As my beloved client stations know, I pulled a "Charles Kuralt" last week and hit the highway. (which explains the sudden lack of material lately here on this small corner of cyberspace) I claim multi-purpose reasons for this journey. I had to drop my wife off in Cincinnati to hit the flower show circuit with a few of her friends who drove over from Pittsburgh. Then, it was off to see the folks. Seeing as how my parents will both hit the "80" mark this August, I've felt more and more like I need to spend more time with them. Better put, I want to spend more time with them. It's tough, though, to do that often when you're a 10-hour car trip away.
While I'm home ("home" being Canton, Ohio, the birthplace of professional football...although Pottsville, PA generally has something to say about that) I also get to see brothers and sisters, nieces or nephews I've yet to meet, and a few friends...or at least the ones that are still there. I also get to grab a few things that I obviously can't get here. The first? Pizza from "The Pizza Oven". I defy anyone to present to me a better sausage pizza. I don't think it exists. Second? Milk chocolate peanut-clusters from "Ben Heggy's Candy". In fact, had I not had in my possession a two-pound box of Heggy's when my wife crawled back into the car on the return trip to Cincy, I'm sure divorce proceedings would have begun immediately.
I also had a chance to hop over to Pittsburgh to meet up with a few friends from KDKA, as well as grab lunch with John Robertson, the Program Director for BOB (WRRK-FM) in Pittsburgh. John is an old friend of mine and one of the "good guys" in the business. We talked about doing a bit of imaging work for one of his HD channels. There were certainly lots of "Crosby" jerseys walking around in the Golden Triangle. (Go Pens!) There were also LOTS of orange barrels. They were everywhere! In fact, from the minute I paid my $3.00 in order to have the luxury of driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the orange barrels, construction signs, flag-men, and dump trucks never ceased until I parked downtown.
The other crucial element to any trip home? Beer. You see, this large chunk of real estate known as the "midwest" is, in some ways, lacking a few of life's important sustenance, like Commodore Perry IPA from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, the "greatest location in the nation"...or Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing in Easton, PA...or Dale's Pale Ale from Oskar Blues in Colorado...or my neighbor's favorite beer, Red Tulip from New Holland Brewing in Michigan. (there are more, but my rented Kia Rondo was only so big.) Plus, I've been involved in a kind of "beer trade" with a buddy out west, so I had his "list" to satisfy. Include a stop at "Jungle Jim's" in Fairfield, Ohio on the way back for other sundry offerings and I'm sure I broke, like, 23 different intra-state laws involving the transport of beverages. But I'll tell ya...that Nosferatu from Great Lakes sure hit the spot while watching the Pens mop up on Jagr and the Rangers last night!
A few other observations:
* WEBN in Cincinnati still sounds pretty darned good
* Every semi-truck in America is on I-70 whenever I'm on I-70
* Except for this mesmerisingly huge cross in Effingham, there's not a whole lot in southern Illinois
* There isn't too much more between Indianapolis and Terre Haute
* Pittsburgh is still one of the most gorgeous-looking cities
* My wife snores really loudly when she falls asleep in the car
So, there you have it.
my-twin-brother-fill-up-the-gas-tank-6-times" Charles Kuralt-like sojourn!
I'll more-than-likely do it again before the summer is over.
Oh....and those gas prices hurt! I mean, really hurt. Can't wait for 4 bucks.
Pass the Commodore Perry.
* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com