Tag Archives: Road Trip

The 2018 Not Now Silly Road Trip

Approximate route, subject to change

As longtime readers know, several times a year we take the mobile Not Now Silly Newsroom into the field, where we meet some of our … err … longtime readers.

These road trips began several years ago under the rubric of Sunrise To Canton Road Trip for Research, with the destination being Canton Township, Michigan to learn whatever I could about a very bad man.

Ahh! Simpler times.

Read previous Road Trip adventures HERE.

This year’s road trip will take me to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the place I truly consider my home town. The Not Now Silly mobile newsroom will traverse north along the easterly leg of the trip (see map at left), leaving on the 11th of August. After a week in Toronto, I’ll be returning along the western leg of the trip starting on the 19th of August.

Now, you can take part!!!

If you’ve ever wanted to meet the people (me!) behind the Not Now Silly Newsroom, here’s how you can get involved:

If you are somewhat near one of those blue lines on the map at left, let me know of your interest. Depending on already locked in itinerary, how far away you are from those blue lines, and whether there’s a Starbucks near you (almost kidding), we can meet as I make my way up or down the Unites States. Send me a Private Message and your basic details, like city or town. I’ll see whether I can fit it onto my map above.


Since I cannot visit everyone I want to see while I’m there, I will — as I have done on previous visits — be throwing myself a homecoming, so you can come to visit me. Join me, my family, and my friends on August 15th at:

40 Kensington Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Once again the Not Now Silly Newsroom is on the move.

A Hurricane Refugee Unpacks ► Unpacking The Writer

Apologies to my faithful readers. I know the Not Now Silly Newsroom has been idle lately. To start I’ve needed to Lyft to keep up with my bills. Then along comes Hurricane Irma, which I fled before she ever arrived.

I lived through Hurricane Wilma, which was a Cat 2. Irma was a monster which, at one point, was a Cat 5 and headed straight for the condo. I decided that I didn’t want to see a 5. I had my hurricane fun during Wilma. So I fucked off, in the vernacular.

Drove to the Detroit area, where I have family and friends. Shared driving and expenses with a fellow I’ve known as a facefriend for several years, but we’ve never met before. I packed Marley up, picked Steve up in Boca Raton, and we headed north where we had adventures on the roads. This includes 18 hours trying to get out of Florida in bumper-to-bumper traffic with gas availability troubles. But, we got to Michigan eventually.

This is what they do when Rest Areas have no power. Welcome to the New World Order.

These ROAD TRIP stories go into the pipeline, if I ever get to them.

Click to read about previous Road Trips.

Definitely in the pipeline is a new Pastoral Letter, for those that enjoy that series.

I had been banging away at one in a desultory fashion before I left. However, on this trip to Michigan I took another drive to Ann Arbor. This time I had the honour to watch Pastor Ken Pastorize his flock at Blue Ocean Faith.

That was followed by lunch with several of Ken’s parishioners, one of whom I may have made hate me. That’s a story I will definitely write about. Stay tuned.

Then I convinced Ken to visit the old neighbourhood in Detroit, some of which I posted on the LIVE facebookery. [Trying to figure out how to post those here.] All of this time spent with my oldest friend in the world not only focused my thoughts on the next Pastoral Letter, but has also given me insight on many of the other topics the Not Now Silly Newsroom tends to commission from me. So, look for some of that sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, here’s Pastor Ken Wilson giving me a Shout Out and then going on to talk about his struggle in finding his place within Jesus Christ. I’ve probably described it wrong, but I found it fascinating. Your mileage may vary.

10 Sep 2017—Blue Ocean Faith Ann Arbor Celebration
from Blue Ocean Faith Ann Arbor on Vimeo.

ALSO: I think I’ve figured out a way to go back to writing about Miami politics. Therefore, consider my recusal a partial recusal. I just have to find the exact right wording. So, you can also look for that.

Taking Marley on a Road Trip was an experience. I’ve never traveled with a cat before and Marley has never spent much time in a car before. I hope The Traveling Cat is a post I can eventually get around to. Suffice to say for now: Marley did wonderfully in the car for all those hours. She got to the point where she wandered around the car at will, including on my lap and under my feet, while I was driving. Ahem.

A shameless plug for my other traveling companion:

Steve Dibert is a Mortgage Fraud Investigator.

