Ohio 1999
On June 19, Walt, my mother and I took off for Columbus Ohio. The purpose of our trip was to visit Jeri and to see the opening production of Weathervane Theatre, Jesus Christ, Superstar, for which Jeri was the lighting designer.

Our flight was uneventful and we arrived in Columbus safely. We rented a car and drove to a nearby McDonald's for lunch. Then we got into the car and started toward Newark. Suddenly, Walt stopped the car, got out, opened the trunk and pulled out his cel phone. "I promised Jeri I'd have the cel phone on," he said. He turned it on, got in the car...and the phone rang! It was Jeri, letting us know that the mother of the show's drummer was arriving at the airport and there was no one to meet her, so could we please go back and get her? We agreed, killed some time at a Hallmark store, and showed up at the airport holding a sign with Jeanís name on it. She was a pleasant woman and we got to know each other on the 40 mile drive to Newark.

We met Jeri at Weathervane and got information for our B&B. Jeri hoped to sneak us into the show that night, but it was sold out, so we just left her, went to drop off our luggage, and then, on the advice of our hosts, the Pitcocks, went to a Bob Evans for dinner--a nice home cookiní sort of place with ample sized booths and good food. Walt and I had chicken fried steak. It seemed appropriate.

Longaberger Office Bldg.
Newark, Ohio
Sunday was Longaberger day. We met our friend Faouzi Farah, his wife Susan and their 2 young children, had a taco picnic lunch at Weathervane with Jeri, and then went off in search of the Longaberger Basket Co. building (seen at left). This is an amazing ediface. The handles weigh 75 tons and are heated to prevent ice build up in the summer. We also visited the complex at the Longaberger factory, which is similar to Main St. Disneyland, without cartoon characters, but complete with significantly overpriced items (we didnít buy anything), and no postcards. The place had only been opened 2 weeks and it will be interesting to see how it fares in coming years.
After we said goodbye to the Farahs and continued our exploration of the too-expensive shops, we had a Father's Day dinner and returned to Weathervane to see Jesus Christ Superstar, an "awesome" production, with excellent performances, excellent lighting effects, and a terrific sax solo by the former-blonde-now- redheaded lighting designer in the pit band.
Monday we drove to Kentucky to visit Colleen and Greg Lyke and their children (Ian, Adam, Maureen), and the two "bears" (Newfoundlands, Samson and Levi). We spent the afternoon lounging on the lawn, save for a trip to Cincinnati Chili for lunch. I checked e-mail on Colleenís computer and then we drove the 3 hours back to Newark to get Jeri to the theatre for a meeting.

Walt, my mother, and I treated ourselves to an all-you-can eat crab dinner at Red Lobster, following which we returned to the theatre to look for fireflies. Such fun watching them flit about the fields. There had been some talk of returning to Jeriís apartment for a game of poker or something, but the old poops were too tired, so we just went back to the B&B. I stayed up to check e-mail on my laptop.

Adam Lyke
Walt, Georgia and I
Tuesday, our last day, we toured Granville--the quaint downtown, Dennison College, and the old cemetery. Then we went to Lancaster to visit Georgia Griffith, my "boss" on CompuServe. I had written to tell her my motherís name and age and told her to just tell my mother corny jokes. When we got to her house, the first thing she said was "Mildred, have you heard this one...?" and proceeded to regale us all with one corny joke after another. My mother seemed to feel comfortable talking with her on the versabraille. Later in the afternoon, Walt went out to buy Chinese food and we had a feast. After we had cleaned up the kitchen, we said our goodbyes and drove back to Newark, visiting Jeri again briefly at the theatre. We made it an early night, though, and got back to the B&B early, in time to visit and watch TV with Mr. Pitcock.
Wednesday was travel day. We started the day touring the Heisey Glass museum in Newark, then took Jeri and her friend Cris to lunch at the Olive Garden, and finally dropped them back at the theatre while we drove to the airport to turn in the car, catch our plane and, in two legs (Columbus-Denver, Denver-Sacramento) made it safely home by 7:30 p.m. California time.

Kind of a whirlwind trip, but all went well. It was nice to see Jeri, great to see her show, fun to spend time with my mother, and all went very well.

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created 6/26/99
by Bev Sykes