Wednesday, December 31, 1986

1986 Buffalo, Cleveland, and Syracuse (12/25-31/1986)

Thursday, December 25, 1986
After Christmas with Kyle and Erich, we stopped back at home to pick up some forgotten items. Then headed up RI-146/MA-146 to the Mass Turnpike. Got off at the next to last exit to go into the town of Lee and buy a Megabucks ticket!
It was generally foggy and gray with on and off rain. Some of the fog in valleys was picturesque. Once in New York, Kent spotted deer grazing up on a cliff. Also saw hawks. Made a pit stop near Schenectady. Gas mileage has not been good, only 27 mpg, but the average mph has been 70!
It was 15:30 when we got gas on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. Drove up to the UB Medical School to check out the buildings sheathed in R-Wall. Kent didn’t like the retrofit, but liked the newer portions, only to figure out they were of concrete! Arrived at my parents’ house to find all the siblings were off driving around, since we weren’t expected until 18:00. Exchanged gifts then had a big turkey dinner at 19:00 with ten people around the table. Grandma was also there. After dinner the others went to the Festival of Lights.

Friday, December 26, 1986
Had Kuechle for breakfast, then went to take photos of the University of  Buffalo School of Medicine
UB School of Medicine (KSS)
before driving to Cleveland, via US-33 to I-90, paying $1.65 for the NY Thruway. Got off I-90 after Cleveland to drive along the lake through affluent Lakewood (some with 2- or 3-story Christmas trees!) into Rocky River. Kent found his way to his parents’ house and we arrived at 13:00. Even though we got such a late start, they weren’t expecting us until even later! We had lunch of turkey sandwiches and mock turtle soup (ground beef with ketchup and vinegar, and lemon juice). Mike was there, and about 15:30 we left in the Stumpes’ new Dodge Ram Granada van to pick up Ryan from the airport. The van plushly seated seven people with a removable table, and a mini-TV/radio hung from the ceiling. Ryan arrived at 16:15 from Denver and we were there at the gate to greet him. Back at the house there was a gift exchange, then dinner of the layered turkey casserole and a fruit gelatin salad.

Saturday, December 27, 1986
We were sleeping on the fold-out couch in the den, so made it up before breakfast. Mike, Kent, and I drove down to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has free admission. We did not check our coats, and mine is such a good insulator, I am comfortable no matter the temperature. We didn’t know where to start, so went up the stairs and just followed our noses. In doing so, we apparently followed the exact reverse of a carefully laid out chronological sequence of Western Art!
Cleveland Museum of Art map
Started in Modern Art, recognizing names like Jennifer Bartlett and the 3-D street art that Mike knew. A special exhibit on Paper and its Different Form. The flying cranes, wispy white strands from a “banner,” was interesting. Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, and “Stag at Sharkey’s” by George Bellow with stark boxers. A roomful of Picasso, a more extensive collection than in Boston! There were also ceramics and furniture, as is included in all “fine” arts. We went from Post-Impressionism to Impressionism, 19th century art to 18th century works grouped according to country. Saw Faberge eggs, one in a box with Cyrillic letters. Baroque (including a Caravaggio) was situated around a wonderfully green garden, but our interest was waning. Entered the Armor Court with Spanish paintings and tapestries, then Kent led us directly downstairs past the Still Life exhibit across from the cafeteria to the gift shop. Decided to then see the photography exhibit done by a 20”x24” Polaroid Land camera. Amusing photos featuring a Weimaraner dog as an elephant, etc. (by William Wegman). Went to the Oriental galleries to peruse the Figure Painting exhibit, before leaving.
Drove up Euclid Avenue to get lunch at Popeye’s. At E 36th and Euclid we saw an R-Wall building. Continued through Public Square with all the Christmas decorations (Care Bears, Care of American Greetings, etc.). Saw the new Sohio Building (1985) and the Higbee’s department store from “A Christmas Story.” We turned up Superior Avenue to pass the Arcade. Parked nearby and Mike decided to join Ryan and the grandparents at the Playhouse to see the “The Nutcracker” at 14:00. Kent and I went to the Arcade that is five stories with bigger and finer shops than the pretty ritzy Providence Arcade. A giant Christmas tree filled the center.
We returned to the car to begin the business portion of the trip. Took I-90 to I-271 to Mayfield Heights to see a jewelry store with R-Wall in black.
img Jewelers (KSS)
(NB: img Jewelers on 7/26/2015)
Drove down Richmond Rd in Warrensville Heights to find a service corporation building with R-Wall.
Service Sales building (KSS)
(NB: now an empty building that appears
to have lost its right half, 7/26/2015)
Over to Warrensville Center Rd past Thistledown Racetrack to find the Brentwood Hospital with some R-Wall.
Brentwood Hospital (KSS)
(NB: Now part of South Pointe Hospital
and the Cleveland Clinic, 7/26/2015)
We got on I-480 and drove to its end, followed OH-17 to US-42/Pearl Road. Drove down to Middleburg Heights to see the OMNI Fitness Center with R-Wall.
OMNI Fitness Center (KSS)
We got on I-71 to drive north to Rocky River and stopped at Beachcliff shopping center built in an old movie theater complex; pretty ritzy here, too! Across the street was a hardware store and Kent bought a manual can opener for his mom who was complaining about cutting her finger because the electric can opener doesn’t cut all the way. We returned to Kent’s parents’ house, and the rest of the Stumpes arrived soon after. We tried out some computer programs on Kent’s dad’s new Tandy 1000. Dinner of grilled swordfish and potatoes baked in the microwave.

