Now that yesterday's severe headache has abated, I can finally spill about my recent trip to Dayton. It was a very eventful and busy week, but one of the more enjoyable excursions of recent past. Earl and Chuck were delightful hosts, as always, and my stay in Germantown was somewhat restful but never boring. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the cord for the digital camera, so my photographic explorations posted on Flickr were quite limited. Eleven photos in one week. Not too much for a shutter junkie like myself.
There were a few interesting highlights of my trip to report. The first was a walking tour of downtown Dayton, following the old Miami & Erie Canal, now buried beneath a boulevard and forgotten by many. The host, Leon, heads the Gem City Circle Walking Tours and offers several different journeys through the city. (You can bet I'll be coming back in the fall for the ghost tour!) Leon is a dear, and quite knowledgeable on the history of the city. I highly recommend that anyone going to the Dayton area take a trip with him. And I'd like to thank him for allowing me to offer up a bit of history in the Ohio & Erie Canal, as well as aiding in answering a few questions from fellow walkers. Most of us had a gay-old time...
I also had a chance to be the audience for the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus as they prepared for an upcoming concert and performance of HMS Pinafore, to be performed on May 30 at the haunted Victoria Theatre at 8:00 PM. My one regret is I won't be in attendance. After seeing the rehearsal, I know it'll be worth the price of admission! They are a sweet bunch of guys, and were very friendly to this passing northerner. The comedy didn't deteriorate with each run-through, either, which is always a good sign. Of course, it did make me want to join in. Who knew I'd find any city in Ohio so inviting and pleasant that I'd consider living there?
Lastly, I spent some time on two separate occasions in historic Yellow Springs, home of the nearly-defunct Antioch College. If an easy-going, motley mix of unique individuals is your cup of tea, this town is perfect for you. Within the first few minutes, I witnessed angry lesbians trying to park, an emo boy waking casually down the street in his skin-tight black jeans, and a woman with impossibly-long blond dreadlocks greeting everyone she passed. But yes... plenty of average men and women as well. Nearly every business has a faded Human Rights Campaign sticker adorning the front door, and for those of you metaphysically-minded, there are several occult shops from which to choose. I stocked up on small colored candles and a small selection of tumbled stones. Had I enough money, I could have easily bought out nearly every store!
It is also quite a haunted little town (not only by ghosts, but by beautiful old homes on every corner), though I couldn't find a copy of the 1943 book on local ghost stories. I did, however, happen to snap a photo of one haunted house from the past, and had a wonderful, inexpensive lunch at the renowned Ye Olde Trail Tavern. The restaurant hosts at least three ghosts, and our waitress regaled us with her own personal ghostly experience only a few days prior. I do believe this would make an excellent stop on a haunted walking tour... perhaps Leon should consider it.
Otherwise, a good time was had by all. I added a new book to my collection: Rhine's New Frontiers of the Mind (1937) found at Dark Star Bookstore. The prefect compliment to my 1937 zener cards! There were a few people I would have liked to see, but it simply wasn't in the cards. Some timing never works out just right. But, such is life. Perhaps next time, everything will fall into place. Regardless, I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. And I'm already thinking about my next adventure. Well, next several. Not only back to the southwestern regions of Ohio, but beyond these borders. As Mark Twain once wrote in Innocents Abroad, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." So, get out there and explore the world. It just might shock you into happiness.