Altho’ we’ve been facefriends for several years, we had never met. After almost 50 hours together in a car, we’re tight now and he knows enough to blackmail me. He tolerated Marley, even tho’ he’s allergic. He tolerated all my stupid stories. He tolerated all of my tunes without complaint, including — and especially — the hours and hours of Frank Zappa. [No exaggeration. Not only did we hear nearly 8 hours of Frank Zappa, but I explained everything I knew about every one of the songs.] And, after all of that, he didn’t kill me.

If you need some mortgage fraud investigation, give MFI Miami a try.

I went to a great Drum Circle at this place [pic to the right]. It’s the 2nd time I’ve been there over the years, and I will write a little bit about it eventually. I want to compare it to Drum Circles I know.

While in Michigan (as I always do) I talked to marijuana enthusiasts and learned more about the Michigan MMJ laws. This will eventually be published as a long-form article, but I’ve been adding to my knowledge and connections for years.

As well, I made a business connection on this trip which could put me on ground floor of a start-up [tangentially] in that field. You’ll be the first to know when I can announce that. However, I don’t want to be on the ground floor. I want to be on the elevator to the penthouse. Rub your lucky rabbit foot.

There’s more in the pipeline, but here’s the bottom line, literally: 10 days away from my Lyfting — and the gas money and other associated expenses of running away — has really put a hurt on my bank account. I’ll try to post a few quick one-offs in the coming week, but I’m really going to have to hunker down behind the wheel of the Grey Ghost and grind out the Lyfts. If I can drive to Michigan and back, this should be a cinch.

See you on the flip flop.

A Magnificent Morning in Morgantown

Two years ago the Not Now Silly Newsroom featured a Special Travelogue during The 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research. After I published A Tribute to Don Knotts ► Morgantown’s Favourite Son, the search for Don Knotts‘ roots has became an annual tradition of my yearly Road Trips.

Through necessity The 4th Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research was hastily planned. At first it appeared as if there would be no Road Trip this year, but fate intervened to make it happen. With just a few days notice I contacted all the usual suspects, loaded up the car, cranked up the tunes, and headed for the open road.

This year’s Road Trip was my most ambitious. It would take me from Sunrise to Hamilton and Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Then I would swing through Detroit, which inevitably leads to Canton Township, not to mention Ann Arbor for another visit with Pastor Kenny. Then would come Elyria and Columbus, both in Ohio, before making my way back to Sunrise. However, my first official stop would be Morgantown, West Virginia, to visit with one of my anonymous sources.

I had already been motoring north, with a carefully planned itinerary that left nothing to chance, when I recieved an IM from my source for all Knotts Knews. I was still a day from Morgantown. My my host wrote: 

“If you can manage to stay in Morgantown a few hours Saturday, the Don Knotts statue is being dedicated at 10 am.”

To which I replied, “YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!”

A picture of the maquette taken 2 years ago with
the crack in the leg (under the elbow) clearly visible

In that post of 2 years ago I exposed how some unthinking tourist broke the maquette of Don Knotts at the Morgantown Visitors Center. Amazingly I said this back then:

This maquette is to become a larger-than-life statue of Don Knotts to be erected on the waterfront. Morgantown is hoping to create a whole day of it, whenever it is, with a dedication and unveiling. An entire weekend of Don Knotts Days might include parades, picnics, band concerts, beauty pageants, culminating in a massive fireworks display. I sure hope I’m invited to the event I just created in my head.

Now, amazingly, synchronicity had worked to make my invitation happen. 

I checked out the weather report and learned it would be hot and humid in Morgantown. The northeast had just entered another record-breaking heat spell.

I cranked up the tunes even louder and stepped on the gas, arriving early enough on Friday to take a gander at where the unveiling would happen.

In front of the Metropolitan Theatre: The brass star with the Don
Knotts statue all wrapped up waiting to be sprung on the world.

While I had been told the statue would have a place of honour at the waterfront, either I had been misinformed or there had been a change of plans in the intervening 2 years.

When I arrived in Morgantown the Don Knotts statue was all wrapped up in a blue tarp on Main Street, directly in front of the window at the Metropolitan Theatre. It’s just a few feet away from the brass star featured in the Not Now Silly Newsroom Follow-up, last year’s Don Knotts Is Back ► A Morgantown Update.

