Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What A Beautiful World It Was (Before It Closed)

The initials of this 1980's hit by Steely Dan's Donald Fagen refer to "International Geophysical Year," which came in the late 1950's. But every time I hear the title, I think of "O.G.Y.," a now-shuttered restaurant in High Hill, Missouri, which used to be a Stuckey's back in the 1970's.

The lyrics envision a bright future: "Ninety minutes from New York to Paris." I could only wish it was that way from St. Louis to Kansas City and vice versa during 1989, when our royal family was in the process of moving and we were shooting back and forth on I-70. The trip takes about 240 miles and four hours, give or take a gas stop in Columbia or Kingdom City.

A mix of your servant's favourite music
and moves, set to stories and observations.
Having a good Walkman (and later Watchman) helped pass the time, along with a good set of tapes, so I wouldn't have to listen to my parents' music, at least when they didn't have American Top 40 on.

Staring out the window on these various trips, I would notice a lot of these skeletons of roadside America: old gas stations, old restaurants, old homes, old signs, old billboards, all rotting away but burned into my memory. I wonder why I can remember those sights and not the more beautiful sights in the green rolling hills of the Show-Me State.

Perhaps I can identify with their abandonment and loneliness. When you've been there, you're there.

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