Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for April, 2016

The Magic and Allure of Lynn Auto Theatre

Come as you are in the family car!

That’s the motto of Lynn Auto Theatre, where you can drive in to watch a family movie any evening after dark during the summer months, or on weekends in the spring. Many remember going to a drive-in movie, walking to the concession stand for snacks, and hanging the speaker on your car window.

Lynn's screen before show

Lynn Auto Theatre is one of the few grass drive-in theatres left in the world. There was actually patches of snow on the ground that evening.

You can still do this at Lynn’s near Strasburg. Here you’ll find a piece of Tuscarawas County history – the oldest drive-in theater in Ohio, and the second oldest continually operating in the world. When it opened its doors in 1937, it was called Boyers Auto Theatre.

Lynn's Boyer Theater

This shows the entire complex as it was in 1937.

Boyers was more than a drive-in movie. They had a train ride, miniature golf, an arcade, restaurant and gasoline station. This family entertainment complex was one of four drive-ins built before WWII.

Lynn's Popcorn stand

Concession stands for popcorn and hot dogs were on wheels.

Why would it be called Lynn Auto Theatre today? When Ward Franklin and Ray McComb purchased the drive-in, they named is after McComb’s daughter, Judy Lynn.

Lynn's Dick Reding

Dick Reding stands at the marquee in the late 1950s.

Then the Reding family entered the scene. Dick Reding  always had a passion for movies. During the time of silent movies, he played the records for the musical accompaniment that went along with the films when a live musician was not available. In 1957, Dick managed a string of theaters in the Canton area, but drive-ins became very popular about then, so he decided to purchase Lynn’s.

Lynn's ticket booth

Darla and cat, Gizmo, run the ticket booth.

Since that time, it has been passed down through the same family for 59 years from grandpa to son, and now run by the grandsons, Rich and Jamie Reding. This family affair continues at the ticket booth, where Rich’s wife, Darla, with cat, Gizmo, welcomes guests. Family members and their friends also manage the concession stand where prices are reasonable. Footlong coneys with cheese, and popcorn are their most popular items.

Lynn Popcorn

The soft yellow glow of the concession stand reminds one of buttery popcorn. Rich still proudly uses the 1962 C. Cretors & Co. Popcorn Marchine.

Rich reminisced that grandpa continued his love for the drive-in even after he and his wife moved to an assisted living facility. He recalled grandpa looking out the window at a large field and remarking, “That would be a nice place to build a drive-in.” Love of theater ran in his blood.

Lynn's Speaker

Those old speakers can still be used.

In the early days of the drive-in, sound for the movies came through speakers under the screen. These “Boom Speakers” could be heard over the sound of a roaring train. Next came the speakers to hang on the window of your car. Today you have a choice, you can still listen through the old speaker, or you can turn to a designated FM station on your radio dial to hear the movie in stereo sound.

Back in 1967, a second screen was added so patrons had a bigger choice of movies. Often during a summer weekend, both screens will be sold out and cars turned away. Space is limited to 390 vehicles.

Lynn's digital projector

The new digital projector makes life much easier for the Redings, and more enjoyable for those watching.

One of the big recent changes came about because of new technology. 33 mm films are no longer being made by the movie industry, so it was necessary to switch to a digital projector, which was very expensive costing $75,000. But it makes for a much clearer picture on the movie screen and fantastic sound.

Lynn's Marquee

This giant marquee announces two choices of double features each evening.

When driving down SR 250, you can’t miss Lynn Auto Theatre where you see the Mammoth Classic Neon Marquee, which displays the latest family films for summer enjoyment. Admission is very reasonable at $7.00 per adult with $3.00 per child 5-11. Under 5 are free.

In Rich’s opinion, success of the theater depends on two major factors: nice weather and Hollywood producing movies that everyone wants to see. With the new digital projectors, ‘prom posals’ and even wedding proposals are popular items to show on the screen.

Lynn's Menu

Their menu lists reasonable prices.

Right now the theater is only open on the weekends, but what a great trip it would be to revisit the drive-in, get some popcorn from the concession stand, and relax in the comfort of your car while seeing a double feature. You even have a choice of two different double features happening on the same evening.

Lynn Auto Theatre is a great place to spend an evening, and see the stars under the stars.

Lynn Auto Theatre has easy access just north of Strasburg at 9735 SR 250, where State Route 250 and 21 split. 

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Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park Nashville, TN

 

TN Capitol View

View of the Capitol building from Bicentennial State Park

An unexpected abundance of Tennessee history is located in Nashville just outside the Farmers’ Market near Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. This collection of strategically placed monuments appears in the historic French Lick, where Native Americans, trappers and settlers camped in those early days.

In 1997, Tennessee’s Bicentennial Celebration, planners noted that this was the best place to get an unobstructed view of the Tennessee Capitol Building. Then the planning began for preserving the state’s history in this nineteen acre park.

Its 95 Bell Carillon  plays a song of Patsy Cline, a favorite Tennessee daughter. “Crazy” rings out every hour. The bells represent the 95 counties of Tennessee as well as its musical legacy. A 96th bell rings in answer from the Capitol building symbolizing the government answering to the people.

Farmer's Market Granite Wall 2

Granite walls along Pathway of History

The Pathway of History displays 1400′ of granite stones engraved with memorable events and pictures in chronological order so you can easily follow the development of history for the last two centuries in Tennessee. The tall columns to the right indicate the date so you can see the accurate timeline.

TN Lincoln stone

Civil War section of the wall

The wall breaks at the time of the Civil War to show the impact it had on the state.

TN WWII

WWII Memorial to Tennessee military

A World War II Memorial lists Tennessee men and women who lost their lives fighting for our country during WWII. A gigantic 18,000 pound granite ball with a map of the world is supported by the water of the fountain.

TN Centennial Memorial

Centennial Memorial

The Centennial Memorial stands in the center of the park. Beautiful trees stand in its center, surrounded with the words of Governor Bob Taylor when he greeted President McKinley during the 1897 Centennial Exposition.

“Our honored guests shall see today the triumphs of our brain and brawn and the tangible evidence of our activity. And some of them who saw our ruined country thirty years ago will certainly appreciate the fact that we have wrought miracles.”

A large outdoor Tennessee Amphitheater seats 2,000. Keeping with the Greek heritage of the Parthenon nearby, the amphitheater was designed with terraced lawns replicating the theater in Epidaurus.

 

TN Farmers Market

Sliced Tomato metal art outside Farmers’ Market

The Nashville Farmers’ Market is along the edge of Bicentennial Park. This metal sculpture  of a sliced tomato draws everyone’s attention. Here you find a wide variety of popular local dishes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables in season. It’s a great place to visit for some real Tennessee treasures..

TN Pathway of History

Tennessee History Walk

Every state has a story to tell and Tennessee history is certainly being kept alive along this Pathway of History in its capital, Nashville. It’s a great place to stroll through history.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is less than two miles from I-24E in Nashville. Take Exit 47 for 1st Street South, which leads to Jefferson Avenue. After crossing over the beautiful Cumberland River, make a left turn on 6th Street. The park will be on your right. Enjoy a trip through Tennessee History.

Earth Healing Ceremony

Fog over Ohio RiverOn a rainy day at Grand Vue Park near Moundsville, WV, fog hung in the air making the valley below seem mystical. Through the mist you could see the bridge over the Ohio River. A celebration of our connection to the sacredness of earth was the focus of this Earth Healing and Water Blessing Day, but it seemed the rain had already performed the Water Blessing part.

Amanda DeShong and Mick Burk conducted the ceremony in a shelter at the park with help from many of their friends. This was a day of coming together for the healing of the earth and water, by participating in traditions of cultures from around the world.

Andy story teller

Andy Frankel, a multicultural storyteller, captured the group’s attention as everyone gathered around to hear this master narrator tell tales of other cultures and traditions. He told the story of Chief Seattle, who predicted that man’s appetite would devour this land. By request, he told a second story of a Jewish man looking for justice.

Paint Day

Some had just returned from the Festival of Colors at The Temple of Gold located nearby. The Festival of Colors is a family gathering of friendship, re-enacting a pastime of Lord Krishna with his devotees over five thousand years ago.  Bright colored powders are thrown on other participants until they appear to be in technicolor.

Water Purification

A water anointing was performed on the way to the Prayer Circle. Its intention was to generate energy to heal Mother Earth during this time of extreme turmoil and pollution. One young lady brought a bottle of water from Wheeling Creek to be blessed at the ceremony, thus beginning the purification process. She reported that when she poured the water into the creek that evening, the water in that area became clear enough to see the bottom of the stream.

The group then formed a circle around the Medicine Wheel to honor the Seven Directions Prayer. Everyone joined in the directional prayers, which were led by various people in attendance.

Prayer BundlesPrayer bundles were then made for a Despacho Fire Ceremony. A prayer request was written on a small piece of paper and placed inside a small piece of cloth with some special herbs. After praying over the prayer bundle, it was then tossed into the fire so prayers could ascend to the heavens.

Sunshine JonesSunshine Jones led the group in a session of drumming to connect with Spirit. Everyone had the opportunity to use some kind of instrument for participation in the event.

Deer Foot ShakerOne unusual instrument was the foot of a deer topped with a shaker ball, which made a delightful sound…and the foot was easy to grip.

DrummingMuch dancing and singing took place around the fire as people got caught up in the spirit of the afternoon of earth healing. That healing must begin within ourselves, so we can then spread our energy to influence everything we touch.

Druming

This was a great day for meditation and connection with like-minded friends. There was a feeling of peace on the hilltop that is not often found in our busy lives today. Everyone left looking for things to appreciate in the world around them.

 

Granny Rides the Interurban

Imagine what it would’ve been like to take a Gypsy Road Trip a hundred years ago. At that time a modern means of transportation in Guernsey County was the Interurban, a type of electric railway with light, self-propelled, electric cars. Midland Power & Traction provided the electricity from their location  on Foster Avenue at 2nd Street (recent home of Variety Glass) in Cambridge, Ohio.

Just for fun, let’s step on the Guernsey County Interurban and take a little road trip with Granny through Guernsey County on a summer day long ago. She has a special destination for her trip today, but will enjoy all the sights along the way.

All aboard for a ride into the past.

Interurban on 8th St 001

Tickets could be purchased at The Electric Shop across from the courthouse.

Having saved her pennies for weeks now, it’s time to purchase her round trip ticket for a quarter. The Electric Shop on the corner of South 8th Street across from the courthouse is a handy place to get a ticket.

Cambridge Glass Company Baseball Diamond

This aerial shot of the old Cambridge Glass Company shows the baseball diamond, a popular weekend form of entertainment.

At the first stop on the trestle by the Cambridge Glass Company on Morton Avenue, glass workers wait. Many employees use this for their ride home after work, even on a Saturday. Granny notices the baseball teams preparing to enjoy the summer day. Looks like the semi-pro teams of Cambridge Glass Clear Cuts and Byesville Bobcats are ready to “Play Ball”.

Today a stop will be made at the Byesville Driving Park along Chapman Creek. Many depart the train at Stop #7, called Marjorie or Springfield, and walk about a quarter of a mile to the grandstands at the park to watch the horse races.

Korte

Korte’s Park had perhaps the only swimming pool in Ohio back in the early 1900s.

Others get off at Stop #9 and visit the nicest picnic area around at Korte’s Park. This is said to have been the only swimming pool in the state of Ohio, so quite a popular spot during the summer months.

Interurban Car on Byesville Depot Street

The Interurban rolls down Depot Street (now Second Street) in Byesville.

This Saturday afternoon when all the coal miners are shopping in Byesville, the Interurban has to slow down a little because of the miners and their families flooding this main thoroughfare. Coal miners were not welcome to shop in Cambridge, so Byesville was a busy town.

Interurban Rocky Bottom 001

Interurban passes over Rocky Bottom swimming hole, a popular summer hang-out.

Just outside of Byesville at Little Kate, the tracks lead over Wills Creek on a trestle. Granny’s eyes light up as she notices a sign on the cowcatcher that says “Haag Railroad Show”. That sounds like something she would like to see.

As you pass over “Rocky Bottom”, a favorite swimming hole for youngsters, watch out for skinny dippers.  Sometimes they make people laugh, and other times cause embarrassment to those riding the rails. Granny has to cover her eyes!

Trail Run Mine is a busy town with over 1500 residents. You have to be quick as the interurban only stops here for seconds unless there are milk cans, ice, dynamite, or other freight to unload. They must keep on schedule.

Interurban Vacation Bible Class in 1925

Vacation Bible class of Lucasburg and Buckeyeville stops for a picnic at Ball’s Grove.

Up on the hillside, Granny spots families having a picnic under the trees. There is a spring nearby and she has heard that Ball’s Grove (today the northbound I-77 roadside rest) is a perfect place for a family to enjoy relaxing while the children play tag or kick-the-can.

Puritan Mine 001

Miners and mules line up outside Puritan Mine.

As the Interurban stops at Puritan Mine (Seneca Lane), coal miners get on board to head home for the evening. Granny fusses just a little to make sure they don’t get coal dust or grease on her best dress as she has almost reached her destination. The large cars have seats for forty-two, but often two hundred dirty miners will crowd on board, eager to head home for the day.

Interurban at Pleasant City 001

The Interurban can be seen on the other side of the covered bridge leaving Pleasant City to return to Cambridge.

By the time the cars have made it all the way to Pleasant City, the end of the line, there is reduced power for the trip back to Cambridge. Voltage is so low that cars leave at a crawl with their overhead lights no brighter than lightning bugs. Now you can see why they need that new substation on Morton Avenue to provide power to the stations at Pleasant City and Byesville.

Today’s a  special day for Granny as it’s her birthday. Her sisters live in Pleasant City and greet her as she gets off the Interurban. They are amazed that she has come so far all by herself.

Granny is excited to tell them about the Haag Railroad Show that is coming next week. “Maybe we could all go see their trained bears, ponies and blue-faced monkeys. There’s always something exciting happening around Guernsey County these days.”

Wouldn’t it have been an adventure to take a Gypsy Road Trip with Granny on the Interurban?

 

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