Wednesday, June 24, 2009

........young man!

Horace Greeley once said "Go west young man" and so I did. I drove from the New York area across New Jersey, Pennsylvannia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indianna, and Illinois. While I was trying to position myself for a trip on Rt. 66, America's Main Street, I found I was traveling on another Main Street.

I visited the Headquarters and Factory of Longaberger Baskets. The Headquarters are pictured at the top of this page. The display outside the Factory is next. The family had a fun time. The factory is unusual. It is set up like a small town with a lot of false fronts. Behind the facade are all the different shops that Longaberger sponsors. You don't have to be a basket enthusiast to have a good time. You can even make your own basket, very cool.
We left Longaberger for Rt. 224/24 and found ourselves on a less heralded Main Street. We rode through crossroads, towns, and small cities. The edges of the towns were defined by the corn fields. The communities had no stop lights or street lights, ok they had one...street light. Usually it was in front of the church with the white steeple. The church was something out of a New England post card. The houses ranged the spectrum from cottages covered in ginger breading to McMansions, ranches, farm houses, trailers, and pre-fabs. The streets were usually tree lined, with their branches reaching out to give needed shade. These were Main Streets too, just not as heralded as Rt. 66.
Our neighbors were working on the sides of the road. Sometimes I knew them well enough to call them by their nic- name like Mack or Cat, other times I was more polite, calling them Misters' McCallister, Peterbilt, and John Deere. Everyone knows their name, we would not be the country we are with out them.
I had no time to stop and really learn about these towns. I had to go, to motor west from Chicago to the California Coast. I'll be back.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Huntington Indianna. I give it 8 towels out of 10, no elevator for a two story hotel.

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