Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ain't that America?

I lived in Chile for a year where our bedroom balcony opened onto fantastic views of the Andes.  I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and Mount Rainier.  I’ve seen the White Cliffs of Dover in England and Alhambra in Spain.  But I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anything in my life quite as beautiful as the stretch of highway (Rt. 22) between Cadiz and Salt Fork, Ohio.  

Green rolling hills, picturesque farms, grazing cattle and no apparent retail outlet of any kind certainly contribute to this beauty.  It harkens back to a former time and has an unassuming feeling of calm that we just don’t get much these days.    I would like to take a whole day or more to go there with my camera and just mosey along instead of taking the quick 45 minutes to go the 35 miles or so, which we did on our recent trip. 

Greg had gone out to Ohio before us on his motorcycle and didn’t take Rt. 22. But I got a text message from him asking me to stop at some Seven-Eleven along the way to pick up beer, a Styrofoam cooler and some ice.  Well, along this idyllic drive, there is no Seven-Eleven.  There isn’t so much as an ice machine or any kind of Ma & Pa place selling bait and tackle.  And I was getting pretty sick of driving, so I didn’t want to go out of my way to get beer, a Styrofoam cooler or any ice.  That didn’t keep Carrie and me from noticing a sign near Cadiz for the “Coal & Gable Museums.”  You see, Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio.  

I hadn’t known that about Clark Gable even though I grew up in Ohio.  I also didn’t know that my husband’s cousin’s wife Bobbi was a big Clark Gable fan back in the day.  But I found all that out late in the afternoon when we arrived at Salt Fork State Park for the family reunion.  Plans were made.  The next morning, Bobbi, Carrie and I took the pilgrimage from Salt Fork to the Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz.  

A surreal experience was had by all.  The gift shop where we bought our tickets was jam-packed full of Clark Gable memorabilia including a Clark Gable jack-in-the-box.  The sentence “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” was on practically everything else.  We learned that Gable lived in the upstairs apartment of that house for only the first six months of his life but the museum had a crib that was “probably like the one he slept in” and a bed that was “probably like the one he was born on.”  Still, it was an interesting little tour full of facts about Clark Gable.  And we did get to see a big blue Cadillac that actually did belong to him.  Now, that was cool.  

On the drive back to Salt Fork, I had to wonder how it was possible that for two days in a row I was lucky enough to get to see such wonders as Altoona, Pennsylvania (home of the Famous Mallo Cup) and the Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz, Ohio.  But now that I’ve been home for a while I think I have an answer.  And it’s simply this…by golly, ain’t that just America?!

Along Rt. 22 in Ohio

Along Rt. 22 in Ohio

You can buy a brick at the Clark Gable Museum.

Clark Gable's 1954 Coup deVille


Mrs C 1963 said...

Love it!! love the pics and the great narrative ! makes me want to go pay a visit!

texwisgirl said...

beautiful pictures. interesting bit o' gable trivia! :)