Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg TN
I've been on a HUGE Gatlinburg area kick lately..... Here is a recent picture!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mammoth Cave postcards

Golden Fleece at the Frozen Niagara Entrance and The Chimes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Owensboro Rage- 1st Game Ever!

I have talked at length about how much I love professional sports, especially at the lower levels.  I love college sports too, and high level professional sports, but there is something VERY special about professional teams that do not play on a national stage.

To me, the lower levels are where interesting things can happen.  Odd and interesting situations can occur, and the game is just more fun to watch.

I love the history of major league baseball, and I love researching the old teams that were there when the majors kind of came together.  How cool would it have been to see teams like the Louisville Colonels and the Cincinnati Red Stockings back in the late 1800s?

I think arena/indoor football is kind of in the same place that early era MLB baseball was at 140 or so years ago.  I hope that in a few decades people will talk about going to those early games.  People like indoor football, but I could see it becoming a LOT more popular in the near future.

Lexington and Louisville have both had successful arena teams (both are defunct but both had impressive crowds).  Pikeville has a team now that has lasted for a few seasons.

Now Owensboro has a team!  On a personal level, I am very excited about Owensboro having their first professional football team!

I know that several years ago, there was talk of trying to get a Frontier League baseball team in the area.  That fell through.  Owensboro did have a professional basketball team for a couple of years.  Well, they do have a pro sports team for 2013 (take that Bowling Green)!

I do hope that the area really gets behind this team.  I think they had a crowd of around 400 for this first game.  I hope that the local government, sponsors, and fans do what they can to make sure that the Rage sticks around.

So, I drove down to Owensboro Friday to be at the first ever professional football game in town!  This was my first time at the Next Level Indoor Sports Facility.

First off, I like the Next Level.  If you have been to indoor football games before, the atmosphere is a bit different.

I feel very lucky that I was able to catch the Northern Kentucky River Monsters at the Banks of Kentucky Center, and the Horsemen play at Rupp.  Those are very upscale venues, and it is great seeing a sports event at either location.  Both are amazing facilities.

Well, the Next Level is not exactly Rupp Arena.  Then again, thats OK too (traffic around Rupp can be a bit of a headache at times).

One MAJOR advantage to playing at a facility like the Next Level is that you can stand right up against the wall for the price of a general admission ticket.  You literally can't get this close to the action at most any other venue.  There is a nice balcony area too, which gives another angle for watching the action.  We watched the game from this point for a few minutes.  You are directly over the sidelines, and you can even hear some of the players and coaches.  We enjoyed hearing a little bit of trash talk going on with the players.

This was a preseason game but Owensboro looked great.  In fact, they dominated the other team.  After the 3rd quarter, The Rage were up 60-0 (thats not a typo) and the team from Cincinatti went home before the 4th quarter.

Players mingled with fans before and after the game.  This level of football (and the friendly town of Owensboro) encourages a certain familiarity and informalness.

Please get down to see a game soon, this is a team that needs and appreciates your support!!!!

Even if you missed the first professional football game in Owensboro, you still have a chance to witness the first professional football game in Owensboro that doesn't end in forfeit!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Clabber Girl- Terre Haute, IN

I have to admit, I had no idea what Clabber Girl was until my wife suggested that we visit the Museum dedicated to it in Terre Haute Indiana.

So, if you don't know, Clabber Girl is a brand of baking powder.

The museum was a lot of fun, going over the history of baking powder and the company itself.

There were several displays showing old household items.  A local artists gets a section of the museum too, which I thought was pretty cool.  The company is strongly connected to the Indianapolis 500 and there is a cool race car display about that too.

You can call ahead to arrange a guided or a bit more specialized tour, but we did a casual self guided stroll through the museum.

Part of the facility is a bake shop and we really enjoyed this part!  We each had a soup and sandwich and they were perfect.  In fact, the portions were big, and we ended up taking half sandwiches home with us. 

If the museum part wasn't here, I would still recommend that you visit the cafe.  It is that good!

There is something very special about visiting the Clabber Girl Museum and Cafe in the well preserved old Hulman Building.  The place has a very historic and authentic feel.

Like the Hulman Building, the Clabber Girl brand is well preserved here.  Plus, this part of Terre Haute is just a fun, old style downtown area.  We really enjoyed our trip to the Terre Haute area.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Corner Grind- Terre Haute IN

We stopped by the Corner Grind while in Terre Haute not too long ago!

