As fall turns to winter and all things holiday abound, I place my destination towards the east coast. I know, you are asking why there when winter is just around the corner. When you have a flag with a picture of crab and the words Maryland flying off of your car antenna, it’s a hint that Monsieur is on the move. Interstate 70 is like an artery that leads to the heart, as it leads to Baltimore without detour. You may hit a few toll bridges, but the ability to gas up, grab a bite and merge back on the interstate is the best.
I wave at the St. Louis Gateway Arch as I swoop past, a signal that I’m leaving my midwest roots. The drive to Effingham leads me to silliness as I sing, “on Terre Haute, on Indy and Dayton and Columbus. Now I’m giddy with excitement because I’m about to visit my favorite antique store in the state. The Heart of Ohio Antique Center located on exit 62 at I-70 and U.S. 40 in Springfield, Ohio. This 116,000 sq. ft. building houses the most wonderful antiques and collectibles, from furniture, toys to what-nots. A facility this size is very well-managed. Each hall has a staff member with a huge jailers key ring for the locked showcases that are in the middle of each room. The booths on the left or right of the halls are open, organized and a treat for the eyes. Let me give you a few tips; eat before you begin, have a list or some idea of what you are looking for and give yourself plenty of time.
The Heart of Ohio Antique Center is not for the faint of heart so consider yourself forewarned and have fun. My searches are always for broadcasting microphones, collectible movie posters and advertising signs of the 1930’s to the 1950’s. I have to admit to getting lost and wandering around the booths. After an hour or two, I merge into the I-70 East traffic towards Wheeling. After a night of deep sleep, the Element and I continue our trek early in the morning, pushing the limits of 70-75 miles an hour. After a few cuts, dips and construction blocks, I finally made it to Baltimore, MD in the late afternoon. Now the fun begins.