Our chief reason for going to Cleveland was to see an old friend of ours, whom we hadn’t seen since 1979. Don and I were stationed at Omaha, Nebraska at Offutt AFB for a couple of years and it is he with whom I endured an F4 tornado bearing down on our butts. It was one of Omaha’s worst tornadoes to ever hit, and Don and I will surely remember it for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, life for us moved on and he has since married Gay and they have three kids, one of whom is a captain in the Air Force; a third generation USAF man. We thank you for your service, Michael.
We planned to go to the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday. What I didn’t realize is that it would be free because of the harbor’s 50th anniversary. That’s $42 worth of tickets for free! Alayne and I couldn’t believe our good fortune.
The Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located right on Lake Erie. It is a pyramid shaped building, much like The Luxor in Vegas. As such, the ground floor houses most of the collection, which gets smaller has you escalate to the six floor. The basement floor houses the bulk of the collection from the beginning of Rock and Roll to current day, while the top floor provides a few artifacts such as a Jackson Five outfit, and some early rock artifacts. Alayne and I found the third floor, which houses an exhibit of Les Paul’s development to be very interesting. The very first Les Paul prototype is there, as is his experiments with solid body luthiering (crude luthiering intended to prove the electro-mechanics more than replicate a 1958 Gibson Explorer). The story is made even more interesting when you ponder that Les Paul virtually begged Gibson to develop solid body guitars 7 years before their primary competitor, Fender, beat them to the market; a 1958 Gibson solid body Explorer is one of the most valuable instruments today at about $22,000; and Gibson recently declared bankruptcy, proving once again that industry leaders can and do die.
Our second day in Cleveland was very exciting. Don, Gay, Alayne and I attended one of the Cleveland-Baltimore games. This was only the second baseball game Alayne had ever attended and with the bases loaded – largely on walks! – the tribe scored a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth. With two on the board already, another two runs batted in before the fourth inning finished, and with the Orioles at zero, the conclusion was pre-ordained and we left early.
Following a blowout performance by the Cleveland Indians, we attended a Cleveland Orchestra concert at Blossom Music Center featuring the songs of Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. It was very nice to sit out on the lawn, listening to music, and catching up. I’m sure we could have enjoyed several more hours of conversation after that full day and evening, but one of us had to get up for work the next day. It wasn’t Alayne. It sure as hell wasn’t me. And it wasn’t Gay. Don’t worry, Don. Your time will come soon enough. 😀
We stayed at Woodside Lake Park in Streetsboro, Ohio. I gave it a three on Google, which might be a little harsh. But to be fair, the pull through sites were cramped and the well water was unusable for anything other than flushing the toilet (and its iron left a stain doing that). I’d much prefer the stinky Sulphur water in Florida to water that demolishes your fixtures. In the first case, you only smell it when you run it. In the latter, you pretty much want to take a shower to wash off from the first shower.
After a couple of days in Ohio, it was time to start heading to Chicago with an intermediate stop along the way.