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Part 2 - My Fourth of July Vacation: A ride through the Midwest during that patriotic time of year. (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)

Continued from Page 3

American flags decorate a Madison garden

Madison home flying the American flag

A Madison maternity boutique with a great name

Looking north on Madison's Main Street

A gift shop named "The Attic" on Main Street

Mansion along the banks of the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana

Leaving Madison, Indiana, I crossed the bridge that spanned the Ohio River into Milton, Kentucky and traveled north back up the other side of the river until I reached Interstate 71 which carried me through downtown Cincinnati.

Before heading further north to Pennsylvania, I stopped off in Lebanon, Ohio and stayed a night at the Golden Lamb, the oldest hotel in the state. It has been the host to such notables as Charles Dickens, John Quincy Adams and the current President George W. Bush as of 2004. I stayed in the Ulysses S. Grant suit, a modest but comfortable room on the second floor.

Seeing that the night was still young, I decided to take in a movie which happened to be the sci-fi remake The War of the Worlds. Now, folks, I don't know if it's just me but I find actor Tom Cruise, the most lack-luster actor in the business. He has limited range and has a hard time projecting emotion. He comes from the Keanu Reeves school of acting, where cool takes the place of real acting skills. All through the film, I kept hoping the aliens would kill Cruise off. I even found myself shouting "He's over there!" so that one of the Martians could terminate him and I could terminate my time at the theater.

As for the movie, director Spielberg hired a lot of talented artists and special effects people. They should be given most of the credit for this film. Overall, it was very predictable and nothing to write home about.

Disenchanted with my movie experience, I returned to the hotel and began to climb the stairs to the second floor so that I could settled into my bed and drift off to dreamland. As I took my first step upstairs, my eyes latched onto a beautiful blond hotel clerk who wore a smart black dress with small white dots. Striking up a conversation, I mentioned my movie experience and we started to discuss War of the Worlds and my dislike of Mr. Cruise. She agreed with me that he is not the brightest bulb in Hollywood. Satisfied that I wasn't the only one who thought him over-paid and under-talented, I happily went to bed.

Continued >


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