John Grindrod: the highway version of the separation of fact from fiction
Being a frequent distant driver, both for work and play, I have seen a lot beyond the edge lines of my roads and those recall grooves that can surely come in handy. As far as what I have seen over time, there have been a lot of deer sightings, both the live versions in the fields of my highways and also the deceased versions right next to the roads.
As for other curiosities, there are times when I can be fooled. During my monthly business trips to the woods corner of the now defunct Bevo Francis basketball scoring machine, past Chillicothe on state road 35 towards Gallipolis, I noticed a road sign next to the freeway which I thought said “Lloyd Bridges Road”.
Immediately my mind turned to the actor I first saw as a boy watching the old black and white drama series Sea Hunt, which ran from 1958 to 1961 and starred Bridges as Mike Nelson, a Coast Guard auxiliary diver solving all kinds of problems. of crimes somewhat saturated with water. As the miles went by, I also thought about Bridges’ later roles, especially the comedic roles the former drama actor played in the movie Airplane and in some episodes of my everyone’s favorite sit-com. the times, Seinfeld.
As more and more miles went by, I mentally bounced back on this second generation of Bridges actors, Beau and Jeff, and their work in the movies.
I made a mental note to check the internet later to find out exactly where in south central Ohio Bridges was hailed. How did I not know, I wondered. Later, after Google Google searches for Lloyd Bridges, was I ever puzzled when I saw that Bridges grew up in California.
So, on my return to the area, I took a closer look at the sign and realized that it actually said “Lloyds Bridge Road”, thus proving that anything you think you see off the road is not what it seemed to be.
I remember when I was a kid on one of our annual summer trips to my father’s hometowns in Boston, while on the Mass Turnpike my mother insisted that in the distance he there was a drawbridge. My father, a native son and true Bay Stater, was in disbelief; my sister Joanie was skeptical; and I was hopeful, because I liked castles and moats very much.
As the kilometers rolled on and the road tilted favorably towards my mother’s drawbridge, the image became more pronounced for all of us as my mother lowered her head a little …
Likewise, on the inaugural 1958 ride to Lima from my hometown of Chicago, after my father was promoted to Ohio-Indiana territory to sell his steel and copper wire, my eyes of 6 years convinced me that the yellow I saw from the road once we entered the farming countries of Indiana and Ohio, in those metal containers there were bananas, not shucked corn.
The only view from my roads that appears to be anything other than what it is can be seen just off I-70 passing the east side of Newark. This is where, on a once-a-month trip for work, I see what appears to be a massive basket with handles.
In fact, this is the old Longaberger head office building, designed by the late Dave Longaberger, who had the seven-story building that was once the workplace of 500 employees in a much better time when the building was constructed. The business was booming.
The 180,000 square foot building, arguably one of the most unique in the world, was completed in 1997 at a cost of over $ 30 million. Once upon a time, the company could boast of its billion dollar turnover. However, more difficult economic times followed and the 45-year-old company went out of business and left the building in 2018.
Currently, the building and its surrounding 21-acre campus, recently valued at $ 28 million, are on the market for much less – according to the Newark Advocate, for $ 6.5 million.
The first time I saw the building, several miles beyond, my mind wandered through the pages of time. You see, once upon a time there was a wedding, the woman in my house was addicted to Longaberger baskets, and they were on display in several rooms. For those of you who were once so fascinated by these baskets, you will remember they were expensive.
With every mile past this building, irritations surfaced years ago about what I have always considered frivolous shopping. After all, have I often thought, how many expensive baskets with nothing does a house really need? However, these irritations, I decided, were over 25 years old and well beyond their expiration dates, so I took them off my mental shelf.
This is the case when driving distances. What is seen is sometimes misunderstood and sometimes so unique. While no one disputes the importance of keeping your eyes on the road, don’t overlook these off-road views. After all, you never know when you might see a drawbridge.
The Longaberger Building on the east side of Newark can be seen from the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70.
John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a freelance writer and editor, and the author of two books. Contact him at [email protected]