I didn’t think twice about driving up to Marblehead on Lake Erie for my friends’ wedding. Just use Mapquest, right? I was locked into the directions on the printout like a smart bomb until I saw the little orange and black “DETOUR” sign that led down what looked like the rural equivalent of a back alley. In the seconds I had to consider just simply following directions, I imagined myself getting lost and losing precious minutes I didn’t have to waste if I wanted to get to the church on time. It must have been my own latent Tea Party tendency to distrust Big Government that led me to make the decision to just keep following the Mapquest mantra, figuring if I was wrong, I could always just turn around. Silly rabbit. Lo and behold, after navigating through residential Bucyrus, I discovered that the main drag completely disappeared behind construction barriers where just beyond it appeared the entire downtown was experiencing an extreme makeover. No problem, just turn around. Uh huh. The straight corridor I had followed into town with tunnel vision, when taken in reverse, transformed into a carnival funhouse maze of turns and angled intersections. Finding myself in a quiet neighborhood, far from any main artery, I rolled down the window and asked some guy on his porch how to get back to the detour. “Turn right at the light, then another right at the Krogers then a left then another left....” I wanted to ask him where those lefts might actually occur but I was afraid my brain wouldn’t be able to hold that much information anyway so I just took off and hoped I’d get lucky. I actually made it to the first left and began following a detour but not one that identified the road being detoured. All hope of making it to the ceremony vanished as I found myself driving through parts of Ohio that I was never meant to experience. I passed solid blocks of pale corn stalks textured as though they had been created by Van Gogh’s palette knife; roadside cemeteries filled with the graves of farmers who had always been anchored to the land, blanketing grassy hills that rose to the blue sky dappled with clouds; and every mile or so, a home, a modest human shelter, which seemed to me to be the real beauty of the Ohio countryside. Then it occurred to me that marriage is a shelter. It requires a real effort to build one that will last but once you have it, it is a place you can come into out of the cold and rain, a place to escape the madness of the world, a place to be comfortable, to be yourself, a place you can always come home to. Brian and Janelle, may you give each other shelter.
Thursday, tonight, Michelle Lewis, Angela Perley and Miss Molly do the happy hour at Shrunken Head, Dan Dougan's Listening Hour at Gateway features Whoa Nellie and Mark Sims, Jesse Henry & the Royal Tycoons do the happy hour at Rumba, Willie's son, Lukas Nelson is at Woodlands and Carabar has The Enfield Trio.
Friday, Jimmy Castoe is at Dick's and Super Desserts descend into the darkness of The Basement with Wye Oak.
Saturday, the Ninth Annual Summit on Walhalla Street Party kicks off with food at 6 PM then at 8 PM we continue our tradition of presenting the finest in local music with No. 1 Cat featuring the lovely and talented Nikki Wonder. The Alive's Rocktoberfest begins at 3 PM featuring the likes of Way Yes, Joey Hebdo, Super Desserts, Phantods and The Floorwalkers at the Gateway. Arson Wells is at Dick's, The Shunken Head has the Phillip Fox Band, Matt Monta & the Hot Coal Band and Angela Perley. Lollipop Factory returns with a show at Kobo.
Drive By Truckers appear at Outland on Liberty Tuesday and at The Newport Wednesday.
Gimme shelter. mark