An Unexpected Surprise

Rooster and I found ourselves in the middle of a lousy adventure until we stumbled onto an unexpected surprise in Columbus, Indiana.#Columbus #Indiana #BBQ #Blues #Brew #Cadillac Scott

An Unexpected Surprise

Rooster and I were experiencing one of those rare occasions when we couldn’t find an interesting place to explore. The entire expedition was turning into a waste of time and energy. This is an odd occurrence for us. We can find at least one thing to capture our imagination even in the mundane. But sometimes you encounter an unexpected surprise.

A sense of wonder is a habit we’ve cultivated over the years. On this particular excursion, there was nothing to gain by searching any further. We both thought the trip was an adventure disaster. It might have been the rainy weather, or maybe rooster and I got up on the wrong side of the bed. It seemed like nothing could redeem the lackluster day.

Columbus, Indiana

We called the adventure due to a lack of enthusiasm and started the drive toward home. Columbus, Indiana was a few miles ahead of us on the highway. A mutual decision was made to hunt down an interesting coffee shop where we could get some work done. Imagine our surprise when we noticed road barricades as we approached the downtown area of the city.

There was evidence of vendors, and the commotion of a crowd in the street up ahead. We decided it would be worth our time to investigate. The second I climbed out of the Sunshine Mobile; the sound of acoustic blues filled my ears. The aroma of open-pit barbeque reached my nose as we strolled toward what looked like a festive block party in the middle of the street. Columbus is famous for its architecture, but who could have imagined they had a vibrant music scene?


The Columbus BBQ, Blues, and Brew event became an unexpected surprise

Rooster and I had stumbled on Columbus’ annual BBQ Blues and Brew event. Local barbecue pit masters lined the street hocking their version of grilled meat.  We moved through the crowd until we found a seat under an umbrella located outside a pizza parlor. We had an excellent view of the stage where a man was playing an assortment of blues songs on an acoustic guitar.

Who is Cadillac Scott?

The harmonica he played added emphasis to the blues he was singing. We sipped on a soft drink and listened to the bluesman finish his set. The umbrella overhead gave us protection from the sun. We didn’t catch his name because we came late to the party, but someone in the audience said they thought he was Cadillac Scott. Whoever he was, he knew how to play the blues.



Zaharako’s Ice Cream Parlor and Museum

I glanced to my left and was surprised to see Zaharako’s Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. This discovery became my second unexpected surprise of the day. I’d read about this Columbus icon when I was scrolling through attractions for us to visit on our adventures in the Hoosier state. Greek immigrant George Zaharako established the ice cream parlor in 1900.

The ice cream shop is a must-see destination when you visit the city of Columbus. I wanted to explore the interesting store, but Rooster wanted to stay in the shade and wait for the music to start. I walked through the door and felt like I’d stepped into the past. The décor was a nostalgic rendition of the early 1900s from the wooden serving counter, which spanned the front half of the room, all the way down to the tables, chairs, and glass sundae dishes.

The most amazing piece of history I encountered was the mechanical music machines. They had various instruments trapped inside these antique machines playing songs that sounded like what you’d hear on a pipe organ in the late 1800s to early 1900s. I was amazed at all the relics from the past displayed in this ice cream shop. The music was about to start outside on the street.

I want to come back

Therefore, I opted not to stand in line for ice cream because I didn’t find out about the museum upstairs until after we left Columbus. Rooster and I will have to make a return trip to Zaharako’s someday. It will give us the adventure to look forward to in the future. What can go wrong with ice cream and antique stuff?


Listening to the Bigger is Better Band

The Bigger is Better Band was the next act on stage. They put on a rousing show. They showed up with the normal blues ensemble, and they added a girl singer and a horn section. I loved their rendition of Sweet Home Chicago.

The words, “Come on, oh baby, don’t you wanna go Come on oh baby, don’t you wanna go. Back to that same old place Sweet home Chicago,” echoed through downtown Columbus. It sounded to me like a future adventure suggestion. This band had a powerful sound. They reminded me of Big Brother and the Holding Company from my Janis Joplin phase.

Rooster and I hung out under the umbrella in the shade, enjoying the music and the day. The staff at the pizzeria where we were sitting were very hospitable.

Time to go home

They came outside to give us refills on our drinks numerous times while we were sitting at the table. We listened to the Bigger is Better Band until Rooster said, “We need to get going if we want to get around Indianapolis at a decent hour. They have road construction on 465.” I knew he was right. We’re in the middle of the construction season here in the Hoosier state. There are times you can wait on the freeway for a couple of hours when it narrows to one lane.


The day was an unexpected surprise

Rooster and I managed to maneuver around the cone zone. We made it home in time to relax in front of the TV before we went to bed. (Our routine normally consists of Rooster watching television while I read. He likes it that way. He has his pick of the programs with that arrangement.) As it turned out, the day wasn’t a total waste. The BBQ Blues and Brew sponsored by German Bank turned into an adventure we will fondly remember.

Sometimes life works out that way. It sends you an adventure you didn’t go out looking for to let you know there are journeys worth taking once you step outside your door. It also proved to me you can’t manufacture a great experience. Sometimes the best adventures happen when you stumble onto them by accident. I hope Rooster and I have many more of these unexpected encounters in the future.  It is always nice when life gifts you with an unexpected surprise.



Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!




Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

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