In the summer, as soon as the memory of the last snowfall around
here has faded (that can be as late as July), the yearning for beaches, sand,
and boats springs eternal in the natives breast. Air fare being what it
is, the lovely town of Sandusky, Ohio, exists to palliate that burning need
for aquatation. If you are a boater, no doubt you use this town to purchase
the hearty provisions needed for the extended Lake Erie expedition (i.e.,
The town is also, off and on, the debarkation point for romantic vessels and ferries to the Lake Erie Islands and our unknown neighbor to the north, Canada. To anyone that has flown to Detroit, it is apparent that, if you stood on a Northern Ohio beach, on your tiptoes, you would see Canada on the other side, it is so close to the horizon. Yet to the flat-landed Ohioans, the romance of a foreign country, where a different language is spoken (they do say "ooot" and "abooot") is so compelling, that they speak of bridges across the lake and huge auto ferries shuttling pioneers in an international exchange of commerce reminiscent of Columbus. Sandusky provides the launch point for these dreams.
For those who are not robust enough to make the actual voyage, the town occasionally sprouts a local winery or two to compete with those on the islands. And of course, it is a large enough town in those parts to provide the fundamental fuel of a lake-faring soul (i.e., beer). Especially in July and August, you would think the town belonged in one of the Carolinas!
Because of the things Sandusky has to offer the summertime visitor, it's
greatest wonder, I imagine, must have been decreed. To satiate the lust
for Florida, one element was imported...a lone palm tree on the town square!
You must appreciate how long that tree has been there. The winters here
are hard enough on the mammals, who can at least adapt to the gray and cold,
but even the hardiest of mammals wear down in many cases sooner than this
There, in the center of the square, the young tree sprouts from its transplanted soil in 1934.
That very tree will be there in the summer; I don't know if they put
it away for the winter, but it must be the northernmost palm tree alive anywhere.
Certainly this counts for something!
That's it for now...a discussion of the leisurely trips a Clevelander
might have taken about 50 years ago. Keep watching this homepage for more
updates on Antique Cleveland, and even the wilds of Canada...Niagara Falls,
back when a day's drive was a day's