It’s easy to get a bit nervous heading over the U.S. border given the power federal border guards have yet I’m seldom bothered by it. My daughter Angelica however was worried; she had some (totally legal) herbal remedy capsules break open in her purse. She was afraid the Customs officer might look inside and see the white powder remnants gathered on the bottom. As we drove past Niagara Falls she was wildly shaking her empty upside down purse out the car window to amused passers-by.
“You have nothing to feel guilty about,” I said. “But quick, finish eating that pear because this I know – guns are a-okay in the U.S. of A. but absolutely no fruit can be transported across the border!”
Then I reminded her of a previous crossing on our way to the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. When the border guard asked our destination in the U.S. we said,
“The Albright Knox.”
After declaring our Canadian citizenship and showing our ID, he said. “Carry on, enjoy the Olive Garden!”
On The Road To The Hall of Fame
This time crossing the mighty Niagara river we had a few more questions to answer. Being a family with three different last names can sometimes get in the way. You see Jack was dropping us off in Buffalo where Angelica and I were catching a Greyhound to Cleveland; a hassle-free driving experience from my perspective. The border official seemed suspicious asking why Jack wasn’t going with us. Since kidnapping and hostage taking is not in his blood, Jack said, “It’s a mother-daughter thing.”
The guard looked perplexed but waved us on.
We arrived at the Buffalo bus station with time to spare. Not having too much experience with interstate bus travel, I asked the ticket seller for ‘priority seating’ and he laughed. I’m not sure what was so funny, but before I knew it both my girl and I received the student advantage price. A pretty good way to start our trip with smiles all round and a savings of thirty dollars. Thanks, cool dude ticket man for giving a student pass to a fifty year-old woman. You rock.
To my surprise the warm leatherette of the Greyhound was comfortable and clean. Having only slept a few hours the night prior, I was looking forward to some shuteye while we rolled into Ohio, but Buffalo's decaying urban scenery outside the window held my strange sleep-deprived attention.
When the driver announced he was stopping for a driver safety break - soon revealed as a smoke break - I downed a McDonald’s coffee just to seal the deal that there’d be no Zzzz’s for me on this trip. I did however gaze lovingly at my sleeping girl in a purple hoodie beside me jostling along with the rhythm of the road.
I’ll skip the details of the long stretch of the I-90 and its sparse view of leafless, sepia-toned forests under grey February skies because 20 minutes outside of Cleveland, blue sky started to peek through. By the time we hit the south shore of Lake Erie the sun was shining.
When we arrived at the Double Tree we were happy to see a view of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame outside our hotel window. The last time I was there The Rolling Stones' exhibit was not furbished as advertised. So, I was eligible for a complimentary ticket upon my return.
After a short walk Angelica and I got to the Hall.
Me on the way into the Hall.
My girl prefers not to be identified on my blog.
Giant replicas of John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s guitar were sitting in the lobby. And to my surprise not one, but two, free tickets were waiting for us. We took it as a message the Gods were smiling down upon us.
It has taken me almost a week to process our visit to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. I invested mentally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, absorbing the sights and sounds of the Women Who Rock exhibit along with my daughter. Music is a love we both share and our visit is committed to our mutual memory as no were cameras allowed.
Last Spring, Jack and I took a whirlwind trip to Nashville, Tennessee where we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. Driving back through the Ohio Valley we stopped at the Rock 'n' Roll Museum as a finale to our musical journey. This time the museum’s collection was mostly the same as our previous sojourn but Joan Jett’s black Jaguar in the lobby replaced Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche.
Of course, the real difference, was attending with my daughter. Her and I combed the Hall for over six hours viewing the permanent collection and mixed media exhibits. The two top floors housed the first of its kind Women Who Rock show. There were some omissions in the exhibit that stood out to me personally, but then again I’m not the easiest person to please. Overall, it was wonderful.
That night back at the hotel, queen-size beds with fluffy pillows embroidered with the words Sweet Dreams were a welcome treat. My daughter surfed late night TV and I ... fell alseep in seconds.
© Scarlett Sumac 2012