Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

The Theft of the Wright Brothers Home and Bicycle Shop…

Apr 19

… by that coward Henry Ford.

Being beaten out by Kitty Hawk for the first ever flight is hard enough to take. But, compound that with the actions of industrialist Henry Ford (yeah, he just made cars. Cars don’t fly) and the good people of Dayton, Ohio might just want to give up.

You see, Ford started a museum in Dearborn, Michigan, (creatively called “The Henry Ford”) dedicated to the preservation of all things of historical significance; particularly those dealing with the Industrial Revolution. What does this mean in context to Dayton and the Wright Brothers? This.

Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop, Wright Brothers House, Henry Ford Museum

All That Remains

One morning in the early 1930s, Ford took both the house the Wright Brothers lived in, and their bicycle shop back with him to his Dearborn museum, leaving Dayton with only a half-replica of a bicycle shop that was closed long before the Wright Brothers started building airplanes.

Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop, National Park

Wright Bros Cycle Co: Sort of

The Ranger in charge of this site was quite sad and apologetic, as if somehow she could have gone back in time, using her special Ranger Powers (slightly different than Power Rangers), and stopped Ford in his tracks. I do absolutely believe that Rangers are magical, but only in the sense that they really do not get enough credit for how much they enhance the National Park experience for all of us.

So, is this site still worth the look? Of course. Old Ford may have the building, but Dayton’s still got the history.

Wright Makes Flight

Apr 19

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even scientific chimpanzees do it. And why? Because back in 1900, Orville and Wilbur Wright decided it was time somebody took to the skies. And those beautiful skies that were so inviting to them were right here in Dayton, Ohio.

Getting their start running a successful bicycle company, the brothers knew that many a man before them dreamed of a machine that could break the oppressive bonds of gravity; which Isaac Newton so thoughtlessly “discovered” nearly 400 years earlier. While the English were clearly content to rest on the laurels of discovering why we were bound to the Earth, American will and resolve made strides to break that bond. And in order to do it, Orville and Wilbur learned from their experience with bicycles what any of us who has learned to ride a bike can attest: balance, and patience, is key.

Sadly for Dayton, there is just not enough regular wind or sand. The Wright brothers chose Kitty Hawk, NC, as the place where they would conduct their experiments with flight. Regular ocean breezes, and plenty of sand for soft crashing was what Kitty Hawk had over Dayton. And, in 1903, the Brothers were successful in getting their Wright Flyer off the ground. The rest, as they say, is history.

Wright Brothers Museum

Wright Brothers Museum

To Dayton, it’s a bit more. The city is proud of its most famous citizens. A visit to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park – free admission – proves that the lasting impression made by these two pioneers of flight is not only above us in the clouds, but also here, in their beginnings, when they were just two men with the same dream others had held for centuries before. But, with some innovation and patience, this dream became a reality.

First Airplane, Wright Flyer III, Dayton Historical Places, History of Flight

Huffman Field

It is here in Huffman Prairiewhere they perfected their (air)craft. Between 1904-1905, over 150 flights were conducted in this field. It is also where the Wright Flyer III, considered the world’s first practical airplane, was tested and perfected.

It is an awe-inspiring experience, to walk in a field where dreams literally took flight.

OHIO: This time, it’s Personal

Apr 18

I am very excited that I have finally made it to two cities which, up until this point, were just points on a map which I passed through to get to somewhere else. After exploring much of what Dayton and Cincinnati have to offer, I can safely assure anyone that just passing through not only does a great injustice to these fine cities, but it also does one to you personally. There is much to see and do, and you should no longer deprive yourself of any part of it. From The Birthplace of Flight to the one and only Cincinnati Chili, this is Operation Ohio.

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In Loving Memory

Aug 13

This new blog is lovingly dedicated to our old friend from Ohio, Demi Jesus.  The subject of one of my inaugural posts, Demi Jesus, or Touchdown Jesus as (H)he is known to the public, was struck by lightening close to a month after our visit.  (H)he will be missed.

You’ll always be the touchdown of our hearts.

I was going to write Cincinnati WKRP, but apparently that was the name of a show in the 70s, and I’m trying to keep things original.

I’ve always wanted to go to Cincinnati.  There’s so many great things here.  Like the William Howard Taft National Historic Site (not a website, a realsite).   This place features an animatronical, um, animatronic, in the image of one of Taft’s sons!  Animatronics.  I can’t get enough of them.  I wish I had an entire army of them at my disposal to crush my enemies and…sorry, I digress.  That’s for another blog.

There’s no time for Taft now.  What time is it then, you ask?  Chili Time! Not just any chili.  No.  This, my friends, is Cincinnati chili.

Cincinnati chili is unique in that it is served in Cincinnati.  Also, on top of spaghetti.  Oh yes, you read that right.  Spaghetti.  And I’m Italian.  So if anyone should be repulsed and offended by putting chili and cheddar cheese on top of spaghetti, it should be me.  But, as my people will tell you (in terrible English, mind you) delicious trumps weird. And, this dish is delish!  Except…

A deliciousness void in the city of Cincinnati.  Rob has made it at home.  One of the best things we’ve ever eaten.  Ryan, the less famo(u)s animatronical brother of Rob, loved it.  RYAN!  He’s like Mikey for the 2ks. (Mikey!)

Imagine the disappointment of sitting down, ordering it 5 ways. No, not an obscene gesture on Chat Roulette.  That means with the chili (1), onions (2), cheese (3), beans (4), and something else that would be (5).  And it wasn’t good.  Really.  It was so bland, and this is a food that is the mortal enemy of bland.
An off night?  Perhaps.  A bad place to choose? Most likely.  A definite recommend is to eat the chili at Rob’s place; or, barring that option, one of the finer dining establishments in Cincinnati.
That’s it.  That is all.  Cincinnati is behind us now.  Nashville awaits.  I just wonder: in Nashville, do they think that Turkeys can fly?

Oh my, Ohio!

Apr 10

Now it’s on to Ohio!  We’ve been to Ohio so many times I consider it my adopted state.  It’s not my first love (that’s next) but it’s a great place to be.  Sadly, today, you are just a vehicle to get from point A to point B.  But as your nickname points out, you are the state that keeps on giving (unofficial slogan only, patent pending).

Just when Boyfriend (we’ll call him Rob for the sake of making him more personal and lifelike) and I were about to give up on our way to Cincinnati, we saw one of the many things that makes Ohio special.  His name is Jesus.  And He’s a pretty righteous Dude.  And that’s just the Half of It.  Literally.