Unlike my Grandma Pat, Grandpa Funny Hair was not all about breaking the law on our day trip to the city where he was born. I’m glad he has not read my past blog or he may not have let me drive. One thing was for certain, he was not riding with my Uncle who has a worse reputation for speeding than me.
Grandpa has already survived one heart attack and artery clearing surgery. So I took it pretty easy on the gas pedal and took the time to listen to his stories. After those stories I have concluded that being wild and free is a genetic disorder, but a disorder I’m glad was passed down to me. Thankfully he passed his funny hair genes down to other family members!
No, this has nothing to do with Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Ripley, Ohio is a small town along the Southern border of Ohio next to the Ohio River which borders Kentucky. Grandpa Funny Hair would definitely tell you it is Heaven on Earth.
Ripley was one of the original stops along the Underground Railroad. The John Rankin House sits atop a hill overlooking downtown Ripley and the Ohio River. John Rankin was a local preacher who would allow escaped slaves to hide out at his house on their journey to freedom in Canada. It was very humbling to spend time in the backyard of this house that played such a vital role in America’s history. It is also rumored to be the home, Eliza (character based on a true story), stayed at after crossing the icy Ohio River in the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
During my Grandpa’s childhood, the main economy in Ripley came from tobacco farming. He made $3 a day working on a tobacco farm and paid $0.19 to see a movie at the theater in town. The town is currently in transition of finding more profitable crops to farm as that industry is no longer the profit center it was in the past. Maybe they will be able to consider “wacky tobaccy” (marijuana) in the near future since Ohio has passed a law to allow the medical version in the next couple of years.
I must admit unless you are a history buff or have family from Ripley you are probably thinking there would be no reason for you to visit this small town. However, if you are ever within a two hour drive of it there is one thing you must go here to try…Marshmallow Cokes from Rockin’ Robin’s Soda Shoppe!
McDonald’s fat straws and fancy soda dispensary cannot hold a candle to a Marshmallow Coke from Rockin’ Robin’s Soda Shoppe. In fact, that commercial about “The place where coca-cola tastes so good” is in my opinion false advertisement or should be linked to this soda shop instead. I am not sure if Rockin’ Robin’s actually uses Coca-Cola branded syrup in their old fashioned soda system, but nothing beats an old fashioned soda poured on crushed iced and topped with marshmallow fluffiness!