Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

One of my life’s ambitions is to skydive in every state. I’ve already jumped in at least half of them. Valerie and I are planning a blue highway trip through the northwest in an RV to visit small airports.

Most drop zones celebrate the end of the day with a bonfire, beer and BBQ. They usually have showers and you can pitch a tent. It would be a cheap trip except for gas.

A few years ago we took a road trip through Indiana and Ohio, two states I hadn’t jumped over yet. Valerie agreed as long as we could visit the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

We stopped at an airport in Indianapolis for a quick jump before heading out for Cleveland. We drove in just in time to get on a load. They didn’t even check my credentials. I must have projected an air of experience with my demeanor. I just threw on my rig and got on the plane. I met people on board. We planned a formation and somehow pulled it off.

The DZ at Cleveland was one of the first skydiving clubs in the country. They had been around since the fifties.

I panicked on my first jump when I looked for a place to land my canopy. They had a grass runway surrounded by woods, farms and no sign of a landing area.

The place was over run with Amish teenagers. Their buggies were parked with horses tied to trees in the woods. They seemed to own the place. They were cussing like sailors, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. I was shocked. I hadn’t experienced “Wilding” yet.

As promised we spent one full day at the Rock Hall of fame. We could easily have spent a week. We saw John Lennon’s Rickenbacker he bought in Hamburg that he never finished paying for, David Bowie’s harlequin costume from the Ashes to Ashes video, David Byrne’s wall sized Polaroid collage of the Talking Heads “Buildings and Food” album cover (taken from Tina and Chris’ apartment when they moved), and more relics than I’ll ever be able to remember.

The top two floors of the museum had a temporary exhibit devoted to Tommy. There was a drum kit Keith Moon sold to the Bonzo’s “Legs Larry Smith” and all the original master tapes.

We’re going back.

Valerie just reminded me. The day we came back we misjudged how long it would take. I would have to get straight back to work. We decided to stop at Lake Erie for a picnic. It was a beautiful day and we fully enjoyed it which included cocktails. By the time we left we were exhausted and drunk. The drive was ten hours and our hearts were in our throats with worry about a constant thump from a bad tire on my van. It was too late to do anything about it if it blew. Every day’s an adventure!


dominic schaeffer said...

never been. really, really want to. especially since you mentioned it.

Valerie Pennington said...

Awww, Dom, it's EXCELLENT! Plan at least two days. We tried to do it in one day and missed a lot.