In March my job sent me to a conference in Indianapolis. Not exactly a glamorous metropolis, but that’s not really my thing anyway. At these conferences I can rarely get far from the hotel/conference center but usually make a quick trip out to do something silly. In New Orleans I made it to Bourbon Street to drink my face off, in Orlando I took drunken co-workers for a midnight alligator spotting (stupid idea), and in Boston I managed to find a bakery that advertised amazing ricotta pies (which I glutinously ate like a hot dog walking down the street with no plate, fork, or napkin).
The weekend after Valentine’s Day 2019, one of my favorite museums had a fun and strange event. The American Visionary Art Museum has a rotating collection that displays “outsider art.” Basically it’s from artists who are self-taught and can include anything from prisoner sock art to William Burroughs’ shotgun paintings. I’m always hopeful I’ll see John Waters at one of my visits but continue to strike out. I digress, I decided attending the AVM event should turn into a weekend in Baltimore!
Who knew that a quick weekend trip after New Years to see my Ohio family would have such a dairy theme? The day I left I looked at my maps and various websites and a theme ran through the silly sights I found: cows. I was going to see some fake cows and name a band I will never start: The Veiny Udders. Also ice cream. Plenty of ice cream.
Once a year, Boy Scout Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco opens it’s doors to horror fans who want a tour of the original Crystal Lake. Gore loving fanatics get to see where the original Friday the 13th death’s occurred! To get tickets you have to enter a lottery and if you’re chosen, you have the opportunity to buy 2 tickets. My friend Betsy was chosen, knows me as a big horror fan, and invited me along. Of course I went!
My poor, neglected blog. I feel we had a hot and heavy affair while I was on the road but our love has since lost its luster and passion. Like any marriage it’s going to take work to get us back on track. I know it’s mostly my fault. I work too many hours and when I come home I’m tired and slump down on the couch. You deserve better. We should take a trip together and see if we can’t stir up some of those old feelings.
Guess what I got to see today. Originally I only intended to go to Rock City because it’s right on the TN/GA border and by adding Georgia I officially hit 50% of the states on one trip. Once I read Mr. Hollis’ book “See Rock City” however, it became an important stop. His book detailing the attraction and life of its creator kept my attention from page one. I even forced a co-worker (sorry Darlene) into reading passages that I thought were especially great.
I’ve been looking forward to Day 18 for a while. Today was the day I got to meet a talented author who has a nostalgia museum in his house. I want to stress what I’ve mentioned in another post, this museum falls into the unique sights category of my trip. After reading one of his books, meeting him, and seeing his house, I do not think Mr. Hollis is tacky or weird or anything like some of my other stops (Roswell Alien Zone). I have a lot of respect for him and am grateful he took the time to share his museum with me.
Day 17 was a long day. A really long day. Google says it is 777 miles between my Day 16 and Day 17 motels. Of course I had several detours making one tired Andy. I got to my room at 11:30pm and had to be on the road today at 6:30am. I also lost an hour due to a change in time zone so you can understand why this post is a day late. All of that driving was worth it and I had 2 great days.
Roswell! Prepare for tacky, alien nonsense. But there are only so many alien souvenir shops a man can go to, so I had to expand my activities to Carlsbad. Fortunately I now have a local friend (possibly a disguised alien) who was willing to be seen with me and show me around. I continue to meet the most fantastic people and she is certainly at the top of the list. I wouldn’t have seen all the great sights today without her.
Most folk art I’ve seen is exhibited at the artist’s home. For me, that makes it more intimate. I’m seeing what’s inside them in a place where they are most comfortable. They’ve arranged all the pieces instead of some museum employee. Almost every aspect of the experience is created by the artist. Often these artists aren’t classically trained so their work is uninhibited by rules or structure that other artists might feel constrained by. Today I was able to visit two folk artists’ work.