#TBT – Scenes from Cleveland

Murray Hill Rd...my birthplace
Murray Hill Rd…my birthplace
The old house in Murray Hill...my first residence
The old house in Murray Hill…my first residence

A few years ago I made a couple of visits to Cleveland, Ohio.  I was born in the Little Italy section of Cleveland in 1956 and have sisters and brothers there.  The old house I was born in is still there as well. For my Throwback Thursday, I thought I would add a few Cleveland photos for fun.

The Old House around 2009.
The Old House around 2009.
The old house is now a storefront for the Murray hill Market
The old house is now a storefront for the Murray Hill Market. This is the reflection of the address on the old tile floor

Little Italy is a wonderful part of town…great eateries, old churches, brick roads (including Murray Hill Rd.) and even a Random road.

Old Mayfield Theater on Mayfield in Little Italy
Old Mayfield Theater on Mayfield in Little Italy

The Old Mayfield Theater is a national historic site.

Brick road - Murray Hill Road in Little Italy, Cleveland
Brick road – Murray Hill Road in Little Italy, Cleveland
Mayfield Road and Random Road, by the little park in Little Italy
Mayfield Road and Random Road, by the little park in Little Italy
Statue of Columbus in Little Italy
Statue of Columbus in Little Italy

The Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy is adorned with wonderful sculptures

Statues on Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy
Statues on Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy

I love Presti’s Bakery in Little Italy….just love it!

Prestis Bakery....the best cannoli in the world!!  And some other good Italian goodies
Presti’s Bakery….the best cannoli in the world!! And some other good Italian goodies

As one enters Little Italy they pass by the Lake View Cemetery, an iconic cemetery loaded with wonderful monuments.  My real father, Joseph Laurienzo is buried here. Former President Garfield is also buried here. The cemetery was founded in 1869.

Garfield Monument in Lake View Cemetery
Garfield Monument in Lake View Cemetery
A scene from Lake View Cemetery
A scene from Lake View Cemetery
A thinking monument in Lake View Cemetery
A thinking monument in Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery monument
Lake View Cemetery monument
A solemn statue in Lake View Cemetery
A solemn statue in Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland
Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

 

Cleveland is home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is a giant glass pyramid near downtown.  My son Solomon was with me on this visit.

The birthplace of Rock & Roll in Cleveland, OH (with my son Solomon)
The birthplace of Rock & Roll in Cleveland, OH (with my son Solomon)
Rock and Roll Museum (foreground) with Cleveland skyscrapers
Rock and Roll Museum (foreground) with Cleveland skyscrapers
Rock & Roll Museum, Cleveland
Rock & Roll Museum, Cleveland
Rock & Roll Guitar - there are about 4 of these in the area
Rock & Roll Guitar – there are about 4 of these in the area

Some other sites in Cleveland:

Guardians on Hope Memorial Bridge in Cleveland
Guardians on Hope Memorial Bridge in Cleveland

The Hope Memorial Bridge is a 5,865 foot long art deco truss bridge crossing the Cuyahoga River. The bridge connects Lorain Avenue on Cleveland’s west side and Carnegie Avenue on the east side, terminating just short of Progressive Field. Pairs of statues designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker (titled the “Guardians of Traffic”) stand on pylons at each end of the viaduct, symbolizing progress in transportation. Each holds a type of transportation.

Giant Statues on Bridge in Cleveland
Giant Guardian Statue on Bridge in Cleveland

The Fountain of Eternal Life, also known as the War Memorial Fountain and Peace Arising from the Flames of War, is a statue and fountain in downtown. It was designed by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Marshall Fredericks and dedicated on May 30, 1964. The sculpture, which honors people from Cleveland who served, died, or were declared missing in military service, is situated on Veterans’ Memorial Plaza.

Fountain of Eternal Peace
Fountain of Eternal Life

Of course, the Cleveland Indians have been around for decades.  Bob Feller is immortalized in this statue:

Bob Feller
Bob Feller

The buildings are also nice too

Downtown Cleveland
Downtown Cleveland – old and new buildings

And finally, one of my favorites, the giant quirky FREE rubber stamp located in Willard Park at the northwest corner of East 9th Street and Lakeside Avenue.  Claimed to be the “World’s Largest Rubber Stamp,” it was created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (I have also seen their giant badminton birdies in Kansas City), it has been called the “world’s largest rubber stamp”.  The dimensions of the sculpture are 28 ft 10 in  by 26 ft by 49 ft.

World's Largest Rubber Stamp - FREE
World’s Largest Rubber Stamp – FREE

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#TBT – Wigwam Village Motel in Cave City, KY

Wigwam Village, Cave City, KY
Wigwam Village, Cave City, KY

A few years ago I was traveling in Kentucky and made my way into Cave City, a sort of retro resort town close to Mammoth Cave National Park with lots of old 1960s style neon signs, mom-and-pop restaurants, unique tourist attractions, etc.  Apparently the actual Wigwam Villages were built in the 1930s and 1940s.

