Jul 302014

We left the campground with Greg and Jan a little after 10 a.m. yesterday on a mission. We were going to meet some new friends for lunch in the nearby town of Lebanon.

We got to town a few minutes early and used the time to cruise the main street, which was lined with interesting looking stores and shops that we want to go back to investigate sometime.

Blog reader Davy Boggs, his beautiful wife Kelly Jo, and their equally beautiful daughter Odie are traveling evangelists who conduct the Boggs Family Ministries and they were back in their hometown for a brief visit. When Davy read that we were going to be in the area he invited us to lunch at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, promising me we would like the place.

He was right, the food was excellent and we had a wonderful lunch, talking about our RV travels, their ministry, life on the road, and a dozen other topics I’ve forgotten already. After a couple of hours we all had to be on our way, but not before we recruited a nice lady passing by to take a group photo. Here are (L-R) Kelly Jo, Davy, Jan, Greg, Terry, and yours truly, with Odie seated in front.

Boggs group photo 2

From Lebanon, we drove into Cincinnati to visit the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, the two-story Greek Revival house where Taft, the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States, was born and grew up.

Taft home sign

Taft Home

The Tafts were a prosperous and politically connected family with a tradition of service to their community and their country, and after getting our National Parks Passport books stamped and watching a video in the Visitor Center, we followed a young volunteer next door to the family home. It was an interesting tour even thought the young man told one of the people in our group that Taft is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Texas. Huh? I’d think they would teach you some of the basic things like where our nation’s most famous cemetery is located on the first day of Tour Guide school.

After touring the Taft home, we crossed the Ohio River and drove a couple of miles to Ludlow, Kentucky, where my great grandfather John Sanders Stephens and his family lived. Terry and I had located his home on a previous visit to Ludlow and I wanted to show it to Greg and Jan.

We drove by the house a couple of times and through the small river town’s old business district, then we drove a couple of miles east to Covington, where we spent a while just driving around admiring the beautiful architecture of the homes and commercial buildings.

For quite a while now I have been exchanging Facebook messages and e-mail with a nice lady named Carol Burt from Morrilton, Arkansas, and we had hoped to connect with Carol and her husband Ray while they were headed to northern Ohio for vacation. Unfortunately, Ray had a heart attack while they were in a campground up near Lake Erie and plans got sidetracked.

On our way back to our campground we made a quick stop at a Sam’s Cub, and while we were there I got a message from Carol saying they were headed home and were on Interstate 71 and had passed the exit to Wilmington, where the Thousand Trails is located. She added that they were going to stop at a WalMart just off Exit 19 for the night. As it turned out, the Sam’s Club was at the same exit, on the other side of the highway! After a couple of text messages and some poor directions that Carol and Ray had been given, we hooked up in the parking lot of the WalMart.

Ray and Carol were delightful, and after getting a tour of their Airstream trailer we all adjourned to a nearby Red Robin restaurant for dinner. I don’t know how any of us managed to finish our meals because we had so much to talk about. Ray and Carol spend part of their winters in Florida and we hope to connect with our new friends again while we’re there this winter.

Ray Carol Burt 2

Today is going to be a stay at home day and I think I’ll be able to wrap up my new Big Lake book by the end of the day if I hustle.

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Blizzard audio

Thought For The Day – There’s a fine line between crazy and free spirited, and it’s usually a prescription.

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Nick Russell

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  3 Responses to “New Friends And A Dead President”

  1. What a fun sounding day…with new friends and old ones as well as good food!! That is a combination I think would be hard to beat!!

  2. I enjoyed our time together yesterday. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day for us! I hope we can meet up again somewhere along the road.

  3. I love the group photo, but of course, Terry looks better than you do.

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