Excursion 27, Part 1: (Return to Mud House Mansion)

It was February 2014.  Cold and brisk, but the weather was fine and it looked like a nice day to take an excursion.  I decided to do something I had been hankering to do for quite a while, which was to return to Mud House Mansion.  I had discovered this fascinating old building located a bit east of Lancaster only the month before, so the landscape (barren, winter) would look pretty much the same, but what I wanted to do was to get there very early in the morning and get some good pictures of the mansion during the pre-dawn and dawn minutes, the so-called “golden hour” of photography.  Well, the plans of mice and men oft gang agley and my exquisite timing was ruined completely when a woman driving a jeep mounted with a battering ram rear-ended by Pilot in downtown Lancaster.  She had a grill guard on the front of Jeep (designed to protect vehicles from deer and such hitting the front of the car), but it was one that protruded well in front of the vehicle and that steel frame ploughed into the back of my SUV, caving in the rear door and doing about $7,000 or so worth of damage.  So much for golden hour.

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Excursion 9, Part 1 (South by Southeast)

In which our intrepid hero discovers people making hay while the sun shines…

Southeast Ohio has always appealed to me.  Geographically, it is one of the most interesting and diverse parts of Ohio.  It is also of cultural interest: Southeast Ohio in many ways is the heart of Appalachian Ohio (though strictly speaking, it is only one of three regions in the state that are technically considered Appalachian Ohio).  Appalachian Ohio is sparsely populated (the largest city in all three regions is Youngstown, Ohio, and the next largest city has fewer than 50,000 inhabitants) and economically depressed (especially Southeast Ohio; most of its counties are considered economically “at-risk” or even “distressed”).   Appalachian Ohio was originally settled by the same demographic groups of people who settled western Virginia and eastern Kentucky and as a result shares most of the elements of Appalachian culture with the Appalachians of other states.

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