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.
Little Italy is a wonderful part of town…great eateries, old churches, brick roads (including Murray Hill Rd.) and even a Random road.
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.
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.
Some other sites 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.
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.
Of course, the Cleveland Indians have been around for decades. Bob Feller is immortalized in this statue:
The buildings are also nice too
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.
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.
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.
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.
WWV #2 was built in 1937 on U.S. Route 31Wjust a few miles south of the original WWV #1.
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.
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.
Wigwam Village #2 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.It achieved this status on March 16, 1988
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
“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
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!
“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
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.
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.
While living in Japan, I also visited Kyoto on a couple of occasions. Kyoto has wonderful old historic shrines and temples, and colorful Geisha…
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…
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
And now, for a few other odds and ends, just for fun…