Sleep in a Wigwam neon sign
Sleep in a Wigwam neon sign

On my first trip into Cave City I saw the Wigwam Village and was astounded that there was one on this side of the country. As a bus driver/tour guide in Flagstaff, AZ in the 1980s, I would see the Wigwam Village located near Interstate 40 and old US Highway 66 near Holbrook, AZ quite often. Even back then, I knew there was another near San Bernadino, CA, (See Wigwam Village #7 built in 1949) but I never knew about the one in Kentucky, which, as I have shown above, was one of the first.

Wigwam Village in Cave City, KY
Wigwam Village in Cave City, KY

There were actually seven of them originally, and now only the three remain.  See history here.  (Another nice history HERE) The first two were built in Horse Cave, KY and Cave City, KY. They were the creation of Frank A. Redford.  WWV #1 was completed at Horse Cave in 1935 and Frank patented the design in 1936.

Old Wigwam Village post card advertising #1 and #2
Old Wigwam Village post card advertising #1 and #2

WWV #2 was built in 1937 on U.S. Route 31W  just a few miles south of the original WWV #1.

Wigwam #2
Wigwam #2
Newspapers about the Wigwam Village on the walls
Newspapers about the Wigwam Village on the walls

Wigwam Village #2 consists of 15 wigwams used as guest rooms that are arranged in a semicircle. In the center is a much bigger concrete and steel central structure that originally served as a restaurant, plus a common area with playground, recreation space, and pavilion. Each wigwam has a paved pad to accommodate one car. The restaurant is no longer in operation, but the motel is still open.

Wigwam Office
Wigwam Office

The diameter at the base of each tipi is 14 feet, and they are 32 feet in height. Behind the main room of each unit is a small bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower.  Even on our visit in 2009 the rooms appeared to contain the original restored hickory furniture and a window-mounted air conditioner. There are no telephones to maintain the original atmosphere of the motel, but the rooms do have cable TV and internet access.

Sleep in a Wigwam
Sleep in a Wigwam
 Wigwam Village #2 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  It achieved this status on March 16, 1988
Hanging at a Wigwam
Hanging at a Wigwam

So, when my sister and her family visited from Texas a couple of years ago we went to Bowling Green to the Corvette Museum for my brother-in-law who is a Corvette fanatic. On the way back we stopped in Cave City and visited the Wigwam Village.

Wigwams
Wigwams

They have a nice big gift shop similar to those that you would see on the old US Highway 66 routes with lots of trinkets and all sorts of kitschy things. Plastering the walls are photos of newspaper articles about the wigwam village and information about the history of the relic motels.

Wigwam Village Gift Shop
Wigwam Village Gift Shop
Typical Bed in the Wigwam
Typical Bed in the Wigwam
Indian Motif in the rooms
Indian Motif in the rooms
Wooden Furniture in the rooms
Wooden Furniture in the rooms

Now owned by people from India (ironic that those Indians now own it), I asked if they would let me go into one of the rooms and take some photos as I was doing a travel blog. I got the photos, but I never did get around to writing a nice blog post about it. So, here is my blog post about the Wigwam Village, so if it’s history and the history of the three of them from the country.

Wigwam Village motel souvenirs
Wigwam Village motel souvenirs
Brother in law with Indians in Wigwam Village gift shop
Brother in law with Indians in Wigwam Village gift shop
People staying at the Wigwams
People staying at the Wigwams

Ironically, there is a similar looking one that I came across in Texas last year, but the wigwams were called teepees where differently shaped. But the concept was the same.

Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, TX
Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, TX
Sumoflam at the Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, TX
Sumoflam at the Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, TX

These throwbacks to the old US Highways and road trips are a lot of fun and I am sure staying in one of these would also be a nostalgic piece of fun. Maybe one day I will take a trip to Cave City with my wife just to be able to stay in the Wigwam for one night! (207)

#TBT – Oh the Places I’ve Been: Some Odds and Ends

“You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

Sumoflam at the White House - July 1990
Sumoflam at the White House – July 1990

As a Throwback Thursday menagerie, I thought I would throw in some of my odds and ends from the past…some going way back and some not so long ago.  I have been blessed to travel so many places and many of my travels happened long before I began writing about them.  So, here they are, a potpourri of places diverse.  ENJOY THE RIDE!

Mt. Fuji, Japan as seen from my airplane seat in 1990 as I flew to Tokyo from Oita.
Mt. Fuji, Japan as seen from my airplane seat in 1990 as I flew to Tokyo from Oita.  Indeed, I soared to high heights!!

“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

Visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1979.  I have always enjoyed visiting old Indian ruins.
Visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1979. I have always enjoyed visiting old Indian ruins.

