Wigwam Village #2: Cave City,
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
Official Site: www.wigwamvillage.com
Holiday Motel: Cave City, KY
Former Howard Johnson's: Cave
|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,
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,
my visit to the Parkway Inn,
That night Life was indeed Great at the Super 8!