Going Home Again

I went back to Ohio
But my city was gone
There was no train station
There was no downtown
South Howard had disappeared
All my favorite places
My city had been pulled down
Reduced to parking spaces
A, o, way to go Ohio
-The Pretenders

The old saw that ‘you can never go home again’ is not exactly true. The inimitable Chrissie Hynde wrote those lyrics about her hometown of Akron. In the song she goes home and everything was gone, including her family. In my case, I am in Toledo, Ohio visiting with my family. My hometown is still here, and so is my family, but the spirit of the place is beaten and bruised.

You can see it in the faces of the shoppers and the people on the street. You can see it in all of the closed businesses and the For Sale signs in the yards. I did go home again, it is still there, but I know how Ms. Hynde felt 30 some years ago. I can’t help wondering how we let them do this to us again.

I don’t know how to connect this to food and wine, but I will be drinking a glass or two when I get back to my new hometown. My toast will probably sound a lot like this: A, o, way to go Ohio.

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