History and lunch

Most of my days are spent indoors, manically typing away at this blog, designing bits and bobs, doing housework and researching our next outing on the web. Most of Jaco's co-workers know this and smile with pity when they see me on rare occasions. So the boss' wife decided it is time to haul me out of the cosy apartment and take me to lunch. Ever so kind of her.

Mrs. M (lets just call her that) has been retired for 6 years, and has loads of local knowledge to share. Our first stop was the Carillon Historical Park where she worked for many years. The park houses the biggest carillon in Ohio a long with samples of the region's history.  This includes various historic buildings (moved or replicas), old trains and wagons, and a replica of the Wright Brother's bicycle shop and the original 1905 Wright Flyer III.

We decided it was best to have lunch first and then move on to the history bit. Culp's Cafe is situated in the park and offers a 1940s style diner menu. It is based on the original 1930-1960 Culp family cafeteria, then located in downtown Dayton. Just like in the movies, this little shop has locals who come round every day for a sandwich or sundae, and the waitress knows them all. The chef has big hands which is helpful for squeezing ketchup on sandwiches.

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The waitress called everyone "honey", and the old man chewed ice for 10 minutes straight.
The special of the day was broccoli soup, which was a comfort from the cold outside. I had a massive, yummy bowl full and felt like taking a nap afterward. For dessert I had my first slice of rhubarb pie. I did not realise that here pie is generally served cold and would have much preferred it warm; the filling was far to gelatinous cold. (2 1/2 spoons, it had potential). Speaking of pie, I made my own apple pie the other day, from scratch, pastry and all. It was delicious. Here's a pic:

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As American as apple pie

After lunch we did a quick overview of the park. The intention was to show me what is on offer, and then to bring Jaco and Carmen one weekend. Wow, information overload. Houses, trains, starter engines, bicycles, wagons, planes. Yes, did you know Mr. Kettering and Mr. Deeds invented the first automobile self-starter in a barn, here in Dayton? Yes, thanks to them you don't have to start your BMW with a hand crank.

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Look, I can see myself in every window! Oh, and there are old trains in this building too.

Our next stop was the Dayton Art Institute. Set on a hill overlooking the Miami river and just a klip gooi from the masonic temple, if that's your thing. The DAI is more an art museum than an institute, because you can't take formal classes there anymore. It has a nice collection, bit of Renaissance, 19th century American, folk art and the likes. My field of interest was the 20th century collection, which included a room of Colour field paintings and other minimalist art pieces. I always feel happy after staring at a massive colourful painting with no real meaning what so ever. But that's a debate for another day.

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Claes Oldenburg and Frank Stella.

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