THE ROAD HOME

Boyleing Points
Typography

Time for an oil change. 4,816 miles in the books. And, of course, the last 11 miles were the hardest. From wide open highways to the parking lot of the Belt Parkway. Nothing says Welcome home! more than stop and crawl on the Belt.

We hit enough stops for a Johnny Cash song: Elmira, Toledo, Frankenmuth, Mackinaw, Mackinac, Marquette, Minneapolis, we’ve been everywhere, man.

Fargo, Bismarck, Rapid City, Rushmore, Badlands, Custer State, Sioux Falls and ….Warren Buffet’s house.

Malvern, Iowa, Kansas City, Kansas and …. Wait, a word about Warren’s house. We wanted to click off Nebraska as a state that we visited so we cruised by the billionaire’s house in Omaha. Basically, it’s a Belle Harbor house on the 200 block with a private drive. Maybe 1.5 mil.

After days of postcard drives, Kansas City, Kansas made you ask, what happened? Where’d all the good stuff go? I even did the New York safe driving test. Every time I slowed under 25 miles mph, I clicked the door locks. And it was only 11 in the morning. The good Kansas City is in Missouri, in view, just across the river.

Later that day, we rolled into Columbia, Mo and met friends from Brooklyn who were working at the University there. We were happy to have other people to talk to and they were happy for the same reason.

Back on the road, we checked out the St. Louis Arch. It was cool. Kinda like they stretched the Washington Monument and bent it and stuck the other side in the ground. Covid must’ve wrecked the downtown economy. Vacant office buildings and closed restaurants were as obvious as the Arch.

The next stop was Santa Claus, Indiana. I mention it so you don’t have to stop there. I’m full Grinch on the town that should’ve been called Coal.  

I don’t know what I expected, elves in the pizza place? People walking reindeer? A string of lights above the one street didn’t seem like asking too much. All you get is a strip mall with a Christmas shop and a few Santa Claus statues here or there.

We’d planned to stay the night and have some hot totties and a jolly good time, but I sprung to my truck and gave my wife a whistle and flew out of there like the down of a thistle. (First time I ever did that). Instead of staying in Santa Claus, we headed to Louisville, had some lasagna, and headed to Ohio in the morning.  

Columbus, Ohio is a city worth visiting. It’s got everything. Except an ocean. But it’s easy to picture living there. Lots of neighborhoods with fine looking houses, more restaurants than anywhere else I can think of, and a major university. But it also has January and February and March. Get back in the car.

When you leave Columbus, you know you’re heading home. It’s nearly impossible to make spontaneous stops or veer off the beaten path. You’re in West Virginia for 30 seconds then into Pennsylvania and the road just looks familiar. You might as well push on. You know the Belt is waiting for you. Might as well get it over with.

And it didn’t disappoint. But all things considered, the Belt was better than Santa Claus.

By Kevin Boyle 

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