Day 2: October 5, 2017
Around Cincinnati

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The first full day of the conference started with a gathering in the arcade connecting the Netherland Plaza Hotel and the Carew Tower. The Netherland Plaza is the conference host hotel.

We next embarked on another vertical tour although this time it was up nearly 600 feet to the 49th floor observation deck of the Carew Tower. Kevin Patrick had planned today's tour and once atop the tower shared lots of great information about the area's geology and history. Among things seen from the lofty deck are Fountain Square, Roebling Bridge, and Paul Brown Stadium.

Back at ground level we took a look inside the beautiful Dixie Terminal then strolled around the block as Kevin pointed out buildings of interest.

Buses picked us up at the hotel and carried us to Washington Park to meet up with historian Anne Delano Steinart. The park is directly across the street from Music Hall which is about to reopen after a year and a half long renovation. Anne filled us in on the park, the hall, and the neighborhood in general. Some of us walked with her to Findlay Market while some made the move on the buses. We were on our own for lunch and the market provided plenty of choices.

Following lunch, we hooked up with another local guide for a walk through the area north of Findlay Market. Some workmen along the way tipped us off to a nearby oddity so we veered a little off course to check out a three level brick privy. The development of structural steel and the elevator are usually credited with the birth of the skyscraper but I'm thinking that indoor plumbing had something to do with it, too. Back on course, we looked over the Jackson Brewery lagering cellars. These were dug into the hillside so we were able to enter from street level without the need for a ladder or stairs.

Back at Findlay Market, we reboarded our buses and headed over the Ohio River to Kentucky. Several points of interest were pointed out along the way but I didn't even try taking pictures since 1) photos from buses hardly ever work out and 2) I live twenty miles from the river.

I had never even heard of this 1958 diner in Alexandria, Kentucky, but several of the out of town attendees were fairly familiar with it. It has appeared in a couple of movies including 2014's "Carol". The diner was actually closed during the filming but has since reopened with new owners and a slightly Christian tone. The Spare-Time name and neon will remain but it is now Spare-Time's Belly & Soul. The coconut cream pie was excellent.

Back in Ohio, we stopped at Lunken Airport on the east side of Cincinnati. Once the area's primary airport, it has been superseded by Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Kevin organized and snapped several impromptu group photos throughout the conference. Right after he captured a group in front of the oldest standing control tower in the United States, someone talked him into joining to group and that's when I grabbed that last picture.

Terry's Turf Club would have been a great place for this group to eat but there's just no way to get eighty some people in there. We made it a photo stop, and I, having been here several times with plenty of photos, just took a couple of pictures of people taking pictures.

Terry's was sort of an appetizer for lots more signs and our dinner at the American Sign Museum. BBQ and goetta sliders were served along with chili-cheese dogs. Museum founder Tod Swormstedt spoke to us after dinner then gave us a tour. The Dusing Brothers sign came from an Elsmere, Kentucky, business that closed just months ago after 89 years.

I didn't take many pictures of the actual exhibits on this visit. I did grab a shot of the outside signs that I rarely see lit since I'm normally here during daylight. The dark letters in "motel" show that even a museum can have difficulty keeping all the neon working all the time.

On the walk to my car, I could not resist a shot of the fountain that gives Fountain Square its name. It's looking pretty good at 146 years old.

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