Most of my early life was spent in the western U.S. and, as such, I got to see deserts, mountains, Indian ruins and more.

Visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument in Cottonwood, AZ in 1983.  I was a tour guide at the time
Visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument in Cottonwood, AZ in 1983. I was a tour guide at the time
Enjoying the splendor of Monument Valley in southern Utah and Northern Arizona around 1983
Enjoying the splendor of Monument Valley in southern Utah and Northern Arizona around 1983
The red rocks near Tuba City, AZ look like someone stacked them.  This was taken in 1983
The red rocks near Tuba City, AZ look like someone stacked them. This was taken in 1983 (and no, I was not really pushing)

Growing a love for antiquities and old things, I had many opportunities to visit old places during my many visits to Japan.  I am especially fond of the awesome castles and amazing old shrines, many of which I have had the opportunity to visit.  Here are a couple.

Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan...visited in 1987
Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan…visited in 1987
One of Japan's smallest castles, the Hikone Castle, supposedly has tiles of gold on top.  I visited here in 1990
One of Japan’s smallest castles, the Hikone Castle, supposedly has tiles of gold on top. I visited here in 1990
Perhaps the best "old shrine" in Japan, Nikko has been around for centuries.  This is north of Tokyo.  I visited Nikko in 1990.
Perhaps the best “old shrine” in Japan, Nikko has been around for centuries. This is north of Tokyo. I visited Nikko in 1990.
The colorful pagoda in Nikko
The colorful pagoda in Nikko

While living in Japan, I also visited Kyoto on a couple of occasions.  Kyoto has wonderful old historic shrines and temples, and colorful Geisha…

Hanging with a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan 1987
Hanging with a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan 1987
Visiting the Gold Pavilion "Kinkaku Ji" in Kyoto in 1987
Visiting the Gold Pavilion “Kinkaku Ji” in Kyoto in 1987

Back in the U.S., I have been to both coasts and to the north and south and most points in between.  Here are some of the places I have visited…

In New York City in 1990 before the World Trade Center Twin Towers met their demise
In New York City in 1990 before the World Trade Center Twin Towers met their demise
I was in the US in 1990 for the first cross-country solar car race, called the GM Sunrayce.  During that visit I also made a trip to Washington D.C. and visited the Smithsonian
I was in the US in 1990 for the first cross-country solar car race, called the GM Sunrayce. During that visit I also made a trip to Washington D.C. and visited the Smithsonian
While working on my Masters Degree at Arizona State University, I was afforded the opportunity to represent ASU at West Point and do a paper presentation.  It was a neat experience to visit this amazing institution in 1986
While working on my Masters Degree at Arizona State University, I was afforded the opportunity to represent ASU at West Point and do a paper presentation. It was a neat experience to visit this amazing institution in 1986
Then, there was the visit to Graceland, home of Elvis back a few years ago
Then, there was the visit to Graceland, home of Elvis back a few years ago
And let's not forget Nashville.  I have been there a dozen times since.
And let’s not forget Nashville. I have been there a dozen times since.
I got to visit the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as part of Antsy McClain's tour team.  Great music hall
I got to visit the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as part of Antsy McClain’s tour team. Great music hall

I have discovered that the world abounds with natural beauty.  I have been blessed to see this beauty in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, the Philippines and other places.

Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona, 1990
Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona, 1990
Island Hopping in the Philippines in 2006
Island Hopping in the Philippines in 2006
Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990
Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990
Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990
Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990
On a cruise ship enjoying the splendor of Alaska's beautiful mountains
On a cruise ship enjoying the splendor of Alaska’s beautiful mountains
Sitting on top of the world at Echo Lake near the base of the summit of Mt. Evans near Denver, Colorado
Sitting on top of the world at Echo Lake near the base of the summit of Mt. Evans near Denver, Colorado
Enjoying wintertime at a resort at the base of Mt. Fuji, near Fujinomiya, Japan in 1987
Enjoying wintertime at a resort at the base of Mt. Fuji, near Fujinomiya, Japan in 1987
Down in Japan's version of Mammoth Cave in 1988
Down in Japan’s version of Mammoth Cave in 1988
Enjoying Fall Colors in Algonquin National Park in Ontario, Canada in 2008
Enjoying Fall Colors in Algonquin National Park in Ontario, Canada in 2008
Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines in 2007
Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines in 2007
Visiting the Everglades in Florida in July 1990
Visiting the Everglades in Florida in July 1990

Of course, when taking trips there are always fun things to try.  When in Japan I tried quite a few new adventures.  Perhaps my favorites were taking hot springs baths and going to the Sumo Wrestling events.

