Day 17: June 30, 2003
Happy Birthday, Corvette



I did make it back to the museum for the actually birthday anniversary. The line for the neat Maker's Mark souvenir was long but moved at a very good pace. The line at the trailer for special USPS post marks was long and seemed to hardly move at all. I got my "shot" glass but skipped the postmark. Ceremonies started about 9 AM with lots of presentations and thank yous. A big presentation that received a big thank you was Bob Patrella's presentation of an $85,000 check to match the $85,000 raised in donations the night before. If you look hard enough, you can see Bob, dressed in black, on the stand.

I had hopes of getting to Cincinnati in time for a scheduled afternoon meeting. As the ceremonies rolled on, I eventually decided not to wait for the actual cake cutting. With the crowd, it seemed unlikely that I would be able to get good photos so I headed home. I was listening to the low powered FM station that broadcasts from the museum and shortly after I left and just before the station faded, the cake cutting occurred. On this final leg, I stuck to the expressway and it wasn't too long until I passed Florence and approached Cincinnati. When the Florence water tower was erected in 1974, the mall it advertised did not exist and the advertisement was ruled illegal. The quick and supposedly temporary change was a tweaking of the letter 'M' so that "FLORENCE MALL" became "FLORENCE Y'ALL". This became its own attraction and remains long after the building of Florence Mall. The Cincinnati skyline was a little blurred but was still welcome. At the edge of the city, I phoned ahead to check on the meeting. It was already half an hour past the scheduled start time but I thought there was a chance it might have been delayed. It wasn't. I soon reached my exit and headed home. Another road trip ended.

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