Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Over the River and Across Ohio  Mansfield we went!

My friend Donna and I took a 2 day mini-vacation to visit our friend Bizzie in mid-Ohio. Did we have a good time? I'll let you be the judge.

It was a wild and rainy night when we arrived. The winds howled around the roof of Bizzie and Mick's 1850 log cabin but the house is snug and tight because siding has been applied over the logs outside, and on the inside the walls were plastered smooth so no drafts made it through. I spent the night in an upstairs dormer bedroom, thinking about who might have slept there in the days when the cabin was new and probably much more primitive.

Despite the rain, we headed into Mansfield to browse downtown. Donna dodged raindrops to get inside the Hospice thrift store. We found a few bargains there, including a brand new, beautiful eggplant-colored dressy dress and jacket that we cajoled Donna into buying. When she tried it on she looked so amazing it had to be her dress. Brand new from David's Bridal! Amazing buy.

We crossed the street to our next stop, an antique shop. I look for bargains, you know, and those are rare at antique shops. Still, I found some good buys--and we had a good time with the owners. Donna told them we were storytellers and that I sang ballads. They asked if I could sing one, so I sang Railroad Boy. It was surprising to see people coming from the shop aisles to listen. The owners were very enthusiastic and had lots of questions for us about storytelling. So many people still don't know what it is.

 I love old downtowns. This one is lovely and seems to be staging a comeback.

And Mansfield has this:

A carrousel! And not just any carousel--a real genuine carved one made especially for the city by a company called Carousel Works. The Richland Carrousel opened in 1991, and features animals carved in the style of the great  G.A. Dentzel, who was famous for his hand-carved carousel animals in the early 1900's. This was the first new hand-carved carousel to be built in the US since the 1930's. It is stupendous, beautiful and unique with 30 horses, 2 chariots, and 22 other animals--ostriches, bears, goats, lions, bears, tigers, rabbits, cats and more, all beautifully rendered. Here are a few of them:

A merhorse?Or a seahorse?

It was difficult to find a place  to get a full view of the carousel; this was the best I could find.

The Liberty horse, I would guess?

The Civil War horse--I had to take this photo for Larry :)

Of course we had to ride. We got our tokens (3 for $2, what a deal!)

...and got on board.

It was so much fun--years since I last actually rode on a horse on a carousel. I've taken my sons and grandchildren but I was always standing. This time I mounted the steed myself. What a treat!

Rain didn't spoil our day. We had a great time. I want to go back sometime so Larry can ride the carousel, and there is so much more to explore, like Malabar Farm where one of my heroes, 1927 Pulitzer Prize winner Louis Bromfield, once lived and wrote about sustainable agriculture years before it was the in thing.

Bizzie and Mick were great hosts. We stayed up late talking and sharing stories. Then it was time to head home, so Donna and I packed up and headed east. But I haven't showed you everything about our trip yet, so tomorrow, more photos !


Farmchick said...

It does look like fun!

A Vintage Green said...

You must have thrilled the other shoppers when you sang a ballad. What a lovely mini-holiday.

Mama-Bug said...

I'd say the two of you had a wonderful time! I love the photo of you on the carousel!

Nance said...

you sure have fun! I have ridden a merry-go-round/carousel in the last 10 years but I am due; it is time to do that again. You and Larry and your friends are so diverse . . . or you do such diverse activities. I love it and enjoy your "accounts" and hope that I can go and do too, sometime soon -- if I can just get RETIRED!

Marie said...

What a lovely visit to an interesting town! Mansfield looks like a place I would definitely want to browse around in! The carousel was amazing! What a treat!

JJM said...

That "merhorse" is a hippocamp. We've got one on the carousel in front of the Smithsonian's A&I building, too.

I remember once going on a Smithsonian Associates tour to Glen Echo Park up in Maryland. The tour leader came up to the carousel, explaining a free ride was to be part of the tour, looked back to check there were no stragglers before beginning his lecture, looked back at us ... only to find everyone had already scrambled towards their favourite carousel critter and were clambering up into the saddles. He laughed and agreed the lecture should come after the ride. And I don't think there was anyone on that tour under 30 years old ... [laughter]--Mario

Jenny said...

Oh what fun! We have an indoor carousel in a nearby town. It's inside western clothing store & the first ride is always free. They're so much fun.

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, Mario--I've never heard of a hippocamp! Now I'll have to look that up! I can just see you all running for your beast :)

Jenny, I wish we had one closer to home--I think I need to check into that; there may be a carousel lurking somewhere nearby!

Nance, storytellers do seem to have a lot of fun. I think it's because we have such diverse interests. We see stories in everything.

I was surprised at all the things to do in Mansfield, Marie. I need a rain check!

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