Sunday, May 27, 1990...

On the road again at about 7 AM. Swung briefly past President Garfield's house, now a historic site -- it was closed, of course -- before turning westward again. Euclid Ave. was empty as I drove to and through Cleveland; the trip would have taken me at least four times as long had there been traffic.

National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.  So if we don't give, Jesus isn't coming back? My first stop was at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, outside Cleveland. I arrived shortly before the first services of the day were to begin, and attracted some sidewards glances as I wandered the premises with still and video cameras in tow. Next came President Garfield's gravesite in Lake View Cemetery, a towering obelisk to honor the martyred President -- whose death was actually caused by inadequate medical care rather than the bullet lodged in his back. I looked for the graves of John D. Rockefeller and Ray Chapman, to no avail, before driving into the heart of downtown Cleveland to photograph the Public Square. The central square is dominated by older, Depression-era buildings, with the Terminal Tower overshadowing the rest of the skyline, but the buildings seemed well-kept and the neighboring blocks showed evidence of an economic revival.

Downtown Bellevue, OH

Then I continued west, through miles of farmland broken up at eight- or 10-mile intervals by picturesque small towns. Bellevue was an absolute vision of Main Street USA, from the rows of two-story brick buildings downtown to the shady lanes of the residential district. I detoured south at Fremont to visit the Rutherford B. Hayes estate/library/tomb/museum: it may have been the first presidential museum, and did a fine job considering the blandness and mediocrity of the honoree. I was struck by the size of the Hayes estate, which alone among the properties in the area had never been subdivided.

No!  Really?  (East of Clyde, OH.) The drive through the Toledo area was marred by mile upon mile of strip shopping centers, used-car lots, and the like, but then came another 60 miles of farmland. Upon entering Indiana, though, the road deteriorated and so did the scenery. Much of the drive through the state was conducted very slowly, passing through town after town with nothing of interest either inside or outside its borders. I took a brief detour to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which from the limited perspective available from the road looked much like any other beach.

Then I got to Gary, the largest town in the country founded in the 20th century. The ecological damage caused by the huge, soot-belching US Steel plant is amazing. For at least fifteen miles, my lungs could detect the remnants of Gary. From Gary into Chicago, the road was lined with slums and huge, ugly, smelly factories: the Amoco refinery in Whiting, smack on the Illinois border at the extreme southern tip of Lake Michigan, was a particularly fragrant eyesore.

Once in Chicago, I drove down 95th Street on US 20 until I was within a few blocks of Joseph J.'s house. I met his wife Susan for the first time. They seem well matched -- he's a doctor, she's a nurse -- and after his first marriage, which considerate friends discuss only in whispers and refer to as "the late unpleasantness," he deserves something good...

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