Sunday, December 28, 1986
Up at 5:00 and left at 5:45. Kent’s parents were up to say goodbye. Kent drove to the airport and dropped himself off to fly to RI. I then drove I-71 to I-90 back to Buffalo. The very dark gray sky slowly lightened to a middling dark gray sky. A Jaguar passed me, and I later saw him with a NY state trooper. Arrived at 9:30 and went to 10:30 Mass with Grandma. When Dad was ready to go to 12:00 Mass, he couldn’t find Mommy. We heard she went shopping, so I walked with Daddy to Wilson Farms, but no Mommy. Dad continued to church, and I went home to get more info. Maybe Mommy went to Central Park? I got the car and drove down Main Street, and saw her a block before Amherst. Picked her up and took her to church, and the groceries home.
After a steak dinner we watched my slides, then slides of our family from 20 years ago!

Monday, December 29, 1986
Went to the Erie County Motor Vehicle Bureau when they opened at 9:00 to renew my driver’s license, then to get a replacement auto registration for my replacement windshield. Home in time to say goodbye to Grandma who was being driven back to Brooklyn by Phil and David. Left after lunch at 13:00 to head towards Rochester. Took Exit 45 off I-90 to I-490 west. Then the second exit to Bushnell’s Basin on NY-96 where I turned right at the light. Drove through the village of Pittsford and made a left onto Thornell Rd. drove a couple miles and atop a hill I turned left on Mill Valley Rd. Took the first left on Lake Locarno Dr that ran straight into Chipmunk Trail. The second house on the right was #5 that belonged to Karen K’s sister. I met her sister Gen and the new baby, and then Karen and I left to head to Syracuse, soon arriving at Kathy C’s house. We exchanged gifts, then drove to Pizza Hut where Karen treated us to dinner. Worked a couple jigsaw puzzles before midnight.

Tuesday, December 30, 1986
Sampled Kathy’s delicious coffee cake, and left at 8:30 when Kathy and I drove Karen back to Pittsford. Met Karen’s parents and watched the two nieces, Joanna and Jessica for a bit. After saying goodbye to Karen, Kathy and I went back to NY-96 and followed that to Eastview Mall to look for clothes and boots for Kathy. We then hopped on the Thruway for a short distance and got off for the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. We took the one-way auto route and saw lots and lots of ducks and geese out on the water. We also spotted three great blue herons, but otherwise not much to see.
Otter ice breakage
The water level was very high and some trees were uprooted in the flooded areas. Saw several hawks perched in the trees. We saw a couple cars going the wrong way on our road, and we talked about these people who were going the wrong way with knowing smiles on their faces. But shortly we found out why! The road was blocked for dike repair, so we, too, had to turn around and go the wrong way to exit the refuge!
Drove down NY-414 to US-20 to Auburn, home of the State Correctional Facility. Had a quick lunch at Burger King, then continued to Skaneateles, a very picturesque town on the shore of the Finger Lake with the same name. We made our way to Otisco Lake and followed the west shoreline down and around the bottom of the finger and along a country road past antique and gift shops. Kathy knew of a great shop called Cat’s Whiskers, but it was closed. We continued up the eastern shore of Otisco Lake and saw several streams running down the steep hillside. Arrived at some falls that would have been picturesque if it hadn’t been such a gray day. We saw the lake was divided by a causeway, and that the lake was frozen north of the causeway and not on the south.  Headed north and stopped at a huge mall in Camillus. Back at Kathy’s we ordered Chinese food for dinner.

Wednesday, December 31, 1986
After more of Kathy’s coffee cake, I left at 8:30 to drive back to RI. The Thruway was crawling with state troopers. There had been a powdering of snow in Cleveland, and none in Buffalo or Syracuse. Now there was snow in Albany and in RI! Arrived home at 13:45, and Kent came home from work at 14:30. Kent made a vermicelli frutta del mare for dinner, and we watched videos until the new year arrived.

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