Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sights and Sounds :: April Ghouls Monster-Rama :: Day 2 :: Instinct. Memory. Importance. That's Why We Came Here.

And so, day two of our adventure begins with a traditional trip to Vandergrift's Yakkity-Yak diner...

Where the staff is friendly, though quick with the barbs (sorry about that, Sean, I'm pretty sure they have a pill for that now...), and the artery-detonating food is to die for. (Especially those sloppy fries suspended in meat sauce.)

Thus, with stomachs satiated, we left Vandergrift and navigated our way into Monroeville for a trip to the mall...

Where, you all remember, George Romero shot this back in 1978:

___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___
"What are they doing? Why do they come here?"
"Some kind of instinct. Memories of what they used to do."
"This was an important place in their lives."
___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___

Alas, with all the extensive remodeling and the recent move by the JC Penney's to another location (-- though we did get to ride the store's escalator on a previous visit that has since been parted out and sold off as souvenirs), the only surviving and recognizable landmark in the mall is the Koi Pond and plastic garden:

Video courtesy of YoursTruly.

However, the main reason for this excursion was to hit the Monroeville Zombies Museum, which had been closed the last time we visited:

The museum was interactive, too, with several video stations set up, one covering the making of Dawn of the Dead the other Night of the Living Dead, which I sat down and watched for a bit to listen to Marilyn Eastman and Karl Hardman reminisce:

 Video courtesy of YoursTruly.

One of things that always amazes me and warms my heart is how even though he played one of the greatest cinematic assholes to ever grace the screen, in reality, from everything I've read and heard, Hardman was one of the sweetest guys on the planet ... Anyways, speaking of interactive, for some reason, and not that I'm complaining, the Zombie Museum also had a nine hole mini-golf course -- and so, as they say, when in Zombieville...

It should also be mentioned that two more of our usual crew, Scott and Jessica, met up with us here. And while Jessica stayed on the sidelines to watch the resultant carnage, Scott played the part of impartial observer as Tim (who, being the logistics king, brought his own putter), Sean, Mike and I stormed the course and made fools of ourselves. Long story short, Tim won, Mike and I tied for second, and Sean cheated to finish last because he wouldn't play his errant shots from where they landed well off the greens. (Also, a big shout of thanks to Jess for letting me use some of her photos for this document of the highly-addled-but-not-quite-dead.)

At some point, I believe it was around Hole 4, as I searched for my own errant tee-shot, someone pointed out the light fixtures were also salvaged as souvenirs from some earlier remodeling efforts:

After turning in our putters, we all adjoined to the food court to catch up for awhile. And after hitting a toy store liquidation sale, we split up to head back to the motel to regroup before heading to the Drive-In.

And as we all wave goodbye to the Monroeville Mall, I'm sad to report that after the very weekend we visited it was announced the Monroeville Zombie Museum would be closing again -- and it sounds like it's for good this time. Sad news, but, for once, our timing didn't suck and we actually got to see and experience it. As for the rest of our tale, stay tuned, Boils and Ghouls, as our recap of the April Ghouls Monster-Rama will continue in a later post.

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