How many times when you are writing about something of the past does something of the now in real life come up that fits your story perfectly?
I have been writing about the squiggly lines I see in the roadway as I drive Boone County roads. I think I know why they are there but I can’t prove it. Yet.
Today, Aaron Lai,( Purdue Junior) expects to finish the trek that he started Sunday from Purdue to Bloomington in time for the tip off in tonight’s game.
Russ Mcquaid , (CBS 4 Indianapolis) in a story about him , made the point that cars were zipping past him at 60 mph as Aaron was walking along U.S. 231. Aaron is making the trek to raise money for a cause he believes in.
One hundred twenty-five years ago people in Central Indiana wanted to go from Lafayette to Bloomington as a matter of commerce. There was no U.S. 231 as we know it. The trek was made the same way, walking. It still took at least 3 days. If you were moving a side of beef (maybe 350#) you became ingenious…. two-wheel hand cart and you pushed. Or, you hitched a team to a wagon and hauled 6 sides at the same time. It still took you 3 or more days if you were lucky.
This was commerce and there had to be a better way (Russ said cars zipped by at over 60 mph – not in 1890.) By the late 1890’s, you could connect Lafayette to Indianapolis and Indianapolis to Bloomington by railroad. It was certainly easier if you could get your sides of beef to the freight station in Lafayette. It still might take 3 days, just a lot easier.
Then there is that visit to see dear Aunt Jane.. She must really be dear… 3 days of walking.
That is about where we are with our squiggly lines… at least we have some reasoning for the interurban. We are still trying to figure out why the squiggly lines.
Photo by Joe Bierce