Friday, June 24, 2016
I could not get a photograph of the highway signs in Indiana. Which is too bad. Because while I can describe them, no words can capture the mournful feeling, almost a shock, of seeing these worn blue signs, half the letters fallen away, saying, you finally figure out, "EXIT 9."
I'll try to get pictures on the way back.
Yes, we've heard the cliche "crumbling infrastructure" for years. Yes, Indiana is a little slice of the Southland right here in the Midwest. Yes, they privatized their tollway in 2006, selling it to a company that promptly went bankrupt.
Still, to see the decaying signs. Seeing an illegible highway sign in America—it's unnerving, like passing Elkhart and noticing an exit for Kinshasa.
It shouldn't be like this. Not here. The weeds growing taller than the guardrails. The hastily patched roads. The shift to Ohio was dramatic—thank you fracking.
I think all Americans can agree we want to have good roads. Without them, we can't get around, can't do business, and can't look at ourselves in the mirror. Even Donald Trump spoke of the importance of fixing our roads and bridges Tuesday—though in typical fashion, got the solution wrong, our only hope for improvement, he claimed, being to elect him and "only" him.
Trump even running is a sign that America has gone into the ditch. That "Exit 9" sign is another. I'll never forget the surprise, the puzzled disappointment.