Fiesta Salon, Studebaker Museum, Center For History Museum

6/13/13 Thursday at Buchanan, MI (Bear Cave Resort-TT/Mid Atlantic)

Never heard the storm: rain, thunder or lightening. We slept well. Good to know how nicely that air conditioner worked for silencing the storm noises. Plus, no leaks for our front slides. Yay! Our neighbors said that it rained a lot, but not terrible, nor with big winds, so this wasn’t a big rain test. Still, to stay dry in any storm is nice.

I was just starting to work on the blog writing when our neighbor (Bob) came over. We talked until 11 am, then when he left we figured we could still get some activities in if we ate an early lunch. We were able to leave around noon for South Bend. There we headed for another Supercuts. Once again, it was not there, but a Fiesta Salon was. I said they must be a chain too, so lets try it. Sure enough, they are similar to Supercuts. In fact both are owned by Regis, which apparently owns a majority of the franchise salons. Good to know. Unfortunately they don’t share marketing discounts. My hairstylist did a beautiful job and had no problem with my “instructions”. Meanwhile, John had decided he’d let me cut his hair, so he went to fuel the car and bought a comb so I can clip his LONG eyebrows.

Off to the Museums: Studebaker and Center for History. We paid for both ($10/adult), so that means we had 2 days to enjoy them. Our friends from Monaco RV highly recommended them, saying they were better than the RV Museum. I’d agree, for the money this was much more entertaining.

The Studebaker family came from Solingen, Germany.


The family was involved in blacksmithing for generations. Clement built his first Conestoga wagon around 1750. Their early motto was: Give More Than Promised. They were excellent craftsmen, but not such great businessmen, giving credit but not chasing after unpaid bills, so they struggled financially, moving from Hershey, PA, to South Bend, IN eventually. There 2 of Clement’s great grandchildren opened H&C Studebaker blacksmith shop, building farm wagons. Their younger brother, John, made a fortune in California making wheelbarrows and other tools for miners, then invested his fortune in his brothers’ business. In time brothers Peter and Jacob became involved.


By 1858 they were the largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles in the world. This is the 1919 “Izzer” Buggy, the last horse drawn buggy produced by Studebaker.






They entered the automobile business in 1902, introducing an electric car. 1907 Electric Runabout






1911 Electric Coup






IMG_97761912 Flanders “20” (entry level model)







1919 Big Six.People preferred the advantages of gas engines (go farther and faster), so they soon produced a 16 horsepower touring car. These were replaced by 4 and 6 cylinder cars. By 1913 they became the 3rd largest automobile producer, after Ford and Overland. During this time (teens through 20’s) their vehicles had names like Big Six, Special Six, Light Six. After these came the “President” and “Commander models..

IMG_9779 IMG_9767 IMG_9769

1931 Studebaker Six Roadster.. 1932 President St. Regis Brougham and 1933 Speedway President.

When the Depression hit, the current president, Erskine, underestimated its impact and continued to pay out dividends, despite making no profits. The company went into receivership. They had to drop Pierce-Arrow, which they had bought in 1928. They continued to struggle for the rest of their existence, until they closed production in South Bend in 1963, then in Canada in 1966.











1966 Cruiser – the last Studebaker






IMG_9795 1947 Champion Deluxe Station Wagon






IMG_9797 IMG_9780 IMG_9800


1950 Starlight Coupe




1958 Packard Hawk






1963 Avanti

We also studied a small museum exhibit on Notre Dame and Sweets (candy). We plan to see Notre Dame tomorrow, so I’ll include this info then. I’ll share some fun “facts” about Sweets:

“Bacteria will never grow in honey. Because honey has a high concentration of sugar, and high acidity, and because it actually contains a very small amount of naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide, honey is hostile to bacteria growth. Therefore honey will never spoil”. (PS: a church friend gave us 50 year old honey. I haven’t had the nerve to use it yet!). “Ancient Greeks used honey on minor wounds.”

“Honey should not be stored in the refrigerator” (they didn’t say why).

“Chocolate Myths”: “Caffeine in chocolate makes you hyperactive”. “There are small amounts of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate, which are reduced as the cacao is processed. Caffeine content in dark chocolate ranges between 5 and 20 mg/oz and in milk chocolate between 3..6 and 6 mg/oz. The average cup of coffee contains 15 times the amount of caffeine in one ounce of chocolate. One would have to eat 20 Hershey bars to equal the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee.”  (They don’t mention what the sugar in your chocolate will do…)

We thought this place would sell us chocolate, but no, it was just free information. Sigh.

Off to the grocery store next, then home. A quiet night of TV this time.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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