03 August 2005

the road frequently traveled

I've clocked many miles driving between Akron and Kent. The roads connecting the two towns offer some minor amusements during my drives.

Heading east on 76/77 recently, a new billboard distracted me, causing me to swerve slightly. It read something like: "This is not a library." (picture of woman reading in a car) "Just drive."
Why not "Stop reading this billboard and drive!"?

My cue for the exit off 76 into Kent is the large Diamond Lodge billboard. The "Premier Gentlemen's Club". I bet there's nothing gentle about the way they stuff dollar bills into garters.

First sin, then salvation. I like driving down Mogadore Road into Kent when it's dark out. One home has a cross of tiny bulbs lit up all year round, suspended from a tree by the road.

When I drive home from Kent, it's usually at night, so I take Tallmadge Avenue as it undulates into Akron. Most of the stoplights have changed to blinking for the evening, and, instead of traffic, old neon signs keep me company.

giant auto sign

The road, like others, is an early victim of commercial sprawl, which I theoretically loathe. However, its age creates a false nostalgia in me. I find sad beauty in the remnants of earnest designs from the '50s and '60s. My favorite relic is the Midway Plaza sign:

midway plaza sign

No comments: