austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed

I thought it wise to fill up on gas before we got far out of Port Clinton. And it'd be a chance to get a coffee or soda too. The most conveniently nearby gas station was directly across the street from another thing we'd seen repeatedly on billboards but never visited, giving us an irresistible reason to visit it. This would be Cheesehaven.

The name gives away what kind of shop it is, although you might want to go looking for photographs of it anyway to see the adorable mouse icon they have, too. And besides all sorts of cheeses --- bunny_hugger found some aged cheddar which would be a good thank-you-for-watching-our-pet-rabbit gift for her father --- they also had candies; I picked up a bag of mixed salt water taffies, and bunny_hugger rediscovered her love of cherry sours.

We managed to hit the place at some weird convergence of everybody in North Ohio and South Michigan visiting, producing a line terrifying enough that the cashier ran back to pull a stock boy or something onto a register he was not at all ready to help handle. Somehow, though, we survived.

We took the local roads back through Ohio, catching a view of the atomic power plant, but somehow missing the drive-in theater this time around. Possibly we were detoured around it (road construction); the detour did bring us to a glorious sight, though: a dead mall. A supremely dead mall. A grandiose, wide-reaching mall which at its peak supported five or six anchor stores, and now had only a huge, lonely, crater-marked parking lot and the sad display sign of a sale, Sunday 6 - 9 pm at Sears, which had been there for who could imagine how long. We drove around, wantonly disaster-touring the remnants, photographing boarded-up entrances and the lonely signs saying ``goodbye'', and found that actually the Sears is still running, there.

Nothing else is, at least not from the outside, although I hypothesized that they've probably got a Radio Shack still running because nobody remembered to close it down. There's evidence that maybe they have gardening stuff later in the spring, though, and they do have a postal box, although far away from the lonely Sears. We felt strangely revitalized to see this lonely remnant of an economy.

We also managed to get lost while driving through Toledo, though we know we got near where the train station is (any train trip east demands going to Toledo), and discovered a really nice section with all the streets named for ivy league colleges. We did recover. On the last stretch of the drive, we found ourselves nearing Ann Arbor and dinnertime together, so we stopped at Jersey Mike's to finish out our trip.

Trivia: The American Zone of Germany had 134 Displaced Persons camps in December 1945. By December 1946 it reached 400, and to 416 by June 1947. Source: The Long Road Home: The Aftermath Of The Second World War, Ben Shephard.

Currently Reading: A History Of Venice, John Julius Norwich.


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