Enjoying an outdoor bath in Amagase, Japan.  This was actually part of TV series I was hosting in 1988
Enjoying an outdoor bath in Amagase, Japan. This was actually part of TV series I was hosting in 1988

Beppu is probably the most famous of the hot springs resort towns in Japan.  Located in Oita Prefecture, I had the opportunity to visit often and for different kinds of “baths”

A hot spring shower in Beppu...and yes, the towel was necessary.  1990
A hot spring shower in Beppu…and yes, the towel was necessary. 1990
Relaxing on one of the cozy hot pools in Beppu in 1987.  You are required to be totally disrobed...this is the least revealing photo.
Relaxing on one of the cozy hot pools in Beppu in 1987. You are required to be totally disrobed…this is the least revealing photo.
Then there are the Sand Baths, the Sawdust Baths and more.  I was buried in hot sand and it felt great.  Beppu in 1989
Then there are the Sand Baths, the Sawdust Baths and more. I was buried in hot sand and it felt great. Beppu in 1989

Then there are the Sumos…I got to go to two of their tournaments and see the giant Konishiki wrestle.  I will always be a fan of Sumo wrestling.

Visiting the Fukuoka Sumo Basho in 1991 with my wife.
Visiting the Fukuoka Sumo Basho in 1991 with my wife.
I took this shot of Konishiki from my seat in Fukuoka in 1991.  He made me look small!!
I took this shot of Konishiki from my seat in Fukuoka in 1991. He made me look small!!

Of course, as a history major, I have always had an interest in things historical.  One of my classes at Northern Arizona University was on Japanese literature and we studied Kunikida Doppo, who was considered one of Meiji Japan’s most well traveled writers.   While living in Oita, I was able to visit his studio in Saiki.  Ironically, my professor at NAU, Dr. Atkins, was a Kunikida Doppo expert, so it was a special trip for me.

Visiting the Kunikida Doppo monument in Saiki, Japan
Visiting the Kunikida Doppo monument in Saiki, Japan in 1988
Some of Japan's oldest stone carved Buddhas can be seen at Kumano Magaibutsu park in Oita
Some of Japan’s oldest stone carved Buddhas can be seen at Kumano Magaibutsu park in Oita
The village of Usuki, also in Oita, is home of a famous Buddha statue.  It is also the original landing place of the Dutch when they first arrived in Japan in the 1600s.
The village of Usuki, also in Oita, is home of a famous Buddha statue. It is also the original landing place of the Dutch when they first arrived in Japan in the 1600s. (That is my oldest daughter Amaree popping behind me in the photo)

One cannot study Japanese history without learning about the atrocities of World War II.  The Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  I have been able to visit both places.  Ironically, in 1979 I also visited the Los Alamos museum where the bombs were initially built.  So, I have seen both sides of the story.

Nagasaki Peace Park in Sept 1988
Nagasaki Peace Park in Sept 1988
Remains from A-Bomb in Nagasaki in 1988
Remains from A-Bomb in Nagasaki in 1988

And now, for a few other odds and ends, just for fun…

Old Christian Church in Nagasaki 1988
Old Christian Church in Nagasaki 1988
Visiting JFK The Twine Ball man in Lake Nebagamon, WI in 2007
Visiting JFK The Twine Ball man in Lake Nebagamon, WI in 2007
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, NY 1990
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, NY 1990
Visiting the shopping area in Carbon, Cebu, Philippines
Visiting the shopping area in Carbon, Cebu, Philippines
Beale Street in Memphis, TN late 1990s
Beale Street in Memphis, TN late 1990s with my high school pal Russ Graves
Photo bear in Gatlinburg, TN
Photo bear in Gatlinburg, TN
Enjoying a visit to the Tulum Ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico
Enjoying a visit to the Tulum Ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico
At Lake Erie on the Ontario, Canada side with sign pointing to Cleveland, OH, my birthplace
At Lake Erie on the Ontario, Canada side with sign pointing to Cleveland, OH, my birthplace
The famed "Spindle" sculpture as seen in the movie Wayne's World.  Apparently, it wasn't worthy.  This was taken in 2007 and in 2008 it was torn down...meh
The famed “Spindle” sculpture as seen in the movie Wayne’s World. Apparently, it wasn’t worthy. This was taken in 2007 and in 2008 it was torn down…meh
Fort San Pedro on Cebu Island in the Philippines
Fort San Pedro on Cebu Island in the Philippines
Giant fish attacking me in Japan in 1976, in Kanazawa
Giant fish attacking me in Japan in 1976, in Kanazawa
Sumoflam and Big Fish in Bena, MN
Sumoflam and Big Fish in Bena, MN
On Glacier Bay in Alaska
On Glacier Bay in Alaska
At the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta 2007
At the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta 2007 – with my Canadian pal Crafty Jack

Enjoying the view of the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula
Enjoying the view of the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula
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Enjoying the Ride on the Back Roads of America

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