A Week in Willard One Night

Amish Horse & Buggy in Ohio
Amish Horse & Buggy in Ohio

I sit this morning in Willard, Ohio, about an hour or so drive west of Akron. I arrived last night at 7 p.m. eastern time after driving with only one short fueling and a bathroom break for a straight twelve hours. My Driver Manager phoned me along the way indicating the “consignee” was “chomping at the bit” to receive my load of 12 large paper rolls weighing in at more than 42-thousand pounds. But, When I arrived I found out I had an appointment time of 5:30 the following afternoon. To say the least I’m not a happy camper, especially in light of the fact that I could have stopped at one of two truck stops some 40 miles east of here. Instead I’m stuck here in a dirt lot among other disgruntled and waiting truckers next to the delivery docks.

On top of all this my Qualcomm communication keyboard hasn’t worked for several days and there is no cell phone service here in Willard. But I suppose things could be worse.

In an attempt on foot to find a pay phone to make some calls, and finding three, none of which would work for me, I happened along a local ice cream store. In an effort to relieve my frustrations I decided to buy a large chocolate cone. When I saw how tall they had stacked the ice cream (a good 6 or more inches) I expected a charge of three to four dollars and was pleasantly surprised to pay only a buck-seventy-five. With my frustrations only mildly tempered that was the highlight of my evening as I feel asleep early and woke at about 6:30 a.m.

The drive here past Akron on highway 244 was interesting as I passed through several small towns and, among the Ohio Amish people. Along the way I passed a make-shift Amish outdoor market. There sat dozens of their wagons hitched to horses with the hatted and bonneted men and women and their similarly dressed children busily milling about. The wagons loaded with fruits and vegetables. On the opposite side of the lot were the cars and trucks of the non-believers there to buy their goods. A couple of times I had to slow for a horse-drawn buggy along the way and passed others going in the opposite direction.

Since my last entry I’ve been to Oklahoma City and then went on to New Milford, Connecticut. I spent one of my best days ever visiting with a gorgeous latin girl who drove up from the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. (350 miles) just to see me! (who would have thought!). Mercedes, who is unquestionably the new love of my life, and I spent most of our time visiting nearby Waterbury.

Waterbury, Connecticut is a beautiful and typical old New England town with it’s tree-shaded homes, narrow streets, a sprawling downtown park with a statue honoring it’s Civil War soldiers. An attached plaque contained the following inscription:

In honor of the patriotism and to perpetuate the memory of the 900 brave men who went forth from this town to fight the war for the Union. This monument has been erected by their townsmen that all who come after them may be mindful of their deeds and fail not in the day of trial to emulate their example. 1861-1865

Waterbury has become one of my all-time favorite towns and Mercedes and I hope to visit there again soon.

Eight days ago, as I passed through Akron on my first trip in many years to the northeast, I spent an evening with my cousin Judy and visited her mom and dad, my aunt Mary and Uncle Eli. It was a pleasant but brief reunion with those I hadn’t seen in about a dozen years. Then, just this past Tuesday, I spent a similar afternoon and evening visiting a number of my cousins who I hadn’t seen for 20-years or longer in Clearfield, PA. Clearfield is where I was born and the source of many fond childhood memories with my large family of aunts, uncles and cousins. While there I visited the cemetery where my father, grandfather, great grandparents and many of my other relatives are buried.

I had hoped this job would allow me to see the country and to visit friends and relatives I hadn’t seen in years. So far, so good!

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