To be perfectly honest, I thought the front of the Met to be a far more appropriate location for Knotts’ statue. After all, this is where he got his start in the Professional Show Business with his ventriliquist dummy named Danny “Hooch” Matador.

Having scoped out the location, I retired for the night, filled with dreams of how Morgantown would honour its favourite son:

The parade would start at the waterfront with the Morgantown High School Brass Band leading the procession. It would wind its way past all those places important to Don Knotts, from his childhood home to where he bought his chewing gum. Baton twirlers launch their instruments high into the air, the sun glinting off the chrome as they spin higher and higher and, just before they are lost in the glare of the sun, drop back into the twirlers hands in perfect synchronization. Vintage cars of all descriptions separate the marching soldiers from the motorcycle police, with sirens blaring. And, bringing up the rear, a giant float with a 20 piece Steel Drum band. [It’s my fantasy and I love Steel Drum music.] As the entire shebang winds its way up Main Street, patriotic bunting flaps in the lazy breeze, while the sidewalks are jam-packed with people all holding up a single bullet.

The reality was much more prosaic.

Because downtown Morgantown is a maze of one way streets, it would have been difficult to close Main Street entirely, so only half the street was closed down. That meant that all during the ceremony there were cars passing behind us, some with loud music drowning out the speakers.

I remarked to my friend that this felt like Mayberry all growed up.

There was a cozy, small town, Mayberry feel to the whole festivities. Local raconteur Larry Nelson was Master of Ceremonies, keeping the crowd assembled on the blacktop in the swealtering 95 degree heat entertained as a delay kept Karen Knotts, Don’s daughter, from arriving on time. Mayor Marti Shamberger was there to pay tribute and give us a capsule biography of Knotts. John Pyles, one of his oldest friends and the man who led the fundraising to get the statue made, told stories of Don Knotts’ many visits back to Morgantown to decompress away from the Hollywood scene. Karen Knotts continued along that same theme, telling the assembled crowd about how much Morgantown meant to her father and what an important touchstone the town was to the family during visits.

Then sculptor Jamie Lester, who graciously granted me a few words before the festivities began, spoke abut how humbled he was to have been chosen to honour Knotts in this way and why the statue is not a representation of Barney Fife, the character he’s best remembered for. While he holds Barney Fife’s Deputy Sheriff cap, the statue is meant to represent the entire man.

Which led to the inevitable unveiling of the statue:

After the ceremony Karen Knotts performed her acclaimed one woman play “Tied Up In Knotts” — on the same stage that her father had once trod inside the Metropolitan Theatre — about growing up with a famous father.

Sadly, I couldn’t stay for Karen Knotts’ performance. Under my original plan I was to have left for Hamilton, Ontario at the break of dawn. I was already a half day behind schedule with a whole lot of road, not to mention a border crossing, still ahead of me.

However, as I drove towards the Peace Bridge I couldn’t help but sing this song:

The 4th Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research

Hey kidz. The Not Now Silly Newsroom is on the move again and will be (almost) live-blogging the entire experience as I go. Just like the last 3 times.

This trip to Canton Township, Michigan, will be by way of Morgantown, West Virginia, to reacquaint myself with the roots of Don Knotts; Toronto, where I have much family and many friends; Detroit, to check up on my family there and see how they’re taking care of Pops; and then Elyria, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; and Centerville, a real nice place to raise your kids up.

But, we all know it’s really Canton Township, Michigan that has captured my heart. Oh, sure, people make fun of it because it’s only a township. But, it has a population of 90,173. That doesn’t seem like much, but that makes it the second largest township in all of Michigan. And, the 11th largest community in the state.




As the WikiWackyWoo is only too happy to reveal:

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 90,173 people, 32,771 households, and 24,231 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,121.5 per square mile (819.0/km²). There were 34,829 housing units at an average density of 789.8 per square mile (304.9/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 72.2% White, 10.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 14.1% Asian (8.0% Indian, 2.2% Chinese, 0.7% Filipino), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population. 

Which explains a lot. For history buffs, the Wiki also reveals:

The Township of Canton was created by act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1834 out of a southern portion of Plymouth Township. It was named in honor of the port and provincial capital known historically as Canton, Imperial China, which in 1918 was renamed Guangzhou (Chinese: 廣州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu) — now the capital and largest city of Guangdong province, People’s Republic of China.


