We got lucky today. The water heater got repaired and we were on the road by about noon. It was only a pressure relief valve. They couldn’t work on the generator because the 2 bays allocated for generator work are under renovation. Hot water is more important than a working generator right now because I can get a shower.
We also added a few more roadside attractions. The Barber Shop in a Caboose, a big cow, a double Decker London bus along US 36 and Madonna of the Trails in Richmond on US 40.. Since it was late when we started, we couldn’t travel as far as we had planned so we stopped in Richmond, IN at the KOA. Sue and I stopped here in 2012 on our Time for Work, Time for Play and Time for Service Tour and discovered that our bedroom window had shattered because of the heat. We even went swimming in the pool. I passed through Richmond in 2011 on the Triangle Tour where I saw a giant chair at an antique gallery and remarked that it looked like a great place to come back a visit on another trip. We didn’t spend any time in town in 2012, so today we unhooked the Fit and drove into town to see what we could see.
Since it was about dinner time, we decided to eat at the Firehouse BBQ and Blues. Two local firefighters teamed up to open the restaurant in Richmond’s Historic Depot District in early 2012. It took them two years. As you can tell by the name it was Richmond’s first fire station back in the 1800’s and the owners tried to keep original architecture intact. The dining room sits where horses were once stabled to pull fire trucks. There are some interesting murals inside and one on the exterior side of the building. It along with a couple of others appear so lifelike, you might actually think you are looking at photographs. The food was pretty good. I had the “Sparky Hog” – a sausage stuffed with pulled pork, cheese, onions, and sauce on a bun. Sue had brisket. We got apple crisp with ice cream to take home.
Around the corner is a tiny restaurant billed as Richmond's oldest diner, Paulee’s Restaurant. When I passed through in 2011 it was closed because it was Sunday. The owner was a lifelong Richmond resident and Pearl Harbor survivor. Paul Brittenham opened Paulee’s back in 1948 several years after returning home from the service. He worked at the diner until he was 89. He died in November 2011, just after I passed through town the first time. It had been kept open until recently by a long term employee. The diner has only 10 seats. Mr. Brittenham discouraged loitering so he could "turn over" the tables. He would often tell customers to “eat and get out!” His loyal patrons didn’t mind, and the combination of good food and fair prices kept them coming back. Since the original was closed, they’ve opened a small section of the Firehouse BBQ and Blues in tribute to Paulee’s. It only has 10 seats at a counter and on the counter are some of Paulee’s famous sayings meant to move customers along. I’m not sure if the old place will open again.
In addition to the murals around the old firehouse, there are various jazz and recording based murals around town. Beginning in 1997, Richmond began to commemorate its jazz heritage with the completion of the murals. I think you can see the mural of Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael on the picture of Paulee's Restaurant. Some of the others are in the picture collage I posted.