2013 Road Trip Photos #36: Outtakes, Part 3/3: the Season Finale

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our annual road trip in thirty-three episodes, from Indianapolis to Boston to Cleveland to home again. Next came a three-part collection of outtakes for hardcore MCC fans or just people who like photos of places they’ve never been. Part One gave you more photos from the Boston area; Part Two, more photos around the rest of Massachusetts in general.

Here, then, in our grand finale: outtakes from everywhere and everything else we saw. Pretend these are the bonus photos you’re watching during the “Our 2013 Road Trip” end credits, while the names of myself and my wife scroll past repeatedly for every possible position we served for this production.

Speaking of which: on Day 8 in Cleveland at the A Christmas Story house, my wife Anne tried on a replica of Flick’s aviator cap, one of the perks of the house tour.

Flick hat model, Cleveland

This way for the photo-packed conclusion!

2013 Road Trip Photos #32: the Great American Splendor

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To be continued…this way!

2013 Road Trip Photos #31: James Garfield and Friends

Day Eight in Cleveland continued southeast from the Siegel and Shuster boyhood homes to Lake View Cemetery, one of the hilliest and most scenic cemeteries I’ve ever seen. My wife’s penchant for locating Presidential burial sites in other states led us here to visit the final resting place of Cleveland’s own James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States of America.

He died five months after his inauguration, so I didn’t expect the James A. Garfield Memorial to be much more than a decent tombstone with a fence around it, not unlike Thomas Jefferson’s flowery but impassable plot in Monticello. In reality, Garfield’s mausoleum is a little shorter than Grant’s Tomb in Manhattan, but much larger than our house.

James A. Garfield Memorial, Cleveland

This way to see the President…

2013 Road Trip Photos #30: Man of Steel, Sons of Cleveland

Day Eight of our nine-day road trip continue in Cleveland due southeast from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the kind of neighborhood that wouldn’t normally attract tourists if there weren’t some kind of major draw. As fate would have it, in 1938 a pair of young men named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster would put their heads together to create an intellectual property (years before the term became commonplace and meaningful) that would bend pop culture into new shapes and change the course of entertainment history.

Superman, Jerry Siegel House, Cleveland

This way, faster than a speeding bullet!

2013 Road Trip Photos #29: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Never Forgotten

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: pics from our visit to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum in scenic, underrated Cleveland. Last time I shared the items and exhibits that struck the deepest chords for me. This time: the general-audience objects that also caught our attention.

For example: FLYING DEATH CARS FROM ABOVE! Stage props from U2’s ’92-’93 Zoo TV tour.

U2 Zoo TV Cars

For those about to rock, enter here!

2013 Road Trip Photos #28: More to Rock-‘n’-Roll Than Elvis and the Beatles

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: on Day Eight we woke up in Cleveland on purpose. Not many vacationers will lead a story off with that confession. This wasn’t like our last time in Cleveland, an ill-fated day in 2004 when we ended up trapped there for several hours, having been clobbered by a sneaky one-two punch of alternator failure and overturned semi. No, this time I wanted to be in Cleveland all day long. We had a to-do list of geek stops and I meant to assay every last one of them.

Our second stop of the day has a high-ranking item on my modest bucket list for years: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, ruling majestically from the coast of Lake Erie. I’ll be honest: its six-hour distance from home wasn’t the only reason I’d procrastinated a visit. I was afraid the whole place will be one massive, nostalgic, retrograde tribute to old acts from thirty or forty years ago, just like the average Grammys ceremony. I was honestly surprised at the breadth of musical acts honored inside these randomly shaped walls.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, Cleveland, Ohio

Follow the backbeat this way…

2013 Road Trip Photos #27: Christmas at Ralphie’s House

[No, loyal MCC readers, you didn’t sleep through a few missing weeks like Rip Van Winkle, and I haven’t deleted any entries lately. I’ve chosen to warp space-time with a very special flash-forward for the sake of holiday synchronicity. We’ll backtrack for the intervening installments in due time.]

When we told friends and family we would be spending an entire day of our vacation in Cleveland, they thought us mad. In the old days Cleveland was a frequent punchline whenever a movie or TV show needed a throwaway reference to someplace vastly inferior to a given cast’s current setting. Nowadays they’re more likely to use Detroit or New Jersey, but Cleveland suffered that role on numerous occasions. Exhibit A: all of Howard the Duck.

In the course of our research, we were surprised at how many geek-based tourist attractions the city had to offer. We eventually concluded that it deserved much more than a lunchtime layover. Thus were we compelled to spend all of Day Eight driving around the city in a carefully mapped arc, beginning with our south-side hotel, looping around and northward toward Lake Erie, and back around again.

First stop: the house where several key scenes were filmed for that beloved American holiday juggernaut, A Christmas Story — an underdog flick that changed the course of millions of lives in my generation and monopolizes the TBS airwaves for twenty-four hours out of every year, much to the chagrin of the generations before and after us.

Fans will be thrilled to note one of the first items that greets you upon approach is a Major Award. It looks seriously weird in daylight.

leg lamp, major award, A Christmas Story

This way for the Old Man’s tour…

2013 Road Trip Notes, Day 8: Pink Nightmare Family

A Christmas Story, pink bunny suits, Cleveland

This merchandise display is the perfect illustration for my new sitcom idea, Pink Nightmare Family. Two sons and two daughters are forced to fend for themselves after they’re abandoned by their intolerant parents, who don’t understand why their kids insist on living every moment of their lives inside four matching pink bunny suits. They never notice the strange stares from everyone around them. To pay the bills, they open a novelty lamp shop. They never take the suits off, but they never smell disgusting because of TV magic. All the plots will be recycled from every other sitcom ever, but with bunny suits, which will hopefully become the Next Big Thing. I, for one, think the world is ready for a cross between Party of Five and Full House, plus bunny suits, minus Dave Coulier’s Bullwinkle impressions.

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