'Shots Along the Way' and the stories behind them

'Shots Along the Way' and the stories behind them

Last week I got the chance to make a hundred new friends when I traveled to Alexandria (Ohio, not Egypt, sadly) to give a talk to a wonderful group of senior folks. Giving my “Shots Along the Way” presentation — a rolling slideshow of photos from my bicycle travels throughout Wayne and Holmes counties sprinkled with fun stories that go along with each frame — I learned quickly the Alexandria Buckeyes are no strangers to a good time. If I was going to hang with this crowd, I’d better be at the top of my comedic game. I must have done well, as they insisted I stay for fried chicken and cheesy potatoes.

Over lunch I answered a mess of questions: “Do you wear your bike clothes all day at work?” No, and I’d bet my co-workers are infinitely thankful for that.

“Do you have snow tires for your bike?” Yes, and they even have little steel studs just like the ones on your Buick.

“What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever found on one of your rides?” That’s a tough one to answer, but I’m going to have to go with the horse.

I once happened upon a tired old Standardbred, gelding, unbridled and completely unattended, just casually grazing his way along the Holmes County Trail. Though not a “horse guy” in any regard, I hung out with the beast for most of an hour, making awkward small talk while trying to keep him from wandering out onto the county road that ran nearby.

Finally, a young Amish boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old, stepped onto the trail after fighting his way through the thicket alongside the trail and said, “Oh, there you are you silly horse!” Then he put a hand on the steed’s broad neck, gave a low “titch-titch” and the horse followed him off toward home.

While easily the largest, the horse was certainly not the only creature I've encountered in my path. Egg-laying turtