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US 20 Journey 2010
Day 6 - May 18
Left North East the next morning with a bounce in my step, even though it was lightly raining. The pleasure of last night's reading carried over. A nice, small historic town I hope to return to again.
Before leaving town I put air in the front driver's side tire. I had noticed it seemed a little low and Mac Nelson mentioned it as I was leaving from his place yesterday. I'll need to keep an eye on it.
Vineyard country continues. In Harbor Creek I noticed how the vineyards border on the backyards of houses. That was the case in other places too.
A strange, interesting, possibly sad sight between Harbor Creek and Wesleyville. This is just beyond a Walmart intersection. No explanation, but my first thought was that it is a roadside memorial for children who maybe died in car accidents here. I didn't ask anybody, nobody was around, and I'm not sure if I could easily find out now.
A few other signs there reminded me it was primary day in PA.
(As I write, I know that Specter lost. Another incumbent, sort of, gone.)
20 here is known as Buffalo Road.
In Wesleyville, a Corvette shop! I wonder how many of these are around? As I drove by, the Marilyn Monroe image grabbed my eye.
As I entered Erie I remembered that 20 goes through the neighborhoods of Erie and never really gets into the center of the city. As I turned a corner in a plaza, on the right was an Erie County Farms store. The name intrigued me so I had to check it out. As I approached, there was a crowd of people waiting to get in. The store was just opening, maybe 10:05 AM. Strange opening time.
Inside, I realized it was a different kind of store than I had ever seen before. At first I thought it was similar to a Save-A-Lot, one of those discount supermarkets. But I soon realized it wasn't quite like that. There were very little dry groceries, cans, bottle, boxes. The store consisted mostly of fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat. The amazing thing was it wasn't just the regular basic items. The variety was amazing, carrying many vegetables and fruits that one would find in a gourmet shop. The cheese shop was extensive too, though I couldn't see much of it because of the crowd of people waiting to be served. I didn't look at the meat section, but it too was immense. The second thing that was even more amazing was the prices! 89 cents for a bunch of broccoli. $1.99 for 3 lbs of New York State Apples! I wish there was a store like this somewhere near home.
After this I stopped at the Erie Times News for an interview about my journey. They are planning to run it in the Sunday paper. I'm not sure if it will be online or not. If so, I'll post a link to it.
Stopped at the Erie cemetery and took a picture of the Harry Burleigh stone. The son of slaves, he was an influential arranger and composer, especially of spirituals. I hadn't heard of him before. The reporter at the paper told me about him. I'll have to delve into his music sometime. More info.
Art and politics outside of the Girard Borough Offices. These statues reminded me of a controversy in Elmira, NY (not far from where I live) earlier this year when there was some objection to a sculpture from Italy that was going to be installed in a park and there was objection to a partially nude female etched on the side of the urn. At first they were going to cover over the "offending" image to protect the children of the community, but reason finally prevailed. I wonder if there's ever been such a controversy here in Girard? I would think so. Glad they haven't "altered" these works of art.
Out of business. Reminded me of the Typewriter shop I took a pic of in West Springfield, MA. That place was still in business though.
Perry Nuclear Power Plant, just north of US 20. This surprised me. I missed it on the 1996 journey. Whenever I see nuke stacks I think of how I was driving near Harrisburg on the way to North Carolina when Three Mile Island accident occurred. I didn't know about it till afterwards and gave the area wide berth on my trip back home a few days later.
The Morley Library in Painesville, OH. Upon entering it I just wanted to move in and live there. Built five years ago, it had a wonderfully bright, spacious and comfortable feeling.
Had dinner at the Rider Inn with Krista and Laura from the Morley Library along with their husbands, Ed and Mark. This Inn dates back to 1810! It was moved to this location in 1812. As we ate, I had Lake Erie Walleye - delicious, I couldn't help but think of all the journeyers who stopped at this inn on their way to the western frontier. People on horseback, in covered wagons, many probably heading out into the vast unknown, maybe a little apprehensive of what might be in store for them.
US 20 is an amazing pathway of American history. It was, long before becoming 20, the way west in this part of the country. That west was always changing too, always expanding further west. Western NY, Ohio, Mississippi River, Missouri, the plains, mountains.
Gave a reading at the library. Again, a great turnout, 32 people, and very enthusiastic. Sold quite a lot of books and met some wonderful people. Again, I hope I can return sometime. I felt as though some of the people I became acquainted with could easily turn into friends.
Stayed at the Bank Street B&B for the night. But more on that tomorrow.