Day 4: October 7, 2017
Dixie Highway Day.

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This was the final day of the conference and it was a dandy. We boarded buses at 8:15 AM and set out for Lima, Ohio. Plans were to follow the Dixie Highway original alignment much of the way and we did pretty good after an early set back. Runners in the Queen Bee Half Marathon were on a portion of our intended route so we had to back track a little and work our way around the conflict. Before too long we were back on the Dixie and rolling past "where Paddock meets Vine at the big Indian Sign" to our first stop at Jungle Jim's International Market.

Jungle Jim's carries 180,000 items and covers 200,000 square feet. There's a monorail and some dragons outside and a fire truck and S S Minnow cabin cruiser inside. The "international" in the name is deserved. There is cheese (and just about everything else) from just about everywhere. The restrooms were voted America's best in 2007. Colorful produce is displayed inside and out including the rare Ohio Striped Pumpkin.

Jungle Jim's address is the Dixie Highway; The hollow Earth monument in Hamilton is a few blocks off it. The monument is actually the tombstone of John Cleves Symmes Jr. who promoted his theory of an Earth with openings at the poles until his death in 1829. If you're having trouble visualizing a hollow Earth, this might help; Might not.

Just like yesterday, we passed numerous roadside attractions and I again made no attempt to photograph them from the bus. At the north edge of Dayton, we stopped at the still operating (It's digital now.) Dixie Twin Drive-In where everybody got some photos of the fabulous sign and Kevin got one of his group shots.

We stayed with the Dixie Highway until it meets the National Road at the "Original Crossroads of America" then headed to I-75 to make lunch a little more timely.

Lunch was at Kewpee Hamburgers in Lima, Ohio. We ate at the newest and largest of the three Lima locations then drove to the oldest and smallest. That oldest Lima location opened in 1928 with the current building being constructed in 1939. I thought we were just doing a drive by then got the impression we were going to do another group photo and climbed off the bus. It turned out that this was an opportunity for people to take photos of the restaurant with no attempt at a group thing. I took a picture of the "celebrate the city" banner and returned to my seat. I probably should have at least taken a picture of the restaurant while I was on the sidewalk but I'll just point to one from an earlier visit instead. Lima was our turnaround point and we now picked up the Dixie Highway and headed south.

The Temple of Tolerance is in Wapakoneta, Ohio, just a few blocks off of the Dixie Highway. I've driven past it before but never stopped. I should have. I like to include website links for places I visit and I looked around for one to include here. There is no website directly associated with the Temple of Tolerance and, rather than me picking a link from those that lead to some description of the Temple, you should pick your own.

The Temple of Tolerance is the creation of Jim Bowsher. He is a good man. He is also a visionary. An even better idea than picking your own link to a description is stopping by to let Jim tell you about it himself. He has recorded a few details on the rock he's standing beside in the next to last picture. There aren't many other signs but there are a few. One is above the monument to Ohio's military dead in the last picture. The wordiest is on the path that passes his house. The most insightful thing on any sign might be the last line on that rock next to him. It hints at his plans for the future. "If you never met Jim Bowsher while he was still alive, he is standing right behind you."

We made one more stop before climbing onto I-75 and scurrying home. At an intersection in Sidney, there is something camera worthy on all four corners. I started with the Louis Sullivan designed People's Federal Savings & Loan Association then did "before" and "after" shots of The Spot to Eat. Next is the Monumental Building with its well dressed Union soldier standing guard near the peak. The Shelby County Courthouse completes the set.

Our move to the interstate eliminated one planned stop and a few drive-bys but it was necessary to get us to dinner on time. Dinner was at Mecklenburg Gardens which bills itself as Cincinnati's oldest restaurant. Arnold's is older (1861 vs. 1865) but Arnold's started life as a tavern. At Meckleburg's we encountered slow moving beer lines (two buses arriving simultaneously will do that.) and fast moving buffet lines. Following a hearty German meal, some of us moved outside for a bit of not very German blues.

The buses got us back to the hotel about thirteen hours after we had left and my first ever Society for Commercial Archeology Conference was at an end. I liked it.

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