Monday, June 20, 2011

Near Life Experience

I know the blog is much more interesting when I do something really stupid and almost die, but since my family was in town we decided to take one more day off the road and visit Portsmouth with MC Snyder.
Mike had an appointment for the early morning first, so CAD and I hopped over to the Hopewell Mounds, an impressive series of Native American burial chambers built during the time of the Roman empire. The hills were molded into elliptical and conical shapes. The cremated bodies inside were kept separately so archaeologists were able to tell how many possible zombies each held.
Tired of learning about Indians our ancestors didn't even kill, we met up with MC Snyder and headed an hour south to Portsmouth, which sat patiently at the intersection of the Scioto and Ohio rivers waiting for our arrival. The town was once a hive of activity, with factories making shoe, steel, brick, and other manufactured goods. Now most of those industries have left and the buildings lie dormant, hulking loops in the Rust Belt manufacturing little except for soul-crushing depression.
Portsmouth was lucky enough at least to lose their professional football team, the Portsmouth Spartans, who took off in 1934 to become the Detroit Lions. I wouldn't wish that embarrassment of a franchise on my worst enemy's community.
The main draw in modern Portsmouth is the murals. A huge flood wall has protected citizens there from the Ohio's occasional swelling for many years, but the plain chunk of masonry did little for the town aesthetically. Having seen murals in other Ohio towns, some of the locals thought jazzing up the flood wall's surface a bit might be beneficial.
Mike, Connie, and some ass hole in front of one of the Portsmouth murals. 

Designed by artist Robert Dafford and painted by a number of gifted artists, the paintings tell the history of Portsmouth's ups and downs while highlighting some of their famous residents, such as Branch Rickey and Roy Rogers. The work was begun in 1993 and the project is ongoing, with new pieces being added and others repaired.
Afterward MC Snyder invited us back to their crib in Richmond Dale for some rhubarb pie and lemon cake. We stayed and chatted for a bit, but eventually the time to leave came and I finally had to say goodbye to my adopted family of three days. I hope they don't suffer too badly from empty nest syndrome. I think Mom and Dad had a party to celebrate after I went off to college so I figure the scars will heal given enough time.

0 miles/728 total miles

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As Churchill famously said, "Keep buggering on!"