The trip from North Carolina to Indiana was pretty much uneventful. On the last leg of the trip we did see an Amish family in their horse and carriage but MHS was driving so fast that I missed the shot with my camera. (He says that I missed it because I was too busy with my “crackberry” and wasn’t prepared in time to take the picture) The end result was a swooshy picture of half a horse. Don’t worry, I won’t subject you to my poor photography. (or at least my really poor photography)
The reason for our trip to Indiana besides visiting friends and family was the annual James Dean Festival. James Dean was from our home town. (My dad went to school with him. It’s funny to me that we all have this image of James Dean as a young, handsome, very cool hottie. In fact, if he were alive today, he would be a few years older than my father.) Every year the town has a festival to commemorate the death of our most famous resident. MHS has gone back for the event for years but this was the first time I have returned since moving to Florida almost 28 years ago. The festival has grown unbelievably. The town has a population of about 3000 but holds as many as 100,000 visitors during the festival. People come from as far away as Japan. James Dean is very big in Japan, I’m told. There is a car show that has 2000 antique car entries. A memorial motorcycle ride is held on Sunday from a town about an hour North of our little town that ends at the park where the car show is held. The event has gotten so big, it has spilled over to the next town.
We arrived at our friends’ house in the early Thursday evening. Our friend, The Biker Nazi, was all about getting the bike out of the truck and hitting the road right away. He and MHS have been friends for just about forever. He was the best man in our wedding. He married a friend and class-mate of mine whom I will call The Saint.
Allow me to give you a little history: Our friend became the Biker Nazi last summer when the four of us went on a bike trip out west. I would get aggravated with him because all he wanted to do was ride, ride, ride. He made fun of me because I packed too many clothes. He likes to tell EVERYONE how I packed boots, sneakers and three pair of sandals, three bags of clothes and a sundress for a bike trip. Call me crazy, I just like to be prepared for every occasion. I wanted to shop, sight-see (on foot) and relax a bit more. To be fair, he would have accommodated me if I had asked but then I wouldn’t be able to call him the Biker Nazi, now would I? And that would ruin our whole relationship. If the Biker Nazi knew how much I really adore him, it just wouldn’t be any fun at all. He’s married to my friend, the Saint. I refer to her as the Saint because she is married to the Biker Nazi (nuff said) AND she lives in a house full of boys. We only have girls at my house (besides MHS) and I don’t know if I could survive an all boy household. So, she’s a Saint in my eyes. The Biker Nazi doesn’t read this blog but if he did, I would be in really deep trouble now.
So, after changing into our riding clothes, jackets and helmets, we headed off to town to see the car show and get something to eat. Every trip back home requires consuming a few choice food items that aren’t available in Florida. We were able to satisfy one of these requirements the first night. After the car show, we stopped at a favorite hotdog stand. It’s one of those old fashioned drive-ins where you pull up and the car hop brings your food on a tray and hangs it on your car window. Being on bikes, we settled for a picnic table. We ordered the specialty: a Spanish hotdog. This rare delicacy, found only in the Midwest and maybe only in Indiana, is a hotdog on a bun covered in a meat sauce that isn’t chili and isn’t a sloppy joe but somewhere in between. It’s delicious and definitely not on my diet. The beverage of choice to enjoy with this culinary masterpiece is root beer served in a frosty glass mug.
Here's MHS, the Biker Nazi and The Saint waiting for our order.
We were joined by another couple who I will call Rainman (he does a great impression) and the Tiny Dancer. (To be explained later) We place our order and are surprised when it arrives that our root beers are being served in to go cups and not the afore-mentioned frosty mug. Appalled, we question the car-hop and are told that the place is closing at 9pm and they don’t want to do any more dishes. We were a little shocked that the closing time was so early on a night when a festival is being held in town. And even more shocked when as more and more customers pulled in, they were turned away. Can you imagine! In this economy, wouldn’t every business person with half a brain want to stay open for the duration. But someone had to get home to watch the 10 o’clock news apparently. As we sat, the lights were turned out, signs were put up in the window saying “CLOSED” and “NO PARKING ON PREMISES”. We couldn’t help ourselves, we just sat there and giggled at how unwelcome we were.
Stay tuned for Roadtrip: Part III where I talk about moonlight, moonshine and mooning!