>You Look Like You Hitchhiked Here

>So I’ve been trying to wrap this thing up since last Friday, but it was one of those weeks last week. Returned from Ohio just long enough to throw some crap in an overnight bag and head for Bozeman for a rock show. So it’s been a labor of catching up.

Yellow Springs

First order of business when I got in on Monday was to drive out to Yellow Springs, since it was only about an hour away. Getting in later than planned, plus traffic, meant that I didn’t get to spend as much time there as I’d hoped to. I used to visit Yellow Springs frequently when I lived in Ohio; it has a liberal/hippy vibe to it that reminded me of Missoula, mainly because of Antioch College, which I learned has since closed. The Little Art Theater was still there, though, which is where I saw Winged Migration. It’s a cool little indie theater that reminds me a bit of The Loft in Tucson.

Just down from the Little Art was Dark Star Books. I can’t believe I’d forgotten about them, I picked up some good stuff there a few years ago. I got in barely before closing time, so I couldn’t linger long. Lots of good used books, and while their comics section seemed much reduced, they still had a lot of graphic noves and stuff. A good supply of Allan Eckert books too, historical fiction set in the Ohio Valley that is very popular over there (I read The Frontiersman when I first moved to OH; I liked it).

After wandering up and down the street and looking into all the shops with “Closed” signs on the doors, I happened into the Garden of the Goddess shop, kind of a cross between the Peace Center in Missoula and a head shop; I didn’t take these next two shots, but found them online.

I spent some time out front talking to the proprietor of the place, who was definitely a trippy dude. He said Montana seems to him like another planet; I said Ohio is another planet. He talked about being in SoCal during the hippie years, doing LSD when he was 15 and seeing his past 5 birth mothers (which is why he named his shop Garden of the Goddess), spending time with the seers and visionaries in Eden, AZ, etc. Hey, at least he wasn’t wearing a backwards ball cap. When I left he gave me his card so I could check out his website.

I hoped to make it back there on Thursday so I could hike John Bryan State Park. Time and weather ultimately worked against me on that, unfortunately. I suspect I will be back in the area in a month or so when this customer has me back out for the installation. I’ll make it happen then for sure!

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

I didn’t do much my second day there, just stayed relatively close to my hotel. I did a search for “cincinnati independent bookstore” and came up with Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Apparently this is a regional chain with a couple stores in Ohio, one in Pittsburgh, and one in Charlotte, NC. I went and checked it out — it was pretty cool. They were having a panel discussion with some local NPR folks in a side nook, plus I had plenty of time to browse around. It wasn’t the greatest indie store I’ve ever been in — if I didn’t know better, based on the layout I could have been in any Barnes & Noble or Borders — but it was cool to know it wasn’t some corporate behemoth.

My final day there I wrapped up early at the customer site and headed north to the home office. I hadn’t been there in over 3 years, I think. The office has been totally reconfigured, a couple people work there I hadn’t ever met, etc. It was good to check in. I learned one thing though: I can’t imagine ever working in a stinkin’ office again. The last couple years have ruined me.

On my way out of town, I snapped this picture while driving; we don’t get thunder and rain out here like they do in Ohio. It was all I could do to see, even with the wipers going full-out.

Also drove by the Dixie Drive-In in Dayton. There aren’t enough of these in the world anymore.

All in all it was a good trip, the flights were uneventful, no delays or other random bullshit. I’m almost looking forward to going back in a month. I might head south into Kentucky and check out Big Bone Lick, if the opportunity presents itself. Or maybe go looking for more sideshow people.

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