Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Short Tour of Arkahoma Architecture

Our old friend the Catoosa Whale, perhaps the mascot of all American roadside "ducks"
There's more to Tulsa than a shameful desire to eradicate the past, including, somewhat to our surprise, a lot that is of architectural interest. We knew that Tulsa has a surprisingly large assortment of Art Deco buildings, and on our last trip there we'd already seen the distant cousin of the World Trade Center that dominates the north end of downtown. This time, though, we got a better sense of the city's overall architectural heritage.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mission Accomplished

The itinerary of this trip was constructed around seeing the Arkansas Travelers, Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Springfield Cardinals.  Simple enough in concept, the small size of the eight-team Texas League, the close proximity of the three teams and the absence of nearby teams in other leagues make it difficult to get the schedules to align.

Starting our planning before the league schedule was announced, we were able to find a window of opportunity—Tuesday-Friday, July 3-6—that included the Tulsa Drillers, the fourth team in the North Division.  We saw the entire South Division on our 2008 Texas trip and they were the visiting clubs two weeks ago.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Who's on Third?

Steve Clevenger was so uncomfortable at third base that he hid behind this pole. (Starlin Castro, at right, is trying to help him chill out by ignoring both him and the pole.)
Catcher Steve Clevenger, that's who!

Some pinch-hitting shenanigans by Cubs manager Dale Sveum in this evening's Marlins bloodbath led to the not too common spectacle of two catchers playing the field at the same time. Clevenger had pinch-hit for Jairo Asencio in the bottom of the eighth and apparently, rather than risk the chance of having no backup for Soto available, Sveum decided to find a place for him in the field—sort of a variant on the old pitcher-in-the-outfield ploy. Hence, Clevenger's debut at third. Luckily, no balls were hit or thrown his way, and no one got hurt—which is about the most that can be said about what the Cubs accomplished tonight.

There Used to Be a Crime Against Humanity, Right Here

Archer St., looking west, 2004
The Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa has changed a great deal since we last visited it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Holy Rolling Along

Melvin and I select our destinations according to our interests, so it is not surprising that correlations occur.  Neither of us is religious, so the numerous churchly stops during the first half of this trip kind of snuck up on us.

We visited a grotto on the first day of the current trip, saw several churches on the Day Two tour of Columbus, and attended Hershel Greer Stadium on Faith Night, Sunday.

In the next four days—Monday-Thursday, July 2-5—we saw a baseball game nightly and made numerous other stops during the day, many for barbecue.  As we have done so, however, we continued to encounter the ecclesiastic and the spiritual.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pork, Pork... Pork?

Tuesday was all about pork. And art (which Rob will discuss). And music. And oh yeah baseball. But first the pork, which helped propel us from Jackson, Tennessee, to Little Rock, Arkansas.

Having trouble seeing much in that photo? Well, that's Payne's BBQ, on the south side of Memphis, perhaps the most amenity-free restaurant I have ever been to (yes, including your average Kansas Fried Chicken). The place is a barely converted service station that's been barred up and encased in concrete grillwork on the outside, and the inside is hot, dark, and barely outfitted. The menu board sit on the floor in the corner. The tables were last wiped down in 1973 or so. The bathroom is the sort of place you expect to find a mutilated body. But holy god is the food good.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Here Comes Nobody

On Monday, Rob and I bid a sad farewell to Watson at the Nashville airport and lit out for some deep country barbecue. Sadly, the object of our intentions, Ricky's Scott's Barbecue (no relation, I think, to Ruth's Chris) is closed on Mondays. A big wood fire was raging in the back though, and a deaf-mute there directed me inside to chat with a gentleman of the establishment (quite possible Ricky), who confirmed that, indeed, there was no barbecue to be had at Ricky's Scott's, nor in the entire town, nor for miles around. So we left.

Monday = Closed, dummies

Too Hot for Anything

By the third day of the trip, the third day of temperatures in excess of 100°, we had grown tired of fighting it.  We stayed in our air-conditioned motel in Bowling Green until check-out time, then drove to The Loveless CafĂ©, about 15 miles southwest of downtown Nashville.

After lunch, we again hid-out in our air-conditioned hotel, coming out only for a game between the Iowa Cubs and the Nashville Sounds.

Miller Time

Saturday's itinerary began with a destination I have long wanted to visit: Columbus, Indiana, renown for its extensive collection of modern architecture.  Melvin has toured Columbus before.  Watson had not, and none of us had ever eaten at the Moonlite Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, Kentucky, or seen the Bowling Green Hot Rods minor league baseball team.  That was the rest of the day, or the parts not spent driving.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Body and Soul

Melvin, Watson and I ended our Friday at Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians.  The division leaders won the game, their 50th win of the season and 30th at home, extending their lead over the third place Mud Hens to 18.5 games.

Two errors let the home team score three unearned runs in the (very) first inning.  The Indians added a run in the fifth.  Two Toledo triples in the eighth kept the visitors from being shut out.
Box Score

Before the game we took care of body and soul.