Wednesday, August 05, 2020
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September 16, 2005

I am sitting in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in Columbus, Ohio. I'm Waiting to go pick up Tom at the Airport. We are going to the football game and I thought I'd take the opportunity to see a bit of West Virginia and Ohio while I was at it. Go Aztecs!

Traveled through West Virginia to get here. No phone service for my entire time in the mountains. It is a trip I will never forget. This is truly the land of the movie Deliverance. The poverty is so all-prevailing. The squalid houses nestled into some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen seem so much worse in the comparison. This is truly the America of the lost people. It is a place of raggedy, thin blond haired kids playing on the train tracks or riding their bikes on the highway. It is a place of mattresses and old furniture piled so high on the front porches that the windows are obscured. It is town after town of nothing moving but the confederate flags blowing in the wind. They do love their lawn ornaments though. Every bit of grass is strewn with plastic deer, praying ceramic saints cooled by bright colored whirling fans, and rusting cars. As I passed through Hamlet after Hamlet, I had to play the police in a waiting game. The Old Highway 60 is a gauntlet indeed. The sign stating that the speed limit is 55 is followed 100 feet after by 45. Another 100 feet reads 35. Each town has a Sheriff lying in wait, hoping to finance municipal improvement projects. Around each curve is another town with names like Fancy, Eagle and Contentment. Each one consists of a corner store, a Tastee Freeze and rows of empty store fronts. As I passed through Possum Holler I got my only laugh of the day--an auto repair store named Wreck-A-Mended. It was a bit frightening too. Still no cell phone towers, so no phone reception, and it was getting toward dark with no end to the windy road in sight. I got to a larger town called Ripley and my spirits were restored along with my phone service.