Headed out on Friday towards pastures green: the annual Columbus German Village bike ride. Only there for 90 minutes but it was a rich and lovely experience, variegated and sunlit from Heaven. Low humidity, 80s, and bluest of skies.
I landsharked the car and tooled through the beguilingly Euro streets. Along the way I stopped at a bakery on the southern edge (South ward street?), across from a bar with a rainbow flag and two well-dressed middle-aged women in drag smoking cigarettes. Under the bakery lights I saw a heavenly chocolate creation and purchased it for $3; it turned out to be a refrigerated King Don sans wrapping; it was labeled as such but I didn’t believe a bakery would simply repurpose a manufactured good.
I chanced my way to a dicey neighborhood with hoodlums lurking about, arguing and looking like drugs were close at hand.
I headed down the cobblestone streets still marked with the scratches of the heavy Wagner beer wagons, which carried their precious cargo to St. Mary’s pastor (among others) in the early1900s.
I traveled to the great Schiller Park, read about its history and the inspirational Schillerian quotes engraved. How short a life he lived! 40-some odd years but he had a lasting impact. I’m a bit surprised in 1891 he was honored above all other Germans in history by the thriving Village.
His 11-ft statue was unveiled, patriotically, on July 4th and bands and fireworks ensued for the 10,000 present. The letters ADN came to mind: “all dead now”, as Mom would say.
Everything was flourishing profoundly here in lush mid-July, the flowers blooming, the plants verdant from the zenith of sun and spring rains.
From the manicured lawns of the landed gentry class:
To gone-to-seed plantations:
From antlered decorations and barn-like villas:
To the other side o' the tracks: