Sunday, March 16, 2008

Welcome to Base Camp

The calm before the storm. The buildings are all ready and even though they are inert objects I can feel their excitement. They are ready. They can not sleep either. All is quiet now, the lights have come on, the crowds are gone the workers have tucked them into bed. They rest. Waiting for their day of glory.

WARNING - even today parking is an issue - everything is closed for many blocks and security is ultra tight.

I woke up and within 5 minutes Diane asks if I have the blog up.


With my mom and my brother the architect from ILL in tow we make the small run to downtown only to see that security has been stepped up 10 fold. No longer are crowds allowed to wander aimlessly and no one is allowed to cross the streets. In fact getting from point A on one side to point B on the other side involves a three block trek.

What do we see? We see a lot of big name Construction coordinators and other important people . . . . . . hanging out. I get the feeling they are waiting for something.

Nancy Osterhaus our Mayor waves Hi! and walks into the middle of the street talking to someone and we wait.

After a while the family is getting cold and we walk a little more and decide to eat at the Apple Tree for lunch.

It's pretty busy but they have great pie and pretty darn good burgers.

Security is going to very VERY tight. I talk to one burly guy and he said he had orders to move the barricades a few feet every hour.

Of course Michal Mann see's I'm leaving so he decides it is time to come into town (at least I like to THINK that is how it all went down). MM walks all around taking photos and is doing a final walk through. Construction is finished (The Unions will not allow work on Sundays).

Only the middle of the street is cobblestone but I'm told the sides will be covered with snow.

I'm gone but Outdoor Jennifer who sadly is flying overseas sent a few photos of what SHE saw. Thanks OJ.

And the last photo is courtesy of the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen. Not sure if it was printed but it somehow got in my email.

For me? I am fearing my time is nearing an end with valuable information. The big boys at The Daily Citizen are getting the good stuff at the moment.

My schedule will be totally blown out of the water when it comes to blogging and I'm not sure when the next one will come as we are staying MUCH closer to the action tonight. I have a story for The Isthmus Monday to go along with my previous story from last Friday. Anything I say there I can not say here.

For the next 24 hours (about) I will be in or ultra near what Adam Boor the location scout calls "Base Camp".

One tiny bit of information - if you hear a helicopter and it's NOT med flight . . . .. I wonder WHO it could be ??????

For me - I don't intend on fading into the woodwork.

One thing that this has done is that it has allowed people to visit Columbus and actually LOOK at the buildings. To be perfectly honest I never had. I believe one of the problems is that when you were going through Columbus you were driving and watching traffic, not looking at brick buildings.

This opportunity is letting people relax and look. Something most Americans do not do. They see but do not LOOK.

Hopefully I will be involved with the Columbus Historic Landmarks and Preservation group and one of the things in discussion is a coffee table style book about Columbus with history and photos of which I would be involved with.

OF COURSE - I would have to blog or write SOMETHING about this adventure in some fashion.

That is all I have today.

Keep checking back but I can not guarantee anything from here on in. it's not that I will be absent - just not sure whet the future holds for internet connection and timing and so forth.

Feel free to use the comment section as a forum. I have made many friends here and I expect to have some sort of wrap party/blog of sorts at the very least!

Rod Melotte


  1. Good morning Base Camp! Helicopter you say!! hmmm Thanks for all that you've done to keep the rest of us clued in on the lastest. I'm thinking you may have more info coming in...I'm sure not gone yet. ;)

  2. Thanks! I'll keep an eye out for you and the other "cub reporters".

    Here is a link to channel 3's quest to "Find Johnny Depp." I thought you might enjoy this and maybe know a few people.

    Have a great day everyone!

  3. Rachel--that was a great video!! LOL Thanks for the link!!

  4. Nice video - thanks - Karen - Even if I get nothing I'm sure there is a story involved!

  5. I heard about the helicopters yesterday, too. Exciting! Thanks Rod, I've only been reading for a few days but I'm glad to find you. Maybe I'll see you up there as well. I'll be wandering around with my zoom lens at the ready!

  6. Rod it sounds so exciting and that night time pic of the street is lovely. What a wonderful blog and makes us Californians feel like we're with you in the midwest---at least in spirit. It looks rather cold there---any ideas on weather for tomorrow?

  7. Rod, I will be looking forward to your copyrighted info at TDP, where I have been a longtime "foron" although I mostly lurk.

    I've really enjoyed your daily posts here. The kid and I had a lovely walk downtown on Friday afternoon, right after school let out. I was actually surprised that the crowd was quite light-- and on such a gorgeous day too! I'm sure the numbers increased later in the afternoon, and on Saturday as well. I took some photos of signage and the work on the street, but as I am not at home this weekend I haven't had a chance to view them yet. Tonight!

    Like you, downtown Columbus was a place I'd mostly driven through. Twice daily during the school year (plus to the pool in summer!) for many years. I'd been afoot, mostly to the library, and have taken many walks in town when my kid had a scout meeting or something. I remember admiring the downtown area many years ago, when Hwy. 151 ran straight through on its way to Madison. This film will take the preservation of and appreciation for Columbus' architectural history to another level entirely! The future looks bright. Can't wait for the book, Mr. Author!

    Enjoy your Sunday. Tomorrow's weather forecast looks... interesting...


  8. OK, here comes reality! It really is happening, and I can't contain the excitement. As I was driving back into town this afternoon, I saw bright yellow signs with "P.E." on them. The is signage with arrows directing crew and trucks to either the Basecamp and the middle school for parking the trucks. I could hardly sleep last night, and I know tonight I will be just as excited. I don't even care if I see an actor - this excitement is DEFINITELY better than taking a leak.

  9. Nice blog, Rod. Just found your link. I'm keeping up too since my street will be closed for some shooting. We saw the bus last week scoping out our neighborhood and could only hope. The notice in the door this morning confirms what we were hoping would happen!

    How exciting! If I see you around, I will definitely say hello. I'm wondering if staying home is my best option though! I love my historic home in Columbus.

    Are they waking us up at 4am? LOL

  10. The calm before the storm. The buildings are all ready and even though they are inert objects I can feel their excitement. They are ready. They can not sleep either. All is quiet now, the lights have come on, the crowds are gone the workers have tucked them into bed. They rest. Waiting for their day of glory.
    Thanks, the above which you wrote was beautiful and actually teared me up! For a moment when I read this, I was part of the excitement. Thanks for doing a great job of including eveyone in your town's truly extraordinay experience.