Friday, November 06, 2015


Dear readership,

The Goat and your humble hostess are endeavoring to walk the entire 85 miles of navigable Ohio and Erie Towpath, which is a subtle wonder of the Buckeye state considering the massive amount of hoop-jumping one must do in order to gain right-of-way for such things. Add the fact that the accessible portion of the Towpath traverses four counties and requires the collaboration of god-only-knows how many public and private entities, and this accomplishment really astonishes me. That the Towpath team is nearing its goal of reaching all the way to Lake Erie fills me with unprecedented joy.

Just wow.

Hi Lillian

Every section of the Towpath has something to offer and while I probably should have been documenting our travels upon it, dear readership, I have not. All I do is document and write and document and write and document and write. Hence when I'm walking the Towpath, I don't want to worry about documentation. I just want to walk the Towpath and think about the guys who dug the entire canal with shovels.



Yesterday, we did more than three and a half miles of the trail that took us south of Massillon. I'm not sure what I expected of this section, but *man* did it deliver. My favorite parts of the Towpath are not necessarily the lovely pastoral stretches (although I do enjoy those), but instead those that say something about who we were, who we are and who we're going to be. In other words, those spans that have content.

Rancheros or El Caminos?

The miles traversing Massillon had it in nines and then some. Of particular interest was the on-street section, which is one of the few left on the Towpath (where the powers-that-be haven't yet been able to wrangle a dedicated trail). It went through a neighborhood that's clearly changed over the decades, but still has so much heart and hometown pride that it filled me with sighs: signs in windows cheer on the Massillon Tigers, American flags wave in the breeze, plastic jack-o-lanterns linger.

Don't listen to the sonsabitches. You're still standing.


We traversed a bridge lined with plaques dedicated to those we lost in Vietnam. Readership, you don't see stuff like this unless you're walking.

Thank you for your service, Private First Class Hill.

When we do these walks, they are a round trip to the car and back, so yesterday's stroll was more than seven miles. Afterwards, we were famished and went in search of an eatery.

Time for lunch


I do.

A Friday night lights kind of town

As evidenced by the photos, we found a burger and then some. I never tire of these beleaguered Ohio towns.

Yeah, yeah.

We've got about 25 miles to the trail's end in New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County. Can we finish it up in 2016? Dunno.

Stay tuned ...

Bye for now, Massillon. I think you're beautiful.

* * *


Kirk said...

So exactly what is it with Lillian Gish? You can see silent movies on the towpath?

Anonymous said...

Cool Trompe-l'œil.


Erin O'Brien said...

I am not going to google Gish, but I'm pretty sure she is from this burg. There is a street named after her. No silent movies, but there was another mural dedicated to someone named Tommy Henrich, who is designated at "Old Reliable." There is a street named after him too, so I'm guessing he's from there as well.

I DID google RJ's fancy word. The football mural was cool, but there was a canal one that was even better. It featured a old-time canal scene complete with a boat and a peaceful lady overlooking it all. That one used the bricks of the building as part of the scene, which results in a very successful 3D effect.

God, I am boring.

Anonymous said...

You're correct; Tommy Heinrich was born in Massillon. Heinrich played right field for the Yankees, from 1937-42, and 1946-50 (as you might guess, his career was interrupted by WWII; he served in the Coast Guard), and was given the nickname "Old Reliable" by the Yankees' radio announcer because of a penchant for getting base hits when the team needed them most.

Lillian Gish lived in Massillon for a time, but was born in Springfield, OH.

DogsDontPurr said...

One of my quirks: I seek out non~fiction travel/exploration stories from the early 1900's. The best ones were written in the 20's (in my opinion), but there's some give and take. I have a ton of books from that general era.

The word "portage" comes up often in some of my old beloved books, but it's not really a word you hear too often these days.

And you maybe know my predilection for collecting and preserving vintage signs (the antique store and all).

So, I must say, this post speaks to me in many ways. Thank you!


DogsDontPurr said...

And I really meant to say "books" rather than "stories". As in, I have a lot of books from the 1920's. It doesn't matter to me, but some people argue over semantics. Oof!