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Photo Quiz; Renaissance Unity; “Isn’t That Interesting”; Text Stop; St. Johnsville, NY

Okay, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a photo quiz, so here’s a new one. I liked the architecture here, and took this photo as we were passing through town. Name the building (somewhere in the Midwest, possibly in Indiana or Michigan), and its location, and you win!

After departing Indianapolis, we headed up to Michigan. Suzanne’s next engagement was in the Detroit area, specifically Warren, Michigan, at Renaissance Unity, one of the largest Unity churches in the USA. Here she is, in front of the electronic display inside the church, the day before the screening of Messages of Hope, the documentary about her transition from naval officer to evidential medium…

We met Renaissance Unity’s Minister, Jim Lee, and His Lovely Bride Lisa, who is Director of Education at RU. Lisa had been instrumental in bringing Suzanne to Detroit, since their first meeting at the Awaken World Film Festival in Santa Barbara. Jim is also a veteran, having served in the Air Force (but we didn’t hold that against him). 

The documentary screening and Suzanne’s Making the Connection talk were both very well attended and received, thanks in large part to Rev. Jim Lee’s enthusiastic introduction of Suzanne at both Sunday services and to Lisa’s planned expansion of spiritual and afterlife-related topics for the congregation.

From Detroit, we headed for New York. We saved 150 miles of driving by crossing into Canada from Michigan instead of driving south and east through Ohio. The only extra costs were having to Fedex some Mace and bear repellant to our destination campground in Vermont (it isn’t allowed in pacifist/socialist Canada), and some frustration in watching the coach’s door smacked into a steel pylon by a numbskull Border and Customs Enforcement Agent at the US entry point in New York. How did this happen? He decided to inspect the coach (which I fully support, considering the threat to the Homeland that exists today), but he apparently forgot to consider that our entry door would smash against the structure where he was standing and stepping up into our coach. (Yes, it was an “Isn’t That Interesting” moment!)

We had another one of those “Isn’t That Interesting” moments on the Interstate in New York this week. I normally check tire pressures, engine oil, transmission fluid, and engine coolant every day or two, but had neglected to check engine coolant level closely enough (since coolant temps were in the “green”, or normal, range, for several days. Imagine my surprise when I got a dashboard alert of “Low coolant level” while driving at 65 mph on I-90. Temps were all normal, but the engine started losing power, as the electronic controls evidently were programmed to shut the engine down “just in case”. Fortunately, there was enough room on the shoulder to pull over, get out one of my three jugs of spare coolant, and top off the reservoir. But it was a bit unnerving to do that minor task with semis hurtling by a few feet away at 70 mph… as we say in the Navy, it was “a learning opportunity”.

Shortly after that experience, we looked for a rest stop to change drivers. As we pulled off the Interstate, this sign re-naming the “rest stop” reminded us of the new generation of drivers with distractions other than billboards and scenery… 

We spent our first night in New York at Four Mile Creek State Park on Lake Ontario, a beautiful, quiet state park. The next morning, we continued east, arriving in a waterside city park and campground on the Mohawk River, in the small village of St. Johnsville, late in the day. It looked to be another delightful spot, but appearances can be deceiving… 

We were not warned by the staff or other campground residents that nightfall brings constant rail traffic on the tracks 50 yards behind our campsite. From 2200 (10 PM) until we departed at 1000 the next morning, trains roared past every 20 minutes, blowing their whistles!!! It was one of the worst night’s sleep ever, and even My Lovely Bride (whose father was an AMTRAK engineer) complained; we were bleary-eyed and tired when we got up, vowing we would never again camp that near a train track… This was the up close and personal view of a passing train when I walked Rudy and Gretchen the next morning behind our coach. 

Evidently the lack of train traffic from our arrival in the late afternoon until bedtime was due to ongoing rail maintenance down the line. While Suzanne was giving a reading the next morning, I went for a walk across an overpass above the tracks and observed these 40 or so maintenance guys getting a briefing before starting work. The supervisor was calling out info, and his subordinates were all writing in small notebooks. It looked a bit surreal… 

The rail crews were about to embark on their duties aboard this line of rail repair cars.


I would have liked to have gone out for a few hours on one of these cool rail repair cars to watch their work, but our time was limited…

But I did have time to walk about town for 45 minutes and take in the architecture of a New York country village. Some buildings were charming, some neat and well-maintained, and others were… well… you be the judge…




  • Anonymous
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I'll pass on the name this building since I've been in it a few hundred times.
    But it is a beautiful structure.

  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Dale, Okay, I knew that YOU would get it, but I doubt that many other readers will have been there. It is a lovely building. I have always liked country town squares and county courthouses…


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