Those damn Commies!

Meanwhile, watch for my updates from the road starting on the 21st.

Kicking 2015 to the Curb ► The Ultimate Throwback Thursday

As we all look forward to a New Year, some highlights before all the sand runs out of this one:


Maybe I was just asking for trouble, but I began 2015 by . . .

While I thought these crazy cyber-bullies were finally vanquished, just recently “Angie Simmoril” — who hides behind a wall of complete anonymity — popped up again to promise big doings on the Aurelius Project for the beginning of 2016. While I had almost forgotten The Flying Monkey Squad existed, this is simply more proof that an obsessed crazy person never really goes away — unless they die, which is really what I thought had happened with Grayhammy.

Watch this space.


I wrote so many stories about Coconut Grove this year, but most of them were about the Coconut Grove Playhouse and its surrounding parking lots. That meant I spent a lot of time in parking lots this year, and the year before, while I did research in the field, as it were:

When I agreed to drive a car at this year’s King Mango Strut, little
did I know it would be the one with Ken Russell doing yo-yo tricks


My campaign to SAVE THE E.W.F. STIRRUP HOUSE not only led to all those stories on the Coconut Grove Playhouse — which is catercorner to it — but also got me deeper then ever into District 2 politics. That led to a series of stories about [allegedly] corrupt Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff, which naturally led to that time When Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff Lied To My Face.

When the term-limited Sarnoff put up his wife Teresa to run in his place for District 2 Commissioner, I started following the election closely. My first foray in covering the candidates didn’t go so well. Jammed For Time tells the story of getting thrown out of the Grace Solaris campaign kickoff. That didn’t auger well for the rest of the Commissioner race. As far as I knew the rest of the field would treat me similarly. Luckily, none of them did. All were gracious about answering questions and posing for pictures. That provided a number of stories, the best of which are:

Interview With District 2’s Ken Russell

During the race several of the candidates agreed to talk to me, allowed me to accompany them on door knocks, let me sit in on private meetings and phone calls, and gave me some very interesting inside skinny on the donation process. All of this was done on an OFF THE RECORD basis, to be embargoed until after the election. I’m still processing my notes and recordings to see what kind of story I can get out of it.
To be continued.


As much of a political junkie as I am, I’ve been mainlining what’s been going on in the presidential race. While I’ve not written specifically about Donald J. Trump, I have created a number of memes currently whizzing around the innertubes. Collect ’em all. Trade ’em with your friends.

However, I have covered the joke that is some of the rest of the current GOP field, and some previous races:


Late last year I reconnected with my childhood friend Kenneth John Wilson. Ken, who is an evangelical pastor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has written a very important book on LGBT acceptance in the church. I started following his extraordinary story and began a series of Pastoral Letters to him. Occasionally he replies, but I am writing then more to understand my mind than his.

I’ve started another Pastoral Letter, but it will be a while before I get all my thoughts in order.


I began my research into Coconut Grove years ago at the E.W.F. Stirrup House. While there’s not been that much to write about on that issue over the last year — because almost nothing has changed — that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten all about Gino Falsetto, the rapacious developer who got his grimy hands on the historic structure:

I’m also prepping a new story on the E.W.F. Stirrup House.  It’s almost half written. Stay tuned. Watch this space. Coming to a browser near you.

This year I also bonded with Fox’s Campaign Carl Cameron


My fascination/revulsion with the Fox “News” Channel continues, which is how I picked up Johnny Dollar as an enemy in the first place. No matter. For the last year I’ve written a Friday Fox Follies for PoliticusUSA website, continued to run Fox Follies and Fallacies, over at the facebookery. However . . .

. . . sums up my attitude whenever I encounter a Fox “News” spouting parrot.


This year I took 2 marathon road trips, both more than 3,000 miles from door to door. These are just some of the posts these road trips generated:


Before the road trips I stopped aggregating the Headlines Du Jour. It took several hours 3 days a week and it was a trap, without any achival value. When I got back from the road trips I began two brand new series. Launching Throwback Thursday with The Westerfield Journals was one and Monday Musical Appreciation the other. I’m quite proud of both of these series. In both these series I am highlight some of the lesser-known history-makers.


One of the things I’ve been accused of over the years is name-dropping. I plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the internet. What’s the penalty? Izzit just a fine or jail time?

No matter. Exhibit A and B as evidence against me this year:

Those are just some of the highlights from the last year. No one knows what 2016 will hold for the Not Now Silly Newsroom, but I’ll be writing it from Toronto. More specifically, Kensington Market. It felt so good in September, I’m going to do it all over again. To that end, I’ve launched a Go Fund Me to help defray my moving expenses. It’s amazing how much stuff I’ve accumulated in the last decade. Help me get back to Toronto:


Don Knotts Is Back ► A Morgantown Update

The Don Knott’s Memorial is back in its place
of honour in front of the Metrpolitan Theatre.

Avid readers of my Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research series will remember 2014’s Travelogue, A Tribute to Don Knotts ► Morgantown’s Favourite Son. I am happy to be able to provide a NNS Update.

Morgantown has been on my Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research itinerary for the past 3 years. On my 1st visit, way back in 2013, I was delighted to discover a wonderful brass plaque embedded in the sidewalk in front of the historic Metropolitan Theatre, honouring Don Knotts. The Met was where Knotts got his start in Show Biz as one half of a ventriliquist act. His dummy, Danny “Hooch” Matador, was the other half.

Last year’s shocking sight

Last year, when the Not Now Silly Newsroom sent me on the Don Knotts Memorial Nostalgia Tour, I knew I needed an updated picture of the Knotts star. I was shocked — shocked, I tells ya — to discover it missing. I went inside and demanded to know where the Don Knotts tribute had gone. The ticket takers knew nothing, so I spoke to the manager. He was not sure where the star had gone, but he sent me up the street to the Morgantown Visitors’ Center.

While no one there really knew the whereabouts of Don Knotts’ Memorial plaque, my visit was fortuitously timed. The front of the Visitors’ Center was dedicated to a large, biographical, shoestring display honouring Morgantown’s favourite son. That report is documented in A Tribute to Don Knotts ► Morgantown’s Favourite Son, so there’s no needed to repeat it here.

Maybe it was last year’s Not Now Silly Investigative Report — or maybe it had just been returned on schedule after it had been repaired — but I am delighted to report that the Don Knotts Memorial Star is back in its place of honour in front of the Metropolitan Theatre.

I’ll be returning to Morgantown next month, possibly twice, on the Sunrise to Hamilton Road Trip for Nuptials. Not Now Silly will use the time to investigate what’s new in the world of Don Knotts.

Announcing A Road Trip To Canada

Fans of my research road trips have a brand new reason to celebrate. The fun’s not over just yet. The next marathon road trip is called The Sunrise To Hamilton Road Trip for Nuptials. 

A dear friend in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is getting married and I will be standing up for him, tuxedo and all.

Because this will be the first time I’ve been back to Canada in a decade, I’ll be spending a few extra days in Toronto visiting 2/3rds of my children.

I have also been in contact with my dear friend Barbette Kensington, who is helping me throw a public get-together at Lola, 40 Kensington Avenue, Toronto, on September 16th. Click HERE to R.S.V.P.

There’s an outside possibility that I’ll have to go to Canton Township again to interview someone who wasn’t available in July. We’ll see how that gowes as it goes, but that’s why it’s on the Google Map at left. Otherwise, it’ll be the same route coming and going.

Because of the topography and the vagaries of the Eisenhower Highways System, it looks like I will be passing directly through Morgantown, West Virgina, once again. By the time I’m done, the people I know in that berg will be sick of me.

There won’t be any time on this trip to make arrangements to visit people along the route. However, don’t forget the get-together on September 16th in Toronto’s Kensington Market.

Sunrise to Canton Road Trip Report #1

A road trip of 3,000 miles starts with the first coffee at my local.

Apologies to the regular readers of the Not Now Silly Newsroom for no updates. It’s been a hectic trip so far.

I left on the 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research 8 days ago and I’ve not checked in here, tho’ my facebook profile’s been full of it.

The northern leg of the trip was not without its challenges. The first problem I encountered was a leak somewhere in the air conditioning drainage system. While the A/C worked fine, the passenger side of the Buick POS started to fill up with water. The carpeting was soaked and I decided to run without the air in order to let it dry. But, it was hot. Real hot. Hot enough that I had to turn on the air again.

