US 20 is classic American road that fills me with sighs. It showcases who we used to be, who we are and where we're headed. The news, dear reader, is not all good. But that's not the point of this rambling.
When you pass through the towns that dot the Erie shore, towns like Conneaut and Ashtabula and Geneva, one thing is obvious above all: it's about the lake and always has been. The lake is why these towns exist.
|Geneva On The Lake|
For the curious, I am still drinking from my Cleveland tap without fear. But imagine, in a couple of days (weeks?), when Toledo city officials give the water the all-clear. If I lived in the Glass City, would I feel safe putting a newborn in a tub of that water, or letting a kindergartener drink from a fountain? Would you?
When the water from your tap turns to poison, it is a very bad thing. Just ask the folks in Charleston, West Virginia. Of course, that crisis centered around one chemical leak. Our crisis belongs to every Ohioan. It's borne from our filth and chemicals.
Truth: Mother Nature will win this.
We either all turn into environmentalists or she will take us out. There is no debate or wiggle room. These are absolutes: life vs. death. Deny climate change. Relax environmental legislation under the guise of being "business friendly." Choose dollars over purity. It will all eventually culminate and kill us. She wins. We lose.
That's the endgame, folks.
I did not have my camera yesterday. A good thing, that. I wouldn't have gotten home until late into the night. Every mile of US 20 is worthy of my lens. Sooner rather than later, I intend to take a photo safari along it's entire length through Ohio and capture the heartbreaking small town ruins, the eerie Davis Besse cooling tower hovering over the cornfields, and the glimmers of hope.
Carry on, dear reader. Carry on.
|Geneva, Ohio, near US 20|
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