This was a VERY cool little place that was very warm and cozy.  The staff was very friendly.

We were there right before Christmas, and we picked up a Jim Shore ornament as a gift for a friend, and they made sure to pack it up nicely in its original box for us.

This is one of those great coffee shops where, if I lived in the area I would be there every day.

If you are in the Terre Haute area this place is a must stop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CANDLES Holocaust Museum- Terre Haute, Indiana

Visiting Terre Haute Indiana has been high on my list for some time now.  It is a bit out of the way, and you don't hear people saying, "You MUST visit Terre Haute" or anything like that but I really wanted to get there to see the CANDLES Holocaust Museum.

We planned an extended weekend trip through the state, and we made sure that Terre Haute was part of it. 

On the day we went the museum was open from 1-4.  I wasn't exactly sure of what to expect from the place.  We have been to the US Holocaust Museum in D.C. but certainly the Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute would be different.

And it was different.  The place is very small with few rooms, and it is tiny compared to the multi level site in Washington.  The place has a huge heart though, and I can say that we enjoyed our visit to the CANDLES Museum just as much as our visit to the somewhat similar site in D.C.

The CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute is serving a different purpose too.  The larger museum in our nations capital covers just about everything you can think of relating to the Holocaust.  The site in Terre Haute is smaller, and it has more of a personal touch to it;  CANDLES gives more specific details of one person's story.

So, we arrived at the museum a few minutes after 1.  We saw one large room with pictures, maps and other items relating to the Holocaust.  Maybe 20-30 other people were hanging around the front entrance.  We paid our small admission fee (we would realize later that $5 each was a real bargain!).

We chatted with the girl selling tickets.  She asked us where we were from and all, and then she introduced us to Eva Kor who is the face of the museum.  She made a point to talk to everyone about where they were from and all.  She was very friendly and pleasant.

We all talked a bit and then around 1:20 Eva directed everyone to pull up a chair and gather around the first corner of the main museum room.

Over the next two plus hours, Eva talked about her own personal experiences.  As a little girl (10 years old) she was taken by cattle car to Auschwitz where she and her twin sister were immediately forced to be test subjects of Dr. Mengele.  Other than her twin sister, she would never see her other family members again.

You can imagine that everyone at the CANDLES Museum the day I was there listened to Eva carefully for those two hours with their jaws touching the floor.  Her story is amazing.

In fact, I will not write anymore about her story.  It belongs to her, and you need to hear it from her!  First hand witness accounts are rare and Terre Haute is lucky to have her telling her story a couple of times each week!

If you cannot get to Terre Haute thats OK.  A documentary about Eva can be found pretty easily (I found it on Netflix).  It is called "Forgiving Dr. Mengele" and it is great too!  The film covers Eva's decision to forgive the Nazis.  In the film another Nazi doctor meets with Eva to discuss what he witnessed himself in the gas chambers.  Eva also deals in the film with other survivors who are opposed to her forgiving of the Nazis.

The main theme of the movie, and of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum is forgiveness.  Eva brings that up many times.  She discussed it with confidence as her talk ended on my visit to the museum.

Eva is at the museum two days a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays), and her husband (also a Holocaust survivor) is there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Another friend who fled to the US in 1939 is there on Fridays.

My wife and I both want to go back at some point.  Multiple visits are necessary.  I really want to hear the stories that the others have to tell.  We both want to go back to hear Eva Kor again too.

When Eva ended her presentation I felt disappointed.  I wanted to hear more.  I wanted to stand, applaud, and ask for an encore.  Eva's story, her ability to tell it, and her desire to forgive make her one of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I LOVE the fact that CANDLES Holocaust Museum has a witness there every day to discuss their story.  I do appreciate seeing relics, art and other items associated with a place, person or event at a museum- but CANDLES has an actual participant in that moment of history there each day.  You can't beat that and I know of no other museum that can make that kind of claim.

In addition to the CANDLES museum, we visited some other great sites in the area.  I will have posts on them up soon.  For now let me say that you must visit Terre Haute and the CANDLES Holocaust Museum.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Edgewater Grille- Newburgh, Indiana

I have always loved Newburgh.  Any time I drive from Owensboro to Evansville, I like to drive through this area.

Recently, I had the opportunity to stop at the Edgewater Grille there.

I ordered a brick oven pizza there the other day.

Check out the photos!  For about $10-$15 you can get a pie big enough for 2.  The pizza oozes off of your plate!