The next problem was all on me. I somehow miscalculated things and arrived a day early in Ohio. I called my friend — who was part of the 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research — that I was supposed to meet in Centerville (“A real nice place to raise your kids up.”) to tell her I was 2 hours away. Considering she wasn’t expecting me until Thursday, she was quite surprised. Luckily her schedule was flexible and we met at an Asian restaurant for lunch.

However, that meant I was still a day ahead of schedule and my next visit in Columbus couldn’t happen until Thursday afternoon, just because. Considering I had already driven some 1,200 miles and 20 hours, kipping in the car for 4 hours in northern Georgia, I was totally bagged and needed to sleep. So, I found an inexpensive Days Inn in Dayton to spend the night.

Funny story: Because the car also has a security issue I decided I had to take everything into my room. It took 3 trips and it was very hot. When it was done I fell on the bed exhausted and took off my shoes and put my feet into a giant wet spot on the carpet immediately beneath the air conditioner. This was the exact same problem I was having in the car.

The view from my room. Look, there’s Pop’s Diner!

They were great about giving me a new room, but the new room was on the other side of the building AND on the 2nd floor. So, I loaded up the car, drove to the other side of the building, and lugged all my crap up to the second floor. By the time I was finished I just went to bed, even tho’ it was only about 6PM. I was spent.

The next day I met up with a friend in Columbus, Ohio, I’ve known online for many years and who was a stop on the original Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. Only a family emergency kept us from meeting again last year.

Then, Detroit the following day. I’ve been doing some deep research on a number of topics. I have been given entree to a world that few people get to see from the inside. This will become a long Not Now Silly Investigative Report, which I’ve already started writing. Hopefully, I can finish it before I get home, but you never know.

Additionally, I’ve been researching the National Shrine of the Little Flower, which will be my next post, and the Viola Liuzzo Playground and Homestead for another article. I’ve already been in touch with her daughter Mary and hope to get a phone interview with her while I’m here.

Tonight I’m going to a Drum Circle in Detroit at the corner of 7 Mile Road and Woodward. I can’t even imagine something like his happening right there. Just this week:

[I]n Detroit, a task force of federal, state and local police agencies
executed a dozen search warrants and made two arrests along a two-mile
stretch of Woodward and nearby streets, from McNichols north to 8 Mile,
Detroit police said. The agents targeted homes, a gas station and other
sites where police said suburban heroin buyers had been driving up to
buy heroin almost as easily as making a run for coffee.

A drum circle right in the middle of that? I’m so there!!!

Unpacking the Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research

Panorama of the 8 Mile Wall, behind the houses on Birwood in Dcetroit, Michigan

The 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research was full of surprises. Surprises are the delight of a loosely planned 3,000 mile drive. All told I figure I drove some 65 hours, with a week in the Canton Township, Michigan, area in the middle. Sunrise to Canton Township alone is about 24 hours of straight driving. Most of my various hosts gave me a driving tour of their town, with me driving, adding another 12 hours to the overall trip.

What I learned on this trip, but really should have learned last year: There is no adequate and reliable way to update Not Now Silly from my Windows Phone. Next year I’m going to make sure I have a laptop, making updates much easier. As it is I only managed to post a three “A Note From The Road” posts. Either I had trouble with connectivity or I was surrounded by people, which wasn’t conducive to spending time posting. Here are the very few I managed to post:

A Note From The Road #1
A Note From The Road #2
A Note From The Road #3

A former nightclub in Steubenville, Ohio, once owned by The Mob.
Dean Martin had no choice but to perform here early in his career.

Aside from all my research in Canton Township, Michigan, I have enough other material to power several future Not Now Silly posts. These include, but are not limited to, the 8 Mile Wall; Morgantown‘s favourite son, Don Knotts; Ruin Porn, Gilchrist Street, and Coffee Jr. High School; Medical Marijuana in Michigan; highway driving in ‘Merka; and other sundry writings as I get to them.

Driving 3,000+ miles in ‘Merka is always an interesting and eye-opening experience. One thing I learned last year, but which was reinforced this year, is that every family has family drama. I heard of several this year, all unprompted, just like last year.

I took more than 1,200 pictures on the 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research and not all of them in Canton Township, Michigan. I have already posted several photo albums on my facebookery:

The saddest part of the 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research was to see my old neighbourhood. Every year when I visit I notice the Detroit blight has grown since the previous year. In recent years it has crept into my old neighbourhood, nibbling around the edges. Now it has infected dozens and dozens of houses in just the square mile bounded by 7 Mile, 8 Mile and Greenfield and Southfield on the east and west. This includes Coffey Jr. High School, where I went along with all my sibs. Coffey has been closed and the scrappers have already trashed the building.

I joined the rank of scrappers when I stole a number of architectural glass blocks and distributed them among my sisters as mementos of their youth. My experiences in my old neighbourhood will be a Not Now Silly Newsroom Investigative Report. Coming soon.

BONUS: I left Sunrise with 2 books: the one I was reading and the one I would read next. I returned with 13 more than I left with because so many people gave me books on my travels. My friends really have me pegged and know what I like.

Finally, I would like to thank all my hosts.The joy of these road trips is being able to meet friends and readers along the road. Without these stops, it would be a long and boring drive. Without these stops I wouldn’t see towns and cities I normally would drive right past. Without these stops I wouldn’t get personally guided tours. A huge thanks to each and every one of you. I hope to see you on the 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research, already in the planning stages.

Here’s the latest look at the little house I used to live in:

Here’s the latest listen to The Little House I Used To Live In:

The 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research



Last year’s Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research was such a rousing success, that I am doing it all over again in 2014. However, this year I’m adding a week to the festivities and YOU’RE ALL INVITED!!!

Fun fact: Canton is a township, not a town
Official Wesbite
Wikipedia Entry
Canton Weather
Public Safety Office
Public Library

Observer and Eccentric – Canton
Plymouth-Canton Patch
Canton Videos
Canton at ClickOn Detroit

Things to do in Canton
Attractions near Canton
IKEA Canton

Canton Township
Cornerstones: A History of
Canton Township Families

Seven Fatality Christmas Tree Fire
Encyclopedia of Invasive Species: From
Africanized Honey Bees to Zebra Mussels

Leaving Home to Find Home


HERE’S HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: I will be leaving Sunrise, Florida on the 13th of July and heading north to Michigan. While in the Wolverine State I will be conducting some research, collecting more documents, exploring the 8 Mile Wall, and gathering further historical context for Farce Au Pain.
Naturally I’ll be traveling up and down the I-95 and/or I-75 corridors. If you live somewhere not too far off those beaten tracks — and want the full Aunty Em experience — then get in touch with me privately. We’ll exchange info and I’ll add you to my itinerary.
DON’T BE SHY: Maybe you live too far from those highways, but still want to meet. Why not suggest a halfway point somewhere along the road? We can see if that’s doable. Speak up. Now’s your chance. I’m open to suggestions.
A FUNTASTIC OFFER TO ALL MY MICHIGAN FRIENDS: Just as I did last year, I will be setting up a “Meet & Greet” for all of us to get together. It will probably take place at a coffee shop to be named later. However, I’m open to other suggestions for a Michigan Meet Up because I know my Michigan friends know some incredible places.
NB: I’ll be putting together my intinerary between now and just before I leave on July 13th. However, it won’t get ‘locked in’ until the day before I leave. If you can handle that uncertainty, you’re the kind of people I want to meet.
MAY 28 UPDATE: There are already 5 separate stops booked on the 2014 Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. So far the trip totals 3050 miles, for a total driving time of 5 days, 6 hours and 4 minutes, give or take a rest stop, or two.

MAY 30 UPDATE: Not Now Silly has added 1 more definite stop — and one possible — on the 2014 Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. Amazingly, this adds only 27 miles to the road trip because they are so close to the highway. Confirmed stops on the Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Researchinclude: Bonita Springs, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Miamisburg, OH; Columbus, OH; Canton, MI; Elyria, OH; and Morgantown, WV; with Cleveland, OH as the possible.

I’ve also recalculated the driving time. That was based on 8 hour days. I tend to drive until I drop, so I’ve asked the computer program (Microsoft Streets & Trips) to calculate the trip based on 11 hour days, which is more realistic. That puts my driving time at 4 days, 2 hours, and 9 minutes.


Read: Not Now Silly and/or Road Trips