Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Back in town

A few random thoughts:

We've been traveling a fair amount the last week, most of it two trips to Galesburg coinciding with Benster's spring break. He's almost done now and will be graduating in June. Fearless Maria will be starting her collegiate adventure in the fall; although we're now about 90% certain where she'll be, a few things could change, so we won't be certain until the end of the month.

We've been so busy that it's been difficult to find time to blog much, as you've likely noticed. Beyond that, I remain tired of the news cycle. I honestly think that, left to his own devices, Donald Trump would operate in fairly normal parameters as president, but from the jump he's been forced to fight every day just to take the reins. It's exhausting to watch from this distance; I can't imagine what it must be like inside the Beltway.

My photography project continues; on the way back from Galesburg we stopped in Plainfield, Iowa, a town that apparently has a population of 438, but I only saw one person in the short time we were there. I did see buildings that seemed to be derelict:

I'm making a point to stop more often on these trips. There's clearly a story here, but I don't know what it is. I do know that at 2 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, this place seemed like a ghost town. I've had that vibe one time before, back in 2005, when we drove through Eveleth, Minnesota. All the action in Eveleth, including the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, was on the highway; when you went into the city itself, it seemed like no one was there. When we stopped in Waverly, Minnesota, a few weeks back, it was clear the town was alive. There are a lot of towns in the Midwest to explore and a lot of highways to travel. I suspect some of the better stories, or at least some of the more mysterious ones, are there, on what Frank Sinatra called "dots on the map."

1 comment:

R.A. Crankbait said...

There's a lot of threads in that weave. Technology has changed things, for one. Today all our farming needs are produced by a total workforce just 2% the size of that workforce 100 years ago (and we're not eating any less). In the agrarian areas, the work is done in the fields, not in town, so day time in "town" can look pretty sparse. My daughter lives in a town in Iowa that is five blocks x six blocks in size. There is a manufacturing plant in town, and a grain elevator, but the streets are pretty empty.