frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reflecting Upon the Weekend

We had a fun weekend even though it was so short. We went off the main highway and were on a small road that headed us right for the Shoe in Hellam, PA. We decided to stop for lunch first at this tiny local place. I asked for a BLT. I have a rule about these kinds of places. Don't order anything weird or elaborate. Joe's rule is even more specific. Order a hamburger. Anyway, I realized that they never asked me what kind of bread I wanted. It came on white bread. I don't think I have had white bread since 1983.

We asked the waitress about the shoe and she said that if we went past the big shoe self-storage company, we went too far.

As I mentioned yesterday, the shoe was closed for the season, which really bummed us out because we wanted to get ice cream from the shoe. I guess some other time? No one stopped us from walking around the place, and we got some good pictures. FYI, some guy that owned a chain of shoe stores in the 40's was responsible for this attraction.

On to Maryland. When you cross the state line and into a town called Linesboro, there is a sign telling you that you are also crossing the Mason-Dixon line. It doesn't seem far away from home, but we were definitely down south, people. Confederate flags are hung in the back windows of pick-up trucks and there is biscuits with sausage gravy on the breakfast menus.

We made it to our destination around 3pm. We hung around for a while in front of the fire and then Joe made Manhattans for everyone. Then we went off to dinner. Our friends took us to Butterburg's in Union Township. It is a little mom and pop type place except it was run by 2 gay guys. This place is known for it's home style cooking. I got turkey and gravy over, can you guess? White Bread!

Maryland has so many farms and the landscape is so beautiful. The small towns are full of pretty little houses. We found a good little antique store. (See tomorrow's post) Our friends, Walter and Donna, bought a small farm mainly for her horses, but she still commutes all the way to Washington DC and doesn't seem to ride her horses any more than she used to. I have never been one of those girls who worships horses. I want goats, and the neighbors have them! Fainting goats, no less. Donna and Walter have chickens, and I liked them a lot. If I had chickens I would want to make sure they were the kind that cluck a lot. I love the sound. I fed the chickens some white bread, and the Bantam rooster did such a curious thing. He would pick up pieces of bread and throw them towards the female chickens, clucking in a special way. He would not start to eat until later.

When ever we visit, I get this idea that I want to have farm. Too bad about the confederate flags. But at least I could have people send me care packages with whole wheat bread.

The next morning we went for a drive and then to Brauger's for breakfast. This restaurant is connected to a big orchard and it is a fruit stand in the summer. I was happy to be able to take a picture of the Brauger's Apple Man.

Joe and I decided to hit Roadside America on the way home. We pass it when we visit my brother and we always wanted to go. It's far enough away that it would not be worth a separate trip and it seemed to suit the theme of this trip pretty well. Joe says he remembers going as a boy, and by the looks of the outside we figured it hadn't changed that much.

The best way I can describe this to you is that 80 years ago a man went crazy with his basement train set. I think this display has gone from fantastic, to cheesy as hell, back around to a very cool piece of old- fashioned America. Laurence Gieringer started whittling wood into little houses for a village for his train sets. By the time he died in 1963 he had roadside America. Imagine a train set the size of a supermarket. Farms, towns, a circus, ski resort, indian village with teepees, airport, coal mine, wild west town, all made with thos antique lead figures, old trains and hand made buildings. Most of them were lit up inside and all around the perimeter there were buttons you could push to operate different things. The circus parade, a trolley, a train, a cattle drive, a grain elevator. Every half hour they have what they call the "Night Pageant." The lights in the place slowly go down and the ceiling is covered in "stars." As the national anthem is played, slides of Jesus and angels are projected onto the walls with a prayer asking Jesus to help America. Well worth the $6 admission.

Giant fiberglass Amish outside RSA.


Quiltplay said...

This looks like a wonderful trip. I would simply LOVE to see that shoe in person.

Chris said...

We were barely gone 24 hours, but we try to make the most of these little trips we take. If there is something crazy to see out there, well, I want to see it!