I’ve been burning up the road between Cape and Altenburg interviewing people for my Last Generation project – trying to capture the last generation of East Perry county residents who spoke German as their primary language.
There are a lot of crops being harvested right now – primarily corn and beans. I was southbound on Rt. C near New Wells when this monster machine appeared in front of me doing about 20 miles per hour.
The driver did a masterful job of keeping the high center of gravity vehicle going while dodging mailboxes and shoulder drop-offs when he had to get over in his lane for oncoming traffic.
As the cars backed up behind me, I could only think of how many people would be honking and writing letters to the editor about how bikes don’t belong on the road if I had been on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. (For the record, this is one of my favorite bike routes. I’ve always been treated with courtesy on it. It’s only when you get close to Cape that you run into drivers who are jerks.)
So, when you see me on my bike with my Slow Moving Vehicle triangle on my back (just like this guy’s), treat me like a tractor. And, if you are going too fast to slow down without hitting me, you’re going too fast to keep from hitting the Monster Machine or the many deer I’ve seen alongside (and crossing) the road.
I was trying to make a left turn out of a nursing home in Perryville where I had been shooting one of my subjects – a 103-year-old Altenburg woman.
A school bus dropping off kids had traffic backed up about a dozen cars deep. “Oh, man, I’m going to be here for a long time,” I thought.
Reminding me that I was back in the Midwest, a car about four back slowed down to create a gap, then the driver motioned me out. Yep, we’re not in Florida anymore.
I didn’t mind the delay
The bus driver must have made at least six or eight stops, with the line of cars growing longer and longer behind me. I didn’t mind the delay, to be honest. I really enjoyed watching the grade school kids hop off the bus loaded down with their backpacks and dash to the house where a parent would be waiting at the door.
One middle school kid stopped at the mailbox, grabbed a letter from it and went running up the hill to his home. He seemed excited. I wonder what was in the envelope?
The driver finally got to a spot wide enough for him to pull off to let the line of cars go by. I was kinda disappointed. Since I wasn’t watching the clock, it was nice change of pace.
P.S. I was too far back to get a good bus shot, so I had to dip into the time machine to pull up this Athens County bus from Oct. 11, 1968.