wHaT’s tHiS? . . . . . . . . .pArT tHrEe

1.  What’s this:IMG_1833Pick one:

a.  This Cub Scout uniform belonged to someone who really knew how to light a fire.

b.  He was the son of a Navy admiral who commanded the U.S. Fleet during the Tonkin Gulf incident in the Vietnam War.

c.  He graduated from the UCLA film school.

d.  He knows how to “Ride out a Storm” and thinks “People are Strange”.

 Answer: a, b, c, and d.

Overview:  Yes, this is Jim Morrison’s Cub Scout uniform on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. After an incredible visit to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, we headed to our next one week stop at Youngstown, AFB in Vienna, Ohio. Youngstown was the perfect location to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, as both were only a one hour drive.

Located on Lake Erie, the Hall of Fame is a lovely seven story triangular structure that houses a variety of memorabilia. Below are some more pictures:

Stage costumes belonging to The Supremes

Stage costumes belonging to The Supremes

More great artifacts!

More great artifacts!

Jimi Hendrix loved sports

Jimi Hendrix loved sports

Jimi Hendrix was a college football fan as a kid and a lot of his drawings were on display. We liked the way he spelled Trogens (sic).

John Lennon's Green Card

John Lennon’s Green Card

This is the green card John Lennon received (1975) after much litigation. Notice the name-John Winston “ONO” Lennon.

The Hall of Fame was a great visit and provides a spectacular Lake Erie view ):

2.  Pick one:


a.  Walter Mitty is back!

b.  Louise is ready to play for the St Louis “Lambs”.

c.  Louise is starting to get tired of me taking these “try your best to smile” pictures!

d.  A wonderful day at the NFL Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

Answer: c and d, but you still never know about a!

OverviewThe NFL Hall of Fame was  great experience. It was similar to the NBA Hall of Fame as it also had a lot of interactive exhibits, such as the one shown above (an actual set of wearable NFL shoulder pads). Kids would love this museum. In addition, they have a wide spectrum of memorabilia in the museum section (pics below).

Progression of safety gear

Progression of safety gear

Progression of footballs

Progression of footballs

Typical  uniform display

Typical uniform display

All of the Hall of Fames have some sort of “Hall” where you can see either plaques, pictures or statuettes of the inductees. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame devoted an entire floor of music videos of each group inducted.  We think the NFL is the best as the bust of each individual  player is sculpted and displayed. The picture below is just a small segment of all of the ‘Famers.


In closing, if you are ever in the upper Midwest by Lake Erie region you can easily get to both of these museums, they are great!

3.  What’s this?


Pick one:

a.  The Smith’s hit the jackpot in the Ohio Lottery!

b.  The Smith’s hit the jackpot for one great evening!!!!

Answer. b but it felt like (a). You will not believe this. . .Read On!

Overview. All of my Navy buddies said we need to go to Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton) and see the National U.S. Air Force aviation museum. We did and it was great, but not as great as where we stayed that evening on the base!

Background: After visiting the Hall of Fame museums we left the northeast Ohio area and started driving west towards Illinois. I tried for several months to book a room at Wright Patterson in Dayton as it was a natural point of rest and was the location of the aviation museum.

Upon arrival to our room we noticed that they sent us to a complete dumpy room. It hadn’t been cleaned up, towels and trash were everywhere.  . .I called the front desk. They said, “we are sorry, we don’t have any other rooms, but standby”. After a minute they said, “come get your keys, you’ll love the place we’re putting you tonight!”

As it turns out, they put us in the Executive quarters (where visiting Generals and Executives stay)! This “mansion” is 3 stories and is gorgeous! They charged us $1 extra over our normal room charge. Anyway, we had a  blast!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Below are a few pics-

Formal dining room

Formal dining room

Do you think there is enough room for Louise and I to eat here????

Sitting room

Sitting room

One of our favorite rooms is the sitting room.

4.  What’s this?


a.  The House of Seven Gables.

b.  The House of Eight Gables.

c.  This house is one of the top ten residences visited in the U.S.A.

Answer: a (based on the definition of a “gable”) and c.

Overview: Just before we headed west from Massachusetts our friends Jeb and Jan picked us up where we were staying at Hanscom Air Force Base and we proceeded to Salem to see the House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Witch museum.

As it turns out, Nathaniel Hawthorne lived very close to this house and it became the basis for his famous book bearing its name. The house is very close to where the Salem witch trials took place. During the tour, the docent told us that his name was actually Hathorne, without the “W’. Apparently he changed his name (added in the “w”), because one of his ancestors was a judge that oversaw the Salem witch trials and he didn’t want to be associated with him! This IS disputable, but let’s go with it!

The house was owned by a Salem sea captain and was built in 1668. It is definitely worth the visit as parts of it are still original and you can see exactly how they built houses in the 1600’s.

I forgot to explain the seven vs. eight gables question…..when looking at a model of the house, I counted eight gables! Proud of being the first person in 150 years to discover this I quickly brought this up to the tour guide. My mind started racing. Will the publisher have to change the name to Eight Gables? Take a look at the picture again. See the “little gable” that is lower than the others? We were told that this is a dormer, and for it to be a gable it  needs to begin at the highest point of the roof:)

Our friends Jan and Jeb

Our friends Jan and Jeb

 After the Seven Gables we visited the Salem Witch museum. I always thought that the Witch “hysteria” was  just a myth, but no way. The museum explains the whole story of the deaths of 20 innocent people in the 1692-3 timeframe. In fact, it is so factual, that several of the “witches” were legally exonerated not too long ago. See the NY Times Nov. 2, 2001 article on this!

Here are a few last tidbits of information we learned in the museum:

a. Most died by hanging and not by being burned at the stake.

b.  Several were men, of which one was “pressed to death”.

c.  The killing of witches was commonplace in Europe.



Farewell Salem Witches!

Cheers! Louise and Smitty






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2 Responses to wHaT’s tHiS? . . . . . . . . .pArT tHrEe

  1. barbara riddle says:

    loved the mansion in Ohio! We had a sort of similar thing happen: we were supposed to stay in a room at Ft Meyer in VA The only room they had was a visiting general’s room so they gave it to us..Nice, but not as nice as your mansion I’ll miss reading about your travels; it’s been fun Safe travels,dear friends

  2. Smitty says:

    Thanks Barb, looking forward to seeing you guys also!