Day 5: Northern Ohio wrap-up

Finally, finally moved on to Indiana at around 6pm tonight.  The stack doesn’t look that bad for Northern Indiana though so maybe I will be able to catch up and bang out three days worth of stuff in two days.  However, I know Illinois looms and I’ve got another substantial Chicago batch in there.  I predict I’ll be two or three days behind by the time I reach Iowa.

OK – so I know you’ve all been holding your breath to find out what was so worth getting up at 4am and driving to Lima for.  A sign of course!  Now, most signs are lit at night and that’s not a problem.  But since this business opens at 5am and is closed by afternoon, the neon is only visible for early risers.  Since I’ve never seen a photo of this one (or two, technically there are two signs) and I was told by the owner last year that it’s lit in the morning, I decided to make the effort.  The history of these signs and day photos are at the bottom of this page:
http://agilitynut.com/sca/donuts.html

So, I was disappointed that a lot of the neon and most of the bulbs were not lit. But I was still glad for what there was.  I mentioned the missing lighting to the owner and she seemed genuinely surprised.  She comes in (“time to make the donuts”), flips on the switch, and never notices the signs.  The neon shop is just across the street and the repairs are under a contract.  So hopefully, everything will be in full working order one day soon — and somebody else will give up some sleep to get more photos then.  

In Jackson Center, I stumbled upon the Airstream factory.  They have a big repair operation there as well and they also give tours (no, I didn’t go on one):
http://www.airstream.com/company/factory/index.html

There were a number of vintage Airstreams in their huge parking lot:

And some newer models — Mercedes logos but I guess produced by Airstream?  I’ve been contemplating what I will do if and when Sparkle ever goes.  She just rolled over her 250,000th mile on this trip.  They don’t make Astro vans anymore and it would need to be something similar.  Mini vans are too low to the ground for me.  These Airstream-styled guys are ridiculously large though.  After all, I have to park on the street in NYC.  But what attracted me is what looks like a built-in satellite dish on the roof.  Ah, to watch TV in my van would be such a treat.  Or maybe those are for storm chasers? 

These pretty blue silos are fairly common across the country it seems.  I suppose you’ve noticed that they are faced with the same porcelain enamel steel used for making vintage neon signs?

An example from Dayton today:

The “Friendly Tavern” in St. Marys has a hand-painted wooden sign.  Modern but really nicely done:

The “Quilted Rock” is at Stoneco Inc. in Celina.  I assume that giant piece of machinery on the left is some sort of stone milling device or such.  The quilted pattern must have been created to alert truckers to “turn here”:

Botany quiz (no, I don’t know the answer) — what the heck is this flowering plant?  I expected it to be fragrant but it was only barely so:

Same plant closer up:

In Moraine, I’ve been meaning to stop and shoot these twin buildings for awhile now.  You can’t really tell from these photos but they’re faced with glazed brick and have a shimmery quality when the sun is on them.  I refer to this one as Pretty Blue:

and Pretty Green:

I stumbled upon a second Miller Milkhouse in Richmond.  This one is obviously closed though.  I hope someone saves this sign since the other one downtown has been replaced:
http://www.agilitynut.com/modarch/inretail.html

OK that’s a wrap.  12:30 and I’m off to catch up on a little sleep.  It’ll be nice to NOT get up at 4am again.

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13 Responses to “Day 5: Northern Ohio wrap-up”

  1. It looks like you got the Miller Milkhouse from West Main Street. The Milkhouse on South E Street still had it’s sign as well, last time I was there.

  2. Bill Slone Says:

    The neon donut sign(s) – awesome!

    Re Airstream/Mercedes – these are “Sprinter” models produced by Mercedes and marketed under both Mercedes and Dodge badging, mostly for commercial delivery and service useage. I would guess that Airstream is converting these to Class B RVs and selling them under their brand. Seriously, you might consider a Class B (which means, essentially, a converted van) – you could probably save enough on motel bills to pay for one. The main selling point for the Sprinters is the extra interior height – most people can walk around inside of one, unlike a traditional van.

    • Thanks for the info. As long as I live in NYC, I won’t be anything bigger or fancier than what I’ve got (parking hassles, crime, etc.). I don’t need to walk around in my van or cook in it. But TV sure would be nice!

  3. So did you try any of their donuts since you made the effort of getting up so early?

  4. they have a lot more stuff than you’d think online. in the next year the price will hopefully go down and more channels will have online content.

    the ipad has a gorgeous screen. though you’d have to worry about the dogs slobbering on it….

    as you said, we can talk when you get back, though….

  5. mojavegirl Says:

    I think the flowering bush is a type of hydrangea. The ones here are pink or blue. I’ve never seen a white one. Enjoying the trip!

    • The petals look like those. But I’m used to more roundy shaped clumps — these are sort of peaked. Bulbs are my strength — not so good with other flowers.

  6. My girlfriend and I were pleasantly surprised to see the Mello Creme sign on our trip. I had no idea it looked this great lit up! We went to visit Kewpees in Lima (also a fun building) Kewpees is part of a hamburger chain, there are very few left in the country. We have one in my home town that we go to all the time!

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