Via Media

Via Media

Off to Toledo


Update: It’s later, and here I am, back where I started. And this was an actual little trip without my usual entourage. Michael held the fort, and did so quite well, it seems. The baby is crashed on the couch, and I’m not moving him.

(Actually, this morning I discovered the probably reason for his extra-poor sleeping of late – ran my finger along that top gum and felt, at last, those little sharp razor edges I knew were coming. Poor baby.)

So, left here around 2:30 to go to Toledo. Which of the ridiculously slow ways should I take, since there’s no direct route from here there, since there’s no direct route from Fort Wayne to ANYWHERE, thanks very much. I just went on 24 the whole way because it just seemed to make sense, and I do happen to like the parts of the drive that border on the lovely little Maumee River. Nice. Notable site on the way up: Man dragging a dead deer. Actually, he was just sort of looking at it by the side of a driveway, lifting up one of its legs and sort of letting it flop back down, seemingly in despair, wondering what in the world he was going to do with the thing.


The Legatus meeting was at the Toledo Club downtown – the old, wealthy businessman’s club, very wood-paneled and thick-carpeted as one would expect the downtown men’s club to be. I arrived near the end of Mass, set up books, and met some very nice and interesting people, as usual. I was seated at a table with a priest whose name was really familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place the name or figure the association. I should have known, though – it was Fr. Michael Orsi, chaplain of Ave Maria Law School, and frequent commentator on life issues, among other things. Ah, yes.

The only glitch in the evening was that before I was to speak, I started feeling…bad. I mean, really bad. By the time it was my turn to stand up there, I was close to feeling something I haven’t felt in 20 years  – faint. I did my talk…okay I think, but was breaking out in a sweat as I spoke and was just thinking…and how am I going to drive two hours home???? I sweated through the questions (including the usual, "I read the DVC and understood it was just a novel…" Sometimes I think I should take medals with me or certificates of achievement or something, because I get that every time, even after I’ve painstakingly read my letter samples from people who obviously aren’t so smart.), sold a few books, and once again wondered how the next two hours would go.


Oh, they went. And I made it. (Interesting sight on the way down: a sign pointing down a road to "Migrant Worker Rest Stop" I’m guessing it must be some spot that provides drinks, maybe a little food?) The amount of truck traffic coming against me on 24 was astonishing. It was as if a fleet of thieves had cleaned out Fort Wayne and was making their way north.

Oh, dinner conversation was interesting – some baseball, some business (intriguing, general condemnation of the modus operendi of the contemporary  CEO who has no real ties and makes no substantial committment to the local community) and dour predictions on gas prices. I said something about how there was talk again about putting in high-speed rail that run across northern Indiana to Chicago, and one man said, "Not until gas gets to five dollars a gallon. Which it will. It’s going to get to three and stay there for a bit, and then climb to five and that’s what we’ll be living with."

Oh. And to think I was actually thinking it might go back to under a $1.50 again someday. Foolish girl!

I will say, it’s nice to do a speaking engagement relatively close to home – no hotels. Just me down here, back home, unable to sleep because I’ve got to wait, you know, for the baby to wake up…

Dan Brown rocks!

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posted August 25, 2005 at 8:08 am

As an ex-Forter, I share your frustration with getting anywhere, ANYWHERE other than Indianapolis, via a direct, four-lane highway. (Then I moved to Michigan, and found four-lane highways can be worse, at least during orange-barrel season.)
But that route to Toledo is a particularly bad one, primarily for the truck traffic you mention. It’s a deadly highway, and improving it ought to be transportation issue No. 1 — for public safety, if nothing else.
Which reminds me: Years ago I flew from Fort Wayne to Toledo, via Delta. The trip took 14 minutes and cost $14, and I think the service was available for about 14 seconds. With airport hassles, the net time saving was pretty slim. But it was pretty cool, going up and down and then you’re there.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 8:40 am

Years of experience has taught us the fasted way (although not the least miles) to get from Ft. Wayne to Toledo is I-69 north to the Turnpike.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 11:11 am

If you can just wait 5 – 10 years, they’re building a new US 24. Construction is scheduled to start in 2008.

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