The restaurant is classy, with a great view of the Ohio River.  PLUS, it is the perfect little town of Newburgh.

My pictures and my description can't do this place justice.  Go there yourself!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Random Thoughts on Friday

This weekend (January 18th-20th) in Louisville, there is a stamp show!

Check out the site, it looks to be a big one!

Also, starting next weekend, the Continental Indoor Football League starts play for 2013!

Louisville, Pikeville, and Owensboro all have a team in this league!  Check out the CIFL site for more info:

I will be following this league.  If you have read this blog long (thanks mom!) you know that I love independent pro sports.  I covered the Horsemen and the River Monsters back when they were all around.  I am hoping these teams are able to hang in there.  If you live in those areas, get out there and support your home team! 

Also keep in mind that it is a huge gamble to start up an independent team in an area.  The odds are against these teams starting from day one.  It takes a LOT of work to get one to succeed.  Luckily, they do at times (go to to see about the most successful independent pro sports team in Kentucky- it can be done).  So, these teams need and appreciate your support.

I will be following the Owensboro team very closely!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Culpeper, VA.

I found these postcards recently and thought that Davis Street looks like a great area!

The middle one says-

Culpepr is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, 75 miles south of the National Capitol.  It is in the historic area as it was the center of many battles fought in the War Between the States.  Nearby is the famous Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park.  It is the county seat of Culpeper County which is noted for its pure bred horses, fine cattle and beautiful farms.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

A great view of a great landmark! This postcard is postmarked 1946!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Huge Trees in California

This postcard says that it was made for Union Oil Company as part of their Natural Color Scenes of the West.

"Calaveras Big Trees 24 miles northeast of Angels Camp, California. The North Grove, on Highway 4, contains 158 Sequoias over 12 ft. in diameter. South Grove boasts 947 trees of equal girth. This area is famed for its early gold history."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park

"in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco is a replica of old Nippon. Here are hump back bridges, stone gardens, tiny streams, bamboo trees, temples and cherry blossoms. In cozy nooks about the grounds visitors are served tea and delicious rice cakes by dainty Japanese maidens."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Union Ferry Depot and bay of San Francisco

I love the trolleys on this old postcard! When I was in San Francisco, I went to a very cool market here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jungle Jims- 2nd location!!!

I have mentioned the original Jungle Jim's International Market in Cincinnati here before.  I try to make at least a couple of trips up there each year.  It is one of those places that gets a lot of hype, and deserves it!

If you are unfamiliar with Jungle Jim's let me try to give you a quick description.  It is a HUGE grocery store with a lot of variety (its selection is very international).  The guy who founded it built it up very literally from scratch.  Oh, and it has a super fun atmosphere.  Think of a huge grocery store made up of some parts world market, some parts showbiz pizza, part museum, and part amusement park.  That might give you a rough idea.

I remember hearing about how over the top it was before going, and it is!  It is just as wacky as you hear!

Well, a buddy recently took me to the SECOND location (in Eastgate) that opened recently!

The new location is very similar to the other one.  It is huge, and has all of the fun, unique items you have come to expect from Jungle Jim.

There are so many cool things to see on there own.  Actual land, water AND air vehicles are here, displayed near appropriate grocery items.

My personal favorite item at the new location is the model pirate ship.  A video shows the originals of this particular model, including details on how difficult it was getting the ship to Jungle Jim's.

I really love the fact that, even though there is now a second Jungle Jim's, it is still one of a kind.  You can only go to Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati- and I think you need to go to both stores to fully have the Jungle Jim's experience.

If you wanted to go and just check out the cool sites, you could spend a whole day at Jungle Jim's for free.  Don't do that to yourself though!  This is a great spot for picking up unique gifts and very cool treats for yourself.  I can't leave without some obscure hot sauces, chips, and other fun snacks that I can't find anywhere else.  I usually get some novelty items for friends (like gator jerky!).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mayor of Maceo

This guy lives next to a buddy of mine in Maceo.  He is totally awesome and will eat his feed out of your hand!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Golden Gate Bridge Spanning San Francisco's "Golden Gate"

"Traffic lanes, six of them and two ten foot sidewalks accommodate the travel across the Golden Gate Bridge. This structure is 8940 feet long with towers 746 feet high and a clearance above the waterline of 220 feet. The main span is 4200 feet in length, which is the largest in the world. Total coast to construct $35,000,000.00"

The back also reveals that this card went through the mail in 1947 with a one cent stamp! The sender walked the length of the bridge before sunset.