 1997 presentation.

When the meeting ended, I headed toward Mansfield on US-42. This was essentially the path of the Lincoln Highway between 1913 and 1928. About five and a half miles from downtown Ashland, Township Road 1688 veers off to the west and leads to two small remnants of brick Lincoln Highway. I missed the first one but found it after getting some good hints from Mike Buettner. The first picture shows the badly eroded foundation of the old road and the second looks down the road where a few small patches of bricks are visible. This section is on private land with an unfriendly owner so these are out-the-window pictures. There is no such problem at the second segment which members of the eastern chapter of the OLHL sweep free of gravel each spring. I'm guessing that will occur before too long. It may look like a Louisiana bayou across the road but it's just Ohio roadside after a lot of rain.

That barn described in the previous panel sets on the east side of US-42 just under a mile after the old road rejoins it. Dick has touched up Harley's twenty-five year old sign but says he's not looking for more work of that sort.

And now for something completely different. I reached Mansfield early enough to visit the Living Bible Museum and decided to do that rather than trying to work it in tomorrow as I'd planned. A bus tour was just coming out of the dinner theater when I arrived so things were pretty busy. I checked out the lobbies as I waited my turn for the "Miracles of the Old Testament" Bible Walk. The museum is housed in two buildings and both lobbies have some pretty interesting displays. Photos are permitted in the lobbies but not on the tours.

The first interior shot is of the lobby without the ticket counter and gift shop. It is suddenly empty after a group stepped through a side door to begin their "Museum of Christian Martyrs" Bible Walk. A large collection of bibles, including one from 1535, is displayed in the stands in the middle. Beyond them is some impressive folk art. Intricate wood carvings are to the right. The wood carvings are the work of John Burns and most are of religious scenes like The Last Supper but there is also a carving of the American Revolution. The folk art comes from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and is made from articles donated by parishioners and pressed into a clay like base. There is another interpretation of The Last Supper and I liked Jesus and the Woman at the Well.

In the next to last picture, a guide in period dress is about to lead the group I've become part of on our Bible Walk. The wax figures used in the displays came from a failed "normal" wax museum and people with good recognition skills can probably pick out some of the repurposed celebrities. I didn't do very well. As I mentioned, no photos are permitted in the Bible Walk areas. That last picture is of a couple stationed in the lobby perhaps solely as camera fodder.

Dinner was at this independent restaurant on the Lincoln Highway in Mansfield. The building has long housed a restaurant but opened as the Red Brick Diner just a couple of weeks ago. Friendly folks, good draft beer, and some tasty "Wild Mushroom Meatloaf".

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