OK, now the bad parts. The first came much earlier, outside Dayton, when Don realized he'd left his personal pillow at the hotel. His woobie! And even though they're mailing it to his home, that means another week of possible sleep impaction (psi) and all the attendant issues.
Actually though, that was just a warmup for the flat tire our swanky Town & Country developed in the wilds of southeast Ohio. And no manual to explain where the spare was or just how to deal with it... Points to Mike for his mechanical aptitude, and a nice guy in Deaverton who pronounced us "SOL" before trying his best to help make some repairs.
B.F. (before the flat) we'd been hanging out near Crooksville with The Old Man of the Mountain aka Rick Crooks. He's a sculptor, making animal forms (some real, some not) from salvaged parts that a country guy like him can easily come across. The twist is that Rick's blind, has been since an accident at age 16. His wife Patty told us he's the most patient person she's ever known, a guy who thinks he can do anything, and usually does. His mom Alma had contacted us, which we believe may be the first time that tactic has been successfully used on RVRR!
Rolling along on a temporary tire we'd decided to trust, we made it to Carbon Hill, and Paul Johnson's Pencil Sharpener Museum. The count is currently 3, 283, ands as he adamantly tells you, "there are no duplicates." Metal, plastic, stately, silly, Presidents, superheroes, cars and trains-- Paul's collection fills the walls of a specially built structure that this 84-year old veteran of WWII says has helped keep him alive. His quest now is for 4,000.
After a Wal-Mart intervention that more or less got the van road-ready again, we took off for Athens. More bad news--the hotel's full of teenagers at a basketball tournament (turn up that noise machine, Don) and the Bennigan's next door had lost their liquor license!
Pray for us.
Music In the Van--"1,000 Years of Popular Music" Richard Thompson
Finding money today got lost in the day's traumas, but I think Don picked up 12 cents while shooting the Big Basket