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August 12, 2015

Wapakoneta and Greenville, Ohio


Wapakoneta (Wapak) may be best known as the birthplace of Neil Armstrong, but it is a niece’s wedding that brought us here this trip.  We arrived at the Wapakoneta KOA the day before the wedding to see updates made to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum and catch up with the relatives since our last visit.
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This KOA is one of the best of the bunch, well maintained and friendly, each site has it’s own fire ring – unheard of in CA.  Our site (#49) backed up to a soy bean field, which was great for a few practice balls in the morning and a view of the sunset in the evening.  The field was loaded with fireflies, but my camera was not capable of capturing them.
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The Air and Space Museum is a great attempt by a small town to hang onto its claim to fame.  But many of the original Apollo 11 artifacts were claimed by NASA and the Smithsonian and Wapak just can’t afford to compete. 

The newspaper articles are all original, as is a suit that Neil wore while in training.  But the moon rock alone is worth the price of admission.
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I’ll not post pictures of the wedding, but will make an unsolicited plug for SoSerene as a venue for a nice gathering.  It’s about 10 miles east from town in the quiet of the farm lands, ample parking in a ‘so serene’ setting.
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Taking the back roads we wanted to visit the Airstream factory.  After arriving learned that the tours are only offered on weekdays.  Big facility, but nothing to see on a weekend.
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The 127 world’s longest yard sale was going on.  One weekend a year all along highway 127 from Hudson Michigan to Gadsden Alabama tents are at most every church and farm.  Might stop at a few next time, but we decided to follow Annie Oakley and found her to be more interesting than we would have found the Airstream factory tour or the items under the tents.
The Annie Oakley gravesite is off 127 at Brock Cemetery north of Greenville, just 2 miles from the family farm.  The cemetery is a small spot in the mist of a large cornfield.
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The Garst Museum in Greenville hosts the National Annie Oakley Center.  Containing a huge display of original memorabilia.  This has to be one of the best collections preserved in one space I’ve had the opportunity to visit.
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The Garst is just a few steps from the Maid-Rite Drive-In.  The place was packed, cars lined up down the street for the drive-thru.  We walked over to see what the fuss was about.  The menu is simple – a loose-meat sandwich with the option of adding cheese.
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delicious …. and another local institution.
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