I stared at the wheel flaps of the semi-trailer ahead, while my audio book that had already helped pass three hours time, was beginning to loose my attention. Route 90 offers limited entertainment between Cleveland and Albany, aside, or course, from that thrilling, little jaunt through Buffalo.
But, keep an eye on the road signs and nested between the rest stops and McDonalds is LeRoy. LeRoy is not ordinary town because LeRoy is the birthplace of Jell-O. It was when I saw the advertisement for the museum, I knew I had to stop and witness first-hand this place dedicated to the fruity flavors, vibrant colors, that bouncy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency, and Bill Cosby.
I followed the country road, gleefully straying from my originally planned course. What is highway travel unless you take time to enjoy the occasional oddities along the way? A town whose claim to fame is founded in transforming boiled horse hooves into an American dessert sensation is worth an hour’s interruption.
Plus, I may have reveled my fascination with gelatin in embarrassing detail in the past. I have an inexplicable fondness for the stuff. In my book, it is the epitome fun food. Bouncy, edible, versatile (mix it with apples and call it salad!), and in my opinion, rather delicious.
I parked the car along the street of the quaint country town of LeRoy, searching for signs that might lead me to the museum. I was pointed toward a sunny, flower-lined, brick path and quaint porch, on which sat a Jell-O bedazzled, plastic cow (the first of many thrills I would find at the Jell-O Museum).
The one-room museum (plus gift shop), offered friendly, guided tours. Both the museum and the tours were surprisingly full of people and I found it encouraging to know that there are other people who take time in their day to stop and smile at things. The gray-haired, Jell-O apron wearing tour guide provided some history of Jell-O’s founder and pointed out the ironically, elegant oil-paintings of Jell-o molds, once used to create color newspaper advertisements. After the tour, to the back of the museum, there was a television screen where one could sit and enjoy a constant loop of Bill Cosby television commercials. It was everything I had hoped for and more.
After making my walk through the museum and then snagging up a couple goodies from the gift shop (a few necessary souvenirs like Jell-O pot-holders and post-cards), I continued on road, feeling a little cheerier knowing that in the town called LeRoy there exists a museum built to celebrate the history of that giggly stuff known as Jell-O.