Great day yesterday. It was the climax point of our trip, the goal to which Chris had been working for two weeks (and I of course went along with it because I love her and it is our 40th anniversary). We went to the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Museum and Factory. That’s right, folks, the place where the pros have their bats made. In fact we got to watch as they were making some bats. The guide asked if there was anyone in the crowd who was a Texas Rangers fan. Chris’ was the only hand that went up. Why such a question, you may ask? Because the machine was in the process of making bats for none other than Josh Hamilton, who just recently returned to the Texas Rangers. It’s a fascinating process each bat goes through to become usable. Used to take 30 minutes for one bat to be carved on a mechanical lathe. Now it takes a machine about 30 seconds. I know. I timed it. The museum part of the tour was pretty interesting, too, if you’re a baseball fan. I got to hold bats that were used in a game by Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench. Babe Ruth had some bats there, as did quite a few of the old timers in the Hall of Fame. And Astro Craig Biggio had his own special place as the newest inductee. Their special exhibit was from the Topps baseball card company. They showed an early Mantle card as well as a lot of the non-baseball cards they have produced. And along with the cards came a special exhibit: TV Batman’s costume. Christopher Reeve’s Superman costume. Lieutenant U’Hura’s costume. Will Robinson’s costume. Indiana Jones’ whip. Luke Skywalker’s action double light saber. Ringo Starr’s drumsticks. Elvis’ scarf. A bat signed by The Fonz. Wolverine’s dogtags (and undershirt). Princess Leia’s blaster gun. Even Sven and Olaf beanie babies. Exciting stuff for all interests. And while we were taking it all in, our guide from the factory tour approached us and greeted us as “The Texas Rangers fans.” Great to be recognized. I did confess to being a die-hard Astros fan from near-birth, though. “That’s OK,” he countered. “I’m a true-blue Yankees fan.” Poor guy.
After the Slugger Museum we drove all the way into Indiana (Well, it was just across a bridge, but I am from Galveston, and a bridge can be a psychologically insurmountable obstacle, you know. It is tough for us to drive all the way over that Galveston bridge into Texas. So, I didn’t know the Ohio River was the boundary. I noticed on the map that Kentucky claims the whole river, though. They do leave Indiana a little bit of water to play in around their beaches though. Just none of this boundary in the middle of the river stuff up here, I guess). Way over there in Indiana we went to the Vintage Fire Museum. We were the only ones there, so we had some real personal touches. Our tour guide showed us fire trucks from 1796 up through the 1960’s. And the amazing thing was, they all worked. Even that 1796 one. The trucks have been refurbished and restored to their original operating condition. Some are used in parades, other just stay in the museum. And they had lots of fire fighting paraphernalia as well. My favorite was the early breathing mask. The guys would be attached to an air pump (looked like a bicycle tire pump) with a really strong air hose. A notice on the exhibit instructed the fire fighters that one tug would mean “More air.” Two tugs would mean “Less air.” And three tugs would mean, “Help Me Out.” I also got to sit in the driver’s seat of one of the old engines. Watch out, you GFD drivers. I’m coming for you.
Speaking of driving, our afternoon was spent driving around Louisville. We went just shy of 100 miles. That included a scenic trail through a place called Cherokee Park where the only thing we knew for sure was that Jimmy was having a birthday party. Signs everywhere. Once we escaped from the park we decided to find the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I almost went there after college, but I decided to wait around for a really cute blonde to marry me, and we ended up in Fort Worth instead. We found a seminary all right, but it was a Presbyterian one. We weren’t far wrong, though, and a slight recalculation by Google Siri and we were on the Southern Seminary grounds. Really beautiful place.
After the seminary drive-through we decided to look for some antique stores. Took us a while but we finally scored. Crazy Daisy’s Antique Mall. Can’t get any better name than that. The place was two stories of booth after booth of totally random stuff. Just the kind of place we like to walk through. We stayed there the better part of an hour before heading for some supper at … Cracker Barrel. We were hoping for some more soup, but ended up splitting a meatloaf dinner instead.
Final hotel rating: Uh-oh. That breakfast was not very good. Oh, the waffle is hard to mess up, but Chris doesn’t eat the waffles. The eggs were cold. So were the sausage links. And the biscuits. Not good. Not good at all. I was so hoping to give out a four starfish rating, the only one even close to the Huntley Bed n Breakfast’s five. But alas, it simply was not to be. I can go as high a three starfish with no problem. Maybe squeeze out another half. Let’s leave it at that.
Where to next? Great question. It’ll depend on how well Chris and Google Siri get along when we get in the car.
Psalms 33:8 says, “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.”
Father, be with the folks leading worship today, at Seaside as well as all over the country. Send your Spirit in a mighty way. Amen.