Once again my thought that you can see the neatest stuff while traveling back roads at 12 mph on a bike was reinforced today. While peddeling though aisles of tall corn in the middle of no where I came across this gem near Monon Indiana. It is a museum restaurant dedicated to authentic railroad stuff, featuringthe Monon line. There is a railroad track running thru the nearby town of Monon --I am not sure how far north it goes but it runs all the way to Louisville ky to the south and it is called the Monon Line.
Check out this place http://www.mononconnection.com/
This place just appears out of no where and is fascinating. There are many original signals and flashing lights all of which are in working order (controlled by garage door openers) and demos happen all the time for visitors.
I immediately thought of that scene in the movie Hoosiers when big mouthed George tries to help Norman Dale the new coach run the team, and this very memorable exchange takes place:
Coach Norman Dale: First of all, let's be real friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Secondly, your coaching days are over.
George: Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.
Coach Norman Dale: Translate. That some sort of threat?
George: I don't know why Cletus drug your tired old bones in here, he musta owed you somethin' fierce. Fact is, mister, you start screwin' up this team, I'll personally hide-strap your ass to a pine rail and send you up the Monon Line! [George angrily turns and storms out of the gym]
Coach Norman Dale: Leave the ball, will you, George?
Holy mother of pearl !! And here I was at the Monon Line museum--where the train would have gone if Big mouther George had actually hide strapped Norman Dale to a pine rail......how cool is that. It was goose bump time for this cowboy.
btw--also in this pic is a maintenance man fixing a light in one of the working signals that are all over the place.He is in the background on the ladder.
There is so much stuff here it is tough to photograph it all and give a clear picture of what it looks like in person. I would suggest to anyone that it is worth the trip here to check out the stuff and also the food looked good in the restaurant.
There was big stuff as well as regular sized stuff. http://www.mononconnection.com/
I had to look up the guy responsible and fortunatly he was there working on a display. What a nice man and after 10 seconds after we started talking I ncould tell this man has a passion for this deal--he is a more cowbell kind of guy. http://www.mononconnection.com/
His name is Dale ward and we hit it off right away when the first thing I said to him was "let me guess, you were never allowed to play with trains when you were a kid" and he said "Now how in the hell would you know that?" and the conversation went from there. We jabbered like a couple of jay birds--me asking questions and Dale providing details. He told me the history of many of the display pieces and it was all very interesting.
I could still be there jabbering except Dale's cool wife Anne drug him away for a meeting or something. I really admire folks who love what they are doing and want to share that passion with others.
I really felt good riding away from this surprise and intend to get back there again as soon as possible.