Sunday, July 19, 2009


I just got in. Did y'all miss me?

I did manage to learn something about Cincinnati that even I didn't know. It's a big town for conventions. It's in the Midwest, so it's kind of in, well, the middle, and at least three major airports are within one hundred miles (Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton). It explains why rooms cost as much as they do considering this part of the country. I'll never book rooms at the Motel 6 again. "Sal" expects more amenities where she stays. I expect wi-fi in the rooms to actually work, since my vacations are always "working" vacations.

If I were home right now, I'd constantly be checking the political blogs like Hot Air, and the church chat blogs like WDTPRS. But who wants to do that when you're in a hot town like Cincinnati? A million conventioneers can't be wrong... right? (I'm betting they don't stay at the Motel 6.)

This trip was of the minimum length for road trips back home: two days on the road, two days staying there. School started this past week, so I had to squeeze this one in.

Sal got to visit her very first American county fair. She wasn't much for the cattle or hog barns, but she loved the poultry exhibits. Poultry husbandry in the city limits has long been common in the Philippines, and this city girl's parents raised chickens and quails when she was young. Her brother also raised prize roosters -- mostly for, er, uh, competitive use (which would be legal there, if not here).

The essential occasion for the trip was the fiftieth anniversary of a maternal uncle and his bride, celebrated at a huge barn party at the farm of one of their sons, my cousin. Jimmy has a very impressive spread, especially when it's 640 acres clear of the bank by his mid-forties. Not too shabby. As two of the images here will show, ee's also got a bad-@$$ set of wheels to get the job done. No, he wouldn't let me drive, but I did learn to handle a much smaller version when I was twelve. Most kids on a farm start even sooner.

There was a lively discussion on rotating corn and soybean crops, planting at just the right time after the last freeze is over and before the rain starts, and being awakened after midnight to learn about two dozen head of cattle getting loose through a broken fence. Then we all posed for yet another all-cousins picture. Most of the nearly-four-dozen among us were on hand, and just as difficult to get to stand still as ever. We'll have to wait on showing that last one for now.

There must have been over two hundred people there, including aunts and uncles I haven't seen in years. Sal might have been a little nervous at the thought of being alone in a sea of cornbread-fed Midwesterners, but those fears were allayed once she learned that members of the Rosselot clan are "the salt of the earth." There was plenty of pulled-pork and green beans, not to mention free beer. Obviously not everyone who showed up was a relative. After all, who could turn down free beer?

On top of all this, Mom showed up, and what with taking care of Dad, she never goes anywhere. Pat and her husband stayed home with Dad for an "Everybody Loves Raymond" marathon, while Mom got caught up with five of her six sisters, and the last surviving of four brothers. The old man was up till midnight getting all the details of the big soireƩ. What a party dog.

While Sal and I were there, we managed to catch a performance of my friends in the band Silver Arm, at a coffee bar that was once a jewelry store. The downtown section of Milford has been transformed in the last half century -- once a place of various and sundry merchandise which, if you couldn't find it there, you could get along without it; now a haven for specialty shops and gourmet restaurants, for aging yuppies en route to antiquing runs. We had lunch on Saturday at the site of an historic building which, last time I entered it, was a barber shop with an Odd Fellows Hall upstairs.

I'm wondering where the Odd Fellows meet these days.

So now I'm back home, which was accomplished in record time, despite millions of others on I-70 in Maryland having the same idea. I'll be up most of the night writing a proposal for a website. It's great to be home anyway.

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