As part of his protection sevices, visitors had to go through Gandhi before they could see us. No exceptions.
Here he is, giving our car the all-clear before taking off on a trip.
We're taking a slight detour of the eccentric highway to bid a fond farewell to a dear friend from the neighborhood. For the past several years, a little brown chihuahua mix named Gandhi has been keeping an eye on us and providing protection services to our humble abode. For this, we paid him the tribute of high-quality meat from the deli after attempts to compensate him with Liva-Snaps and other dry boxed treats were met with disdainful sniffs and dogged ground-holding until we caved. We nicknamed this little guy The Boss because he ruled the neighborhood with an iron paw and was always the alpha dog when much bigger dogs would join him at our door begging for treats. After returning from one of our long car trips, we knew we were home when he would run down the street to greet us and supervise the unpacking of our car. He had been ill the last year or so with a horrible-looking skin condition but he still came around occasionally with his same appetite. We got the news the other day that he had passed on and that makes us sad because he was such a comical character. So long Gandhi, old friend...make sure to keep things in order in little dog heaven and hold out for the deli meat.
...where they don't take kindly to littering or rounding up to even numbers.
Goodspeed's Station Country Store...
...near the Goodspeed Opera House (photo from ctvisit.com)...
...and the great East Haddam swinging bridge.
The small central Connecticut town of East Haddam has a lot going for it: the gorgeous Connecticut River with its sublime 1913 steel swing bridge, the spectacular Goodspeed Opera House, dating back to 1876 and still producing Broadway-caliber musicals, and Goodspeed's Station Country store, one of those nostalgic gift shops full of fun nicknacks. On a recent visit to the store we were taken with a collection of what appeared to be vintage postcards from the region, depicting cheery skiers, fishermen and Nutmeg State guests frolicking on vacation. As a fan of this jolly type of ephemera, and a Connecticut native, I wondered why I had never seen anything like these before and while we were oohing and ahhing over them, the nice proprietor lady told us she had put them together with a publishing house that specializes in whimsical custom-made vintage-looking items. And whimsical they are...Connecticut's a beautiful place but the skiing postcard makes it look like the Swiss Alps in the 1940s. And anyone who has been to sleepy little Moodus will tell you it's pleasant but not exactly the glamorous and rugged vacation mecca seen here. So, to Goodspeed's Country Store, we offer our un-Conn.-ditional Conn.-gratulations for these visual Conn.-fections. They really -ticut the mustard.
A neon sign is a wonder to behold. Its retro-futuristic glow and buzz give me a warm feeling every time I see it, and there is real artistry involved with the bending of tubes into intricate patterns and breezy typography. I'm especially intrigued with old, dilapidated neon signs — those once-gleaming marvels of art, science and commerce, left to rot like so much inert gas. Here's looking at you, neon...what glows around comes around.
There's a small park in Ernie's honor in his (and my) hometown of Hamden, Connecticut...
...and there's an Ernest Borgnine booth and shrine at New York City's Tortilla Flats restaurant.
We just heard some sad news. Ernest Borgnine, legendary actor and fellow native of my hometown, Hamden, Connecticut, passed away today at age 95. He had a long life, made a lot of great movies and TV shows and seemed like an awfully nice guy. We did a few Eccentric Roadside posts about him over the years, including the Ernest Borgnine Park in Hamden and the Ernest Borgnine booth and shrine at the Tortilla Flats restaurant in New York City. Check them out here.
So long, Ernie. If someone famous had to be from my hometown, I'm glad it was you.
One thing about taking a really long road trip is, sooner or later, you're going to run out of clean clothes and have to do some laundry. And in this case, by "you" I mean Mrs. Eccentric Roadside and not me. While she toils away to get our clothes cleaned, fluffed and folded, I sit bored like a child accompanying a parent to the motor vehicle department. I've found that even a place as mundane as a laundromat can provide a few photo ops, though, albeit of the "meh" variety. So here they are...not much to Cheer about, but your loss is our Gain and All's well that ends well.
This blog is devoted to old fashioned American roadside attractions... the wonderfully big, bizarre, crazy, wacky, quirky, weird, funny, unique and mundane sites you see travelling cross-country by car in the USA, where getting there really is all the fun!