Thursday, December 17, 2009

There is a road ...

... that I still follow through the years.

US Route 50 extends from Ocean City, Maryland, west through the heart of "flyover country," to West Sacramento, California, where its original route is pre-empted by an Interstate highway, before reaching the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco.

The route follows a number of older auto trails, including the George Washington Highway* in southern Ohio, where it passes through my hometown of Milford. From the time we moved there in the summer of 1957, to when I left for Washington, DC, in 1980, up until the present, I have never lived more than two miles from it. The route that went through the place where I grew up, cuts through Arlington, Virginia, before heading across the Potomac to the Nation's capital.

A road is more than a way to get from point A to point B. It is a constant on the landscape, so long as there are those to follow it, leading not only to different places, but across different times in our lives. In that sense, we are all on a road to somewhere -- God willing, to be with Him in Heaven.

Back home, an old-time music trio known as The Tillers dedicated a song to that highway. As it's been nearly three decades since I was involved in the Cincinnati folk music scene, I've never met any of these guys. Then again, maybe I know them anyway.

Someday I'll be less practical about the journey home, and take Route 50 as far as it will go to my destination. I might even avoid the bypass routes and take the "business loops" into the towns through which the old road passes. Maybe Sal could get another taste of the real America.

I never get enough of it.

* FOOTNOTE: There is mention of an early auto route of the same name that ran from Savannah, Georgia, to Seattle, Washington. This writer's information is based upon highway markers seen as a boy.

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