#142j Wooster: Before It's too Late

Fleeter Log #142j
Wooster:  Before It's Too Late

Day 12 - Thursday
June 18, 2009
187 miles

Tiffin, OH to North Lima, OH
Entire trip here on Spotwalla

Can a mural kill birds? If it is realistic enough, it might. Eric Grohe did such a good job on the mural in downtown Bucyrus, Ohio that a few birds have been reported to have died when trying to fly under the archway into the enticing blue skies beyond.

Some folks might put their old classic motorcycle in a museum and some might leave their old love forgotten in the shed or out behind the garage, but someone in Bucyrus had a different idea.

Before leaving Bucyrus, I spent some quiet time in the local cemetery.

Leaving Bucyrus east bound on the Old Lincoln Highway (US30), I started seeing signs for Wooster. This made me wax nostalgic. I've never been to Wooster, but once upon a time I knew someone from Wooster. Mary Elizabeth Leppla was friends with Grandma Elizabeth (my friend Lisa's grandmother). Both Elizabeths were retired school teachers, widowed, and loved to travel. I met them over 17 years ago on one of their many trips to Texas. Grandma Elizabeth has since passed on a few years back. After her passing, I haven't heard any updates from Wooster. After leaving Bucyrus, I called my friend in Texas to inquire if Mary Elizabeth was still living. As far as she knew, "Yes." And so I stopped by a local library and looked up the Wooster address and phone number for Mary Elizabeth. I got back on the road and thought about what to do with the information. Should I stop? It's been many, many years? How is Mary Elizabeth's health? Mental state? Will she even remember me?

About an hour out of Wooster, I pulled over and found a quiet side road to make a phone call. "Hello, Mary Elizabeth? It's Claye. Claye ... from Texas ... Lisa's friend. Lisa ... Elizabeth's granddaughter ... in Austin, Texas. My name? Claye ... from Texas."  Not real sure if she really figured out who I was, but I offered to pick up lunch for both us and come by to see her. She's now 92 years old, still living alone in her house, but gave her car up a while back. Since taking us out to lunch on the GS isn't really an option, I decide to pickup something for eating lunch in. 

Mary Elizabeth greeted me at the door. She may even have dressed for company, but knowing Mary Elizabeth, I bet she gets up everyday and dresses for the day whether or not she's expecting company or going out herself. We enjoyed our lunch and reminisced about some of her trips to Texas. I offered to make a trip to the store if she needed anything in the house, but she said she was fine. After a couple hours it was time to say goodbye. I wished her well and continued eastward on The Lincoln Highway.

P.S.  Mary Elizabeth passed away four months after my visit. I'm glad I made my stop in Wooster when I had the chance. obit

I made an early stop for the evening in North Lima, Ohio. I stopped here because I've stopped here before and was impressed with the motel -- nice location, layout, and price. I especially like the courtyard layout. You enter the closed courtyard through the drive through pavilion at the front office. Supper was at Steamers Restaurant next door.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs


  1. Really cool trompe l'oeil mural! Was there anything in particular that took you through Bucyrus, or was it just along your route?

  2. Just along one of my very circuitous routes. So often I can't really explain why I end up on one road over another or how I choose which towns to route through. Even when I purposely plot a route, the smallest thing (or weather) can alter my route midstream.

    If you make it to Bucyrus, check out the painted window just to the left of the arch scene. The window has people hanging out looking down on the courtyard. Very realistic--you almost think they are going to call out to the people below.

  3. Nice story about Mary Elizabeth. Nice people do things like that.
    I noticed you routed through, or near, Massilon, Oh. You may not know it but that is one of the truly famous high school football programs in America. They take it as serious there as some of our places in Texas. And that's pretty serious, as you know.
    Make you a deal: you keep Fleetering, and I'll keep loving it.

  4. Saw your post on Mary Elizabeth Leppla. I thought you might like to know some of her family pictures are being sold on E-bay, Item Number 360296704742. I collect old photographs and was researching these pictures when I came across this blog. Seems it would be better for these pictures to go to someone who knew her.

  5. Thanks, Bonnie. I will check them out. I appreciate you taking time to leave the message.