Wigwam Village #2: Cave City, KY
HoJopalooza began not as early as it should have, but an extra hour or so of sleep was useful preparation for a long day behind the wheel! Since I kept  to Interstates in order to "make time," there was nothing to see along the way save for torrential thunderstorms slowing the pace. Feeling deprived of roadside sights, it was welcome relief to finally arrive in Cave City where I would find not only the former HoJo's, but also the famous Wigwam Village #2.
Perhaps you are shocked that I would not have stayed at the former Howard Johnson's, but at the Wigwam instead! As a Days Inn the former Mansard Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge still managed to present itself well, but the lure of neon and pre-WWII accommodations in the form of a teepee was just to much to resist. The Wigwam Village is Roadside Americana at its finest. A time capsule from 1935 with cable TV, sleeping in a Wigwam is a unique experience not to be passed up. Try to think about what it must have been like to have been a motorist in 1935 when it opened! With its unusual eye-catching Indian motif, the Wigwam Village still gives people pause--they slow down or stop and wonder, "what is it!?"
Official Site: www.wigwamvillage.com


 Holiday Motel: Cave City, KY


 Former Howard Johnson's: Cave City, KY
Only planning to drive about half the distance of the first day, I began the second, and headed for Cincinnati to spend some time with Tod Swormstedt at his soon to open American Sign Museum. In an old warehouse/factory turned art emporium called Essex Studio, the museum will feature icons of roadside advertising along with a history of signs and sign making. Tod was kind enough to allow me a guided tour of what will soon be! Exhibits will include storefronts, a timeline, a workshop, and a "boneyard" of hanging and freestanding signs.


 American Sign Museum: Cincinnati, OH

Official Site: www.signmuseum.com

 Former HoJo's: Dayton, OH
Skipping any other sites in the Cincinnati area, I headed up to Dayton where I had high hopes for the Parkway Inn which had of course been a HoJo's. Excited at the prospect of perhaps finding original rooms, I ignored that the Restaurant was called Centerfold and that the old Motor Lodge had become quite run-down. Determined to spend the night, I tracked down the kindly Indian gentleman proprietor who gladly accepted my $42 for a room.
Key and camera in hand, I bounded upstairs to my room which I had hoped would be a HoJo haven of repose! In the hallway leading to the room were original "round" HJ light fixtures which increased the anticipation. With an actual key, I opened the door to find that since the place had been an Econo Lodge several changes had been made. However many original features and fixtures remained. Alas, there would be no night of HoJo's repose at the Parkway Inn for me, for I fled from the scene shortly after Pimp Daddy knocked on my room door! He offered to "take care" of me and said that he took care of everyone's needs who stayed at the Parkway Inn. Of course there is a bit more to the story, but sensitive people might be offended, so I'll leave the rest to your imagination. In the end, I returned the key to the kindly Indian gentleman who smirked and said, "Ahh, so business is compleeted already."


 Super 8 Motel: Wapakoneta, OH


 British Petroleum Station: Wapakoneta, OH

 Having survived my visit to the Parkway Inn,
That night Life was indeed Great at the Super 8!

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