Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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.

Columbus came to have approximately 60 modernist buildings by notable architects after J. Irwin Miller, a CEO of Cummins Inc., offered to have the local manufacturer pay the architects' fee if the client selected a firm from a list he had compiled.

The First Christian Church, where Miller was a congregant, was the first institution to accept the offer, hiring Eliel Saarinen to design the 1942 house of worship.  (Above: The smaller chapel within the church.)  Furthering the coincidence, it was also the first building we visited, and where we spent the most time.

We walked around downtown a bit (Above: The Kevin Roche addition to the Irwin Union Bank.), then drove past some of the more far-flung buildings.  The corporate structures were the least interesting, I think, and the houses of worship most attractive.  (Below: North Christian Church by Eero Saarinen, which opened in 1964.)

I am not the first to say this, but it was all a bit disappointing.  Yes, there is a remarkable about of modern architecture by a roster of big names, all the more notable because it is in a city of 40,000, but a lot of it seems pretty ordinary.  We were not disappointed, however, by the buffet at the Moonlite Bar-B-Q.

We all had the buffet, as reportedly most customers do.  There are a wide assortment of entrees, sides and desserts but we focused on the two mutton dishes, which are not generally available.  Although there was much joking by many customers about not going to Moonlite for a salad, I had one, and some vegetables.  The price of the buffet varies by time of day and day of the week and on a Saturday night we paid full freight.

We continued on to Bowling Green, where we saw the Hot Rods host the Lansing Lugnuts.  The home team—no relation to the Yankee third base man, who is more pretty than hot, in my opinion—plated four in the third inning, then held on as the Lugnuts chipped away, scoring in the fourth, seventh and ninth.
Box Score

Speaking of hot, it was uncomfortably hot all day, including at the game.  Driving back to the motel, we passed several establishments with time-and-temperature signs that reported it remained in the low-90s at 11:00 p.m.

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