“ You can take the boy out of the Midwest, but you can’t take the Midwest out of the boy.” (Joe Lando)
It’s due time again for Ruth and I to set out on the second leg of our regional road trip in the United States for 2022. It’s exhilarating for me to return to my CRV Honda vehicle as we journey up the east coast from South Florida, turning west into Pennsylvania through the Midwest heartland to Nebraska and then home again to complete this one month itinerary (see the map above). With less ground to cover between scheduled destinations than our western tours on this latest driving jaunt, I envision that that this slower pace may rekindle in this Midwest born and bred person, a genuine sense of those happy times he experienced in Cuyahoga Falls, his Ohio childhood home.
You might be curious to know then what reasoning underlies my strong nostalgia to recapture the summer spirit of the U.S. Midwest heartland in the upcoming weeks. Let’s just say I recall fond glimpses of what fun opportunities during those precious months of seasonable weather brought to me in Cleveland’s environs as a child. For I deeply long for a return of that carefree spirit of summer enjoyment with family and friends that these limited season opportunities provided. Sharing a cool lick of an ice cream cone with my buddy, catching fireflies in a jar for all to see, or simply rolling around in the grass in a playful “hide and seek” game exemplify a few of these vivid memories of such pure childhood fun.
So I am understandably excited that throughout our visits to the Midwest hubs of Cleveland, Chicago, Dubuque, Springfield, Lincoln, and Columbus , we will take time to enjoy summertime opportunities during these two and three day visits rather than spend excessive times driving to and from. For on the docket for our one month journey, we foresee finding time to swim in in cool Great Lakes waters, sing and dance once again at a late 1960s themed, “Happy Together” concert, frolic youthfully through the carnival environs of the Illinois State Fair and of course absorb the inviting sensory atmosphere of live professional baseball games.
Perhaps I can best illustrate those ideal fun experiences I hope to achieve this summer, by closing with a tune that comes immediately to mind: Saturday In The Park” of Chicago band fame. So join me in experiencing a festive filled summer for yourself as well. Just click on the video link below. I invite you to also listen to this entry on my podcast, “Snippets of A Traveling Mind” on Spotify.