Sunday, July 22, 2007

Visiting Detroit

It's always nice to visit mom and hand around the home of my youth. This trip was inspired by my brother's mention he was having all of his kids visiting, two of whom live with their mom in Georgia. I thought it the perfect opportunity to take my boys and see everyone.

The trip up was uneventful - which is the way I prefer it. We drove up to Dallas (that's where William Shatner could get me the best deal); got through the maze of parking, checking baggage and security with no problem. The only bad part was that we were seated in the very last row of a DC-8, which meant no windows and the seats wouldn't recline. Small things, indeed.

The food is always what gets me when I visit. There are some things you can't normally find outside Michigan and my favorites are: Mock Chicken Legs, Fried Bread (the way mom makes it), and Faygo pop (soda for you folks down in Texas). I always eat way too much when I come here, but it's wonderful.

We visited the Henry Ford Museum. There was a special show called "Rock Stars Cars and Guitars." It wasn't a very big display, but it was interesting. There were quite a few special guitars, mostly from the collection of Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick fame). There was one of the original Gibson "Flying 'V'" models, guitars played by Nielsen, Ted Nugent, Billy Gibbons, Jimi Hendrix and many more. There were some very nice cars there which I wish I could have driven instead of just looked at. Two cars were featured in Van Halen videos ("Hot for Teacher" was one) and driven by folks from Elvis (a yellow Pantera) to ZZ Top. There was even the "Yellow Submarine" Rolls to pay tribute to the Beatles (though they only had pictures of John Lennon in the room).

I've probably been to The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village at least a dozen times over the years. Every time I go there's the old cars, planes and trains which have always made up the bulk of the collection, but there are always some new surprises. For anyone who is into history at all, I highly recommend a visit to The Henry Ford. It's worth coming to the Detroit area to visit for a day or two on its own.

My mother knows I don't do anything "Christmasy" until after Thanksgiving because of my protest against commercialism of the holiday. Still, she had to tease me a little. One of the local radio stations (WNIC) was having a "Christmas in July" show playing Christmas music. After shouting that the management of the station should be jailed, and hurriedly switched the radio off. Humph - the effrontery of it all. We did all have a good laugh over it, though.

Lastly, speaking of the Gibson "Flying 'V'" - my 13-year-old son wants a guitar for his birthday. Not just any guitar, but a Fender Stratocaster with a light finish. Not a bad choice. While he was telling me his reason for wanting the "Strat" he mentioned that the Flying "V" wasn't popular until Jimi Hendrix played one. I though that model of guitar was only around since the '70s. We googled it and found that the Flying "V" was first made in the late '50s. And, sure enough, at the exhibit at The Henry Ford there was one of the first Flying "V" guitars which was made in 1958. It's sometimes wild what you learn from your kids.

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