Sunday, July 19, 2015

First, Last and Only Day In Prison!

Howdy all,

Just to give a quick update as to what we have been doing and where we are currently in our travels.   We were gassing up Grace and a stranger came over and asked if we had ever heard of the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  Well, not only had we heard of it, but I had personally seen it more than three times.  He goes on to tell us that the film was made right there in his town about a mile away and if we wanted to see the prison; which is really called Ohio State Reformatory, he would gladly take us there.  We said "OK!".

So, here goes:  This is a long shot of Ohio State Reformatory known in the movie as Shawshank Prison.

According to the audio tour that we took, it was built from blueprints that were designed by Leonardo D Vinci after the pattern of a french castle named Chateau d' Chompre or something like that.  I don't speak french!

The first room on the right as you enter was a gift shop.  It had replicas of the trays that the prisoners used in the cafeteria or whatever they call it in prison.

The second room was a very vivid reminder of what the end of some of the prisoners was.  According to the records, no prisoners were every executed on the prison grounds. This is an exact replica, though of the chair that was used to appease the law.

This is one of the wardens that was serving in the 1940's when the prison was in it's "hay day" if a prison can have such a thing.  James Adams was his name.

This is an actual straight jacket that was used to restrain "unruly" prisoners.  the small cap sitting next to it was used in executions.  I have no idea why they felt the need to put on the head of a person they were about to kill.   Sounds like a bad fashion statement to me!

Some stuff that the captains had during their time of service.

This was the Warden's dinning room.  His entire family lived in this wing of the reformatory.  The quarters rose to the third floor of the building.  

As did this grand stair case!

A lot had been done to restore the downstairs area, but there was still a lot of work to be done in the upper rooms.  This was the family room for the Warden.

 Here is a picture of the living quarters in the 1940's.

If you have seen the movie, you may remember a character by the name of Brooks.  This poster contained the last letter that Mr. Brooks wrote after his release from prison and before hanging himself in his hotel room.  Mr. Brooks had been incarcerated many many years when he was suddenly released from prison as an old man.  He did not know how to make it on the outside world and had no other family.

I tried to capture a picture of the last letter that Mr. Brooks wrote.

This is the man who played "Mr. Brooks".  Mr. Brooks was sentenced in 1905 and paroled in 1947.  The actor that played his character was James Whitmore.  Whitmore passed away in 2009.

There were many prisoners that lived at this reformatory all of their lives. So, naturally when they passed, they were buried on the grounds of the reformatory.  The cemetery is not open to the public, but there was a picture that I was able to take a shot of.

Now, what in the world is he doing in prison?  haha.  I WAS NOT going in there, y'all.

there was a chain blocking the path, but here is a shot of just how massive this prison was.  There were two men to every cell.

This was a picture of a movie scene when the prison guards realized that "Andy" had escaped from the prison.

 This is me seeing it from Andy's point of view!  haha  Catch me if you can!

There were a lot more pictures, but I didn't have time to upload them.  So, this is it folks.

And this guy is making sure we all get out before closing....:-).

Keep trippin!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wall Drug, Wall South Dakota

Hello All,

We have been traveling quite a bit.  I think we may have covered about 1500 miles so far since leaving Canada two weeks ago.  Considering we are averaging a speed of about 50 miles per hour, you can imagine that the days are long!

At any rate, one of the stops we made was in Wall, South Dakota.  I had ever heard of Wall, South Dakota or the famous Wall Drug Store that is one of its historical land marks that have been in business since 1935 or somewhere thereabouts.  

The first thing I noticed is that they held on to their idea of free advertising....:-)

It's not very clear on this shot, but the white sign says "Bring Your Camera"!  haha

And if you google the history of this landmark, you will see that it all started like this:

After many tries and many years, it progressed into something that I don't think this family thought possible back in those days.  They have some of everything on the grounds.

the even had folks from back in the day still playing cards and willing to die for their nickle!  Hey!  I know that guy in the middle!  ha..

there was a tiny chapel on the premises that is still there for people who want to go in and pray....

Mr. Viking made friends with Ms Annie Oakley who was reported to have been mean with a rifle!  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

I have heard of Calamity Jane and wondered if she had stolen all of the jewelry in the store.....:-)

the street just outside of the store was full of little shops.  We decided that we didn't have time to stop in all of them.  If you ever stop in this town, make sure you have time to see this place.

 Nope.   Mr. Viking is the better choice......:-)

There was historical pictures and art work every where you went.  This was a shot of the dining area where we ate breakfast.

I absolutely loved the hanging Tiffany style lamps.

This was another room that I think was used for special occasions.  Fancy, shmancy......:-)

Mr. Vikcing was taking in the historic pictures and art work in the dining room....

I was trying my hand at a very primitive RV!

You would think that having been in the Dakota's that we would have gone to Mt Rushmore.  Well, we had to pass on it this time around, but was glad that Wall's had a replica of sorts on their property.

There is far too much to report.  So, I would strongly suggest that if you haven't gone....go!  It's a really cool place...:-).

Thanks for coming along with us.

Keep Trippin!