A Slice of Life
Day 8 (Thursday, Oct.6, 2016)
Last night was a little hectic. DiVoran and the rest of my family were all dealing with hurricane Matthew, as it heads for our homes in East Central Florida. And here I was, trying to do my part to help them by remote control in Indiana. It was after midnight when I finally got to bed. I was only able to sleep until 3:30, when I had to get up and make notes about more things I needed to remember to tell DiVoran about house preparations.
So, this morning after I talked over my list with DiVoran, I got ready and headed east to visit the Studebaker National Museum, located in South, Bend IN. This was an absolutely fabulous museum, consisting of three levels of beautifully restored Studebaker automobiles and associated vehicles/products, which the Studebaker Corporation has manufactured over the years.
The chronological history of the Studebaker Corporation, there at the museum, begins with the original hand-built Conestoga type wagon that John C. Studebaker designed and built, around 1835, to move his family from Pennsylvania to Indiana.
By the time I got finished looking at all of the fabulous Studebaker cars and associated vehicles/products, the morning was almost gone. So, I decided to skip The History Museum there in South Bend (which was just around the corner from the Studebaker Museum), and head straight for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at the Notre Dame University located in Elkhart, IN. To my regret, I discovered that vehicle access near the Basilica area was restricted, so this photo, from a distance, was all I could get.
Next I checked out the National New York Central Railroad Museum, also located there in Elkhart, IN. This turned out to be a very small museum with mainly local historical railroad memorabilia and a few pieces of well-worn rolling stock. I didn’t stay long.
Yesterday while visiting the Old Michigan City Lighthouse, a couple I met there, mentioned that if I was heading to Elkhart, I should be sure to visit the National RV Museum while I was there. So, that is where I was headed next. This turned out to be a very interesting museum, consisting of examples of RV type vehicles dating from the early 1920s to the present day. It has always amazed me how creative people have been, when it comes to designing and building mobile recreational vehicles over the years.
By now time was getting short, and I headed for my next visit at the Hall of Heroes Museum, also located there in Elkhart. This amazingly small museum was really fascinating (Check out the “Hall of Heroes” website for the amazing details of this unusual museum). The owner and curator, Allen Stewart, gave me a private tour of his museum, which houses over 60,000 comic books, 10,000+ toys and figures, and tons of other superhero related memorabilia. Allen’s collection includes a copy of the very first Action Comics comic book, which introduced the Super Hero, Superman, in 1938.
Recently I’ve been watching the “Fast N Loud” TV series, on the Discovery channel, and was surprised when one of their episodes happened to be when Richard Rawlings (Owner of the “Gas Monkey Garage” in Dallas, Texas), went to Elkhart to buy Allen Stewart’s ”65 Iron Man Shelby Cobra” from the Hall of Heroes Museum collection.
I had been told that this area contained a large population of Amish and I was anxious to try some Amish food at a local restaurant. As it turned out, I had researched this idea before my trip, and had decided to try the Amish Acres Restaurant Barn, located some 15 miles south of Elkhart, in Nappanee, IN. This restaurant is part of an 80 acre Old Order Amish* farm, homesteaded by Moses Stahly in 1873, and whose nine original buildings have been relocated and restored to create an attraction. The Amish Acres attraction includes a restaurant, the Round Barn Theatre, a one-room school, a blacksmith shop, an apple cider mill, a maple sugar camp, a mint distillery, an ice house and bank barns.
* Wikipedia: The Old Order Amish are a North American ethno-religious group consisting of some 2000 local churches. There is no formal church organization to bind them together, but they are linked by common faith, traditions and ancestry. In 1693, led by Jakob Ammann, the Amish separated from mainstream Mennonites.
I was pleasantly surprised with the food, but disappointed because it was served family style. There was way too much food for me to eat, but I was not allowed to take any of their delicious food back to the motel with me. They did however let me take a slice of their wonderful Shoofly Pie with me for dessert. Go figure?
So, with a full tummy, I headed for the motel to check on the status of Hurricane Matthew, see how DiVoran was doing, record today’s activities, and prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.
—–To Be Continued—–