A drive in the country


My cousin Ray, and a lady five years my senior, who worked for him when he was a young entrepreneur, and I, went for a drive in the country yesterday.

They have been friends for over forty years. He has been hoping that I would connect with her as a friend since we are both single and open to finding people to do things with. However, she not only lives as far from me, but in a different direction, as he does but there does not seem to be much we have in common beyond caring about him.

As he drove along the winding hills of Hinckley, Wadsworth and other small towns, the barns were both well-kept and others more tumble down, the tall grasses all drab in color, the trees lovely as their rust colored leaves blew this way and that in the breezes.

There was not much sign of the sun and when we arrived in Smithville we pulled into what looked like an historic site with a group of log cabin type of structures, with assorted signs indicating, Tin Smith, Village Blacksmith, and Pottery. There was even an outhouse behind the building where the potter plied his trade. There was a horse trough and a rail to tie your ride to.   We laughed and took pictures and went into the pottery shed where the potter was busy giving a demonstration to a young girl and her dad. She was apparently taking a class in high school and wanted to make some things herself. Her dad would have bought the clay on the spot, but the potter did not take credit cards. Ray asked the man questions enthusiastically and the friendly artisan was happy to answer them. Ray then brought me into the conversation asking me if I didn’t do work in clay too and I said yes I had. The Potter asked where I studied and I told him, Foothill Junior College in Los Altos Hills, California. We used the old fashioned kick wheel though, not the electric version. He said they had 2 of those in house, but for production work, it was hard on his knees, though they were fine for learning purposes.

We walked around a little more and then headed off to The Barn, a restaurant further down the road. Ray and I each settled on the heart attack sandwich, The Philly Cheesesteak, which was not all that good, but filling enough. I didn’t think Jackie’s BLT looked much better, but she polished it off after a cup of soup. With that kind of probably high cholesterol and salty lunch, I tried to compensate with fruit and cheese for dinner.

The last stop in Smithville was an antique store where Jackie tried to interest the proprietor in coming out to Hinckley to consider buying some of her antiques (which were out on her front porch). While the lady said they didn’t travel that far, Jackie asked again if she wouldn’t at least take her number and the lady was gracious enough to say she’d pass it on to others in the trade.

I enjoyed the display of gourds on porches and took pictures of an old train car across the street.

We wound the day down talking after the outing for about an hour and I got directions for driving home which turned out to be a very scenic drive east on Route 303. I got off at Route 21 which found me in Richfield in Summit County, and headed north. Some of the hills were quite steep and I made up my mind I’d certainly not take that very long detour again. I should have gotten off at State Road back to Parma and home from there – but it was too late to turn around and I did not know the area well enough to re-align my directions. That’s what happens when there is no GPS in the car.


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