Monday, May 23, 2011


The sun was so bright Saturday, with my stack of CDs and traveling companions, one who was kind enough to provide me with a cup of coffee for the road, driving to the other side of the heart of it all, escaping the haze and smog enveloping the skyline for the greenery of the lands to the west and the clearness of Ashtabula blue sky.

The reason for such ventures was to help out a friend of mine from my Kent days who's getting married to someone truly wonderful. The venue for the reception is a Western-themed steakhouse on which we inflicted Martha Stewart tissue paper puffs of pink and peach. "You're going to love this place. It's kitsch heaven," she tells me and it is, replete with reliquaries of John Wayne bullets, movie posters of films I've never seen, and sculptures of cowboys and Indians.

We channelled Georgia O'Keeffe and stuck white tissue paper flowers in the eyes of the steer's skull over the dining room and tried to make it look girly and wedding-ish. "I think this is awesome, the guests will probably think it's weird..." I'm not really good at this whole party-planning decorations thing so after tying string to big paper puffs, I ended up at the table with her mom's boyfriend and her brother talking urban planning and other territory I'm a little more adept in.

While out in the exotic lands to the west, we took goofy tourist pictures underneath the World's Largest Rocking Chair next to a feed store, and soaked in the miles of green space and open sky.

After the festivities, we drove up to Geneva-on-the-Lake to indulge in even more uber-kitsch. I can't believe I've never been here before, because it's unlike any place I've ever been. It was once the premier getaway for the likes of Henry Ford and the Rockefellers, and my grandparents honeymooned here post WWII. It's hard for me to imagine it as a place that was once genteel. I also can't imagine renting a summer cottage here ever. At least Put-in-Bay has a quiet half of the island. Still, it was a great way to kill an afternoon.

Hot sun, an endless parade of bikers in Harley gear, women with big poofy bleached coiffures, pale teens with green hair and miscellaneous piercings working at the arcades, all manner of greasy food, countless headshops selling tie-dyed t-shirts, blacklight posters, and hippie dresses, and souvenir shops hawking fake wanted posters, hemp necklaces with the stars and bars, and even more biker couture. If you ever wanted a pin that read "I'm a Trucker's Girlfriend," this is the place to get it.

I did, however, score some nice earrings at Gypsy Rose's Mamas and Papas. Every storefront was blaring either country or classic rock, and from one end of the 'Crooked Mile' to the other, I heard Bad Company, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Poison, and Whitesnake.

It seems that back in the day, there were actual good shows to be seen at the Cove, not just cover bands called Bon Journey or whatever incarnation of Skid Row or Mushroomhead that's still touring.

Incidentally, this mural on the side is getting destroyed to make way for new renovations, but I'm glad I shot it before it vanishes.

This totally does not look like Jimi Hendrix.

We did not discover what the Exciting Fascination was.

On the way back, we drove through the vineyards of wine country, though we were all dehydrated and sleepy and didn't feel like being around more partying boomers so we drove back to Clevelandia and I've realized I really don't like driving when it's sunny out, though Kyuss is fantastic driving in the burning sun music.

Came back to feed the kitties, hang out at my apartment with the new neighbors before Muk came over, woke up with sun poisoning and missed church, took my sister to the Hessler Fair, and slacked around with my dad in the basement Sunday night listening to the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. I opened my windows and let the cool night breezes in. Summer is looking hot and beautiful already.


Rita Writer said...

Hey! First time "commentator..." love the kitscht. We drove up for the first time a couple summers ago and watched the wacky world go by. Saw a t-shirt: "My other ride is your momma" in the "God Bless the USA" section. The owner was a decent enough guy, running the register that day... guess it pays to know your audience. Loved your post! (And is the dusty old magic shop still there?!)

Randal Graves said...

Time travel is so much fun. Wait, this was real? Watch out, Parmastan, Geneva's on the go.

Effin Burrito doesn't think of the children.

thatgirl said...

A lot of the stores were closed, but a dusty old magic shop sounds amazing to check out if it's still there.

Effin Burrito might not think of the children, but I'm glad you do.