2020 Road Trip Photos #23: Boot City Outskirts

cattle and cowboy!

Cut ’em out! Ride ’em in! RAWHIDE!

At the end of a long day of road tripping, after hours of walking and perusing and appreciating and photographing and learning and gawping and filling your head with new mental notes about memories-to-be and storytelling to come, sometimes all you want to do is return to the car and head straight home without stopping, not even for bathrooms or snacks.

Then you pass one last roadside attraction that catches your eye and won’t let go. It lassos your brain, sweet-talks your sense of exploration, and hollers like a rowdy bartender, “I reckon y’all could spare us just a few minutes ‘fore ya head for the hills, can’t ya?” Next thing you know you’re piling outta the car and takin’ a look-see at what they wanna show ya, if’n you ain’t yella-bellied and if you don’t get up too much gumption to ask why the voice’s southern accent is more cornpone than Rogue’s dialogue in old issues of Uncanny X-Men.

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Art ‘n’ Taters in Terre Haute


A baked potato called the Texan, containing steak, bacon, onion rings, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce. I’m not the kind of guy to call a baked potato a full meal, but maybe I would if all other baked potatoes were made industrial-strength like this.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: for my wife’s birthday we spent a Saturday walking around Terre Haute, Indiana. In Part One of this trilogy we met an Auschwitz survivor whose sheer force of will shames us both; in Part Two we visited the Clabber Girl Museum and Bake Shop, learned still more about World War II, and had snacks.

Here in Part Three: other sights, sculptures, and shops we saw around town on this fair October day, including poetry, pink ribbons, surprise comics, and her birthday lunch of choice.

Right this way for the conclusion of another birthday road-trip miniseries!

I’m a Clabber Girl in a Clabber World

Donuts for Dimes!

Sorry, folks: these dime donuts are for historical display purposes only.

For the last several years, my wife Anne and I have spent our respective birthdays together finding some new place or attraction to visit as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on this most wondrous day, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2015 birthday destination of choice was the city of Fort Wayne, two hours north of home. Her 2015 choice last Saturday was Terre Haute, an hour west of here. In Part 1 of this three-part miniseries, you saw our final stop of the day, the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which absolutely made her day.

Our first stop of the day was something completely different: the Clabber Girl Museum and Bake Shop. The longtime purveyors of baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and other products under assorted brand names have their factory and corporate HQ in downtown Terre Haute. We happen to be fans of baked goods, and this wouldn’t be our first trip to a museum about baking ingredients (cf. the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis). It didn’t hurt that the museum is free.

Right this way for the grand Clabber Tour!

An Afternoon with the Woman Who Forgave Josef Mengele

Eva Mozes Kor.

This past Saturday afternoon my wife Anne and I paid a visit to the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, located a mere hour west of Indianapolis and a mile down the road from Indiana State University. The Museum’s Founding Director, pictured above, is Eva Mozes Kor. You might have seen her in such films as the 2006 documentary Forgiving Dr. Mengele or in the occasional special about the Holocaust. Eva survived the horrors of Auschwitz as a preteen and, today at age 81, lives to share the tale of her extraordinary life with new generations.

We knew the museum told her story and exemplified the principles that helped her transition from victim to survivor over the decades. We didn’t expect her to actually be there in person.

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