Sunday, June 25, 2017

Missing those sleepy summer afternoons

Source: ODOT

This is my second hometown, Marion, Ohio, on a lazy summer afternoon in the late 1960s.  If you went there today, you would find a six lane roadway, bumper to bumper cars heading to the Wal Mart that now stands on the far side of trees on the left hand side.

Welles (Explore the Wonder World of Welles!) is gone.  Kroger has moved twice and is building a Super Kroger.  The Clark station - as are all Clark Stations - is gone.  And of course, Minnie Pearl's buttermilk battered fried chicken is gone, too.

Back in the mid 1960's we had a bustling downtown and this was the far east side.  But Wal Mart and ODOT, combined with changed shopping habits, moved out town out this way about ten years ago.

Heroine has wounded the rest of the city, with blight spreading, even the streets that I used to bike through aren't as safe as they once were.

We all know about Ying and Yang, how the universe balances itself.  You gain something, you give something up.  You lose something, you find something else.

One of virtues of age is that you gain wisdom that is lost on the young.  One of the curses is that what you remember is gone forever.

Riding in the back seat of the convertible, my mother smoking a Kent, running errands for my grandparents, the relief of being hours away from my insane father - its all gone.  Left behind in a cloud of road dust and smoke.

Excuse me in my melancholy.  It embraces me today.



  1. no problem, cookie. my city and my old neighborhood is not what it once was either; too many high rises and too much crack.

    never saw a minnie pearl's chicken until today, nor a clark station, nor a welles. must be an ohio thing.

  2. This is the history of my life--revisiting quaint old places, only to find them altered and deteriorated beyond recognition. It is especially sad when places that used to be safe are now quite dangerous and covered with graffiti (Euclid Creek Reservation and downtown Painesville are examples that come to mind).

  3. Twice last week, I had long talks with relatives who are pushing 90.

    So much has changed in my lifetime but the changes in their lifetime have been even more profound. Yet we share many of the same memories of the way things were.

    We spoke of what has been lost and what has been gained. We looked at old family photos depicting life before Wal-Mart and 8 lane highways.

    Call us nostalgic. Aside from certain social issues which desperately needed to be changed, the past is a place I love to revisit in my mind and I wish I could go there to visit again, in person.

  4. Gosh I remember that whole strip. Big Bear, Woolworths, Moores, Notional City Bank, the bowling alley. I if Welles was a chain store?

    1. Welles? Yup. Discount store. It operated back home from 1959 to about 1970. Replaced by Kings, then the first Meijers.

  5. oh Marion and it's Popcorn Festival!