Our first full day back in the Eastern Time zone began with about a two-hour drive from Toledo to Kent, Ohio. The ride on our newest temporary bus was almost silent, as some of us watched the Northern Ohio landscape fly by, while others slept. After arriving at Kent State University, we had a brief time to go through the new May 4th Visitor’s Center. The small center included information about before, during, and after the shootings that took place there, on the campus of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. After watching a short film about the events that took place on that day, we went outside to begin our tour of the campus.
Billy has always told us how important he thinks it is “to be where history happened” and “talk to history.” It was amazing to do this today, as we were led around campus by Mr. Alan Canfora. Mr. Canfora was one of the 9 students injured during the Kent State shootings. As he described the events that took place during the first four days of May in 1970, I was taken aback by some of the details of the shootings that I previously did not know. Mr. Canfora took us to the victory bell, the Kent State commons, parking lot, and a couple of different fields, all of which are very significant to the story of what happened there. It was incredible to look where the famous picture of him waving a black flag was taken and put myself there.
Afterwards, we ate sandwiches on this famous field before getting back on the bus to drive to Cleveland.
Our one and only stop in Cleveland was to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. After our numerous discussions about Rock and Roll in the South, I was extremely excited to visit this museum! We began looking through the museum after watching a short movie about the beginnings of rock and roll. I particularly loved the exhibits and learning about the lives of influential artists I enjoy, such as Buddy Holly, the Beatles, and the Grateful Dead. Additionally, there was a special exhibition about outdoor music festivals that really opened my eyes to music festival culture. My favorite part about the museum was the signature wall. It was breathtaking to see the signatures of numerous amazing artists and bands such as Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, and Madonna.
After the museum, we went to dinner at a Cleveland institution: Melt Bar and Grilled. Being a restaurant dedicated to one of my favorite foods, grilled cheese, this was definitely one of the best dinners in my opinion!
It was a great day in the Midwest, but now we make our way back to the East Coast as we hit New York City tomorrow!