U.S. 30 – There And Back Again
Earlier this month, my mom and I took a day trip across the state – mostly on U.S. Route 30 – to catch up with some friends we haven’t seen in a long time.
Oddly enough, I started my day here -
- then drove several hours and wound up here:
Driving to western Ohio with mom can be fun, since it gives me a chance to pick her brains about growing up out in farm country, and talking about my earliest memories.
We spent a few hours in Columbus Grove, which took a big hit from that summer storm that plowed through the Midwest:
That’s wind damage. Wind damage – and not from a tornado, either. The town also lost enough trees that a week later, there was still a pile of debris a couple stories high waiting to be shredded.
We also had a good time talking with people who’ve known me since I was born – and my “aunt” Judy made it nearly two hours before bringing up the time that they invited me over to attend a demolition derby and her son Brian and I spent a few subsequent hours destroying his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars by slamming his heavy bedroom window frame down on them. (“…we’re playing DEMOLITION DERBY, that’s what!”) I can’t blame her – from a parent standpoint, it’s a good story, and if I was her, I’d bring it up every time I saw me, too.
Since we were in the area, after mom and I left, we drove down to Lima. I last drove through here in the early 1990s on another trek around the state.
Here’s the first house I remember calling home:
The house was gray when we lived there in the early 1970s – in fact, I’m pretty sure it was the same gray as the garage in the background.
But the neighboring house – where my best friend Alberto lived – is the same red as I remembered it:
And here’s another place that sticks in my memory (although I’m pretty sure the building was just a home back then, and didn’t have the addition on the back) -
Albert and his siblings and I used to play in this yard on the other side of his house. Apparently, one day we were playing cops and robbers and we were loud enough to disturb the woman who lived here, and she came out and told us something to the effect that if we didn’t quiet down, she was going to go get her gun and she was going to play, too.
I don’t remember any of that. What I do remember is my dad carrying me around our driveway while I was crying because I was scared of the police who were called to the scene.
Other memories of this place are better: My tractor-tire sandbox in the back yard, and the swingset, and the homemade tortillas Alberto’s family used to make, and playing with my Evel Knievel motorcycle on the front sidewalk, and Alberto and I playing with the windshield washers on my dad’s VW bug, and our families goofing around and laughing together outside.
Mom and I wandered through Lima a bit finding our way back to Interstate 75, then picked up some ice cream cones and headed east on U.S. 30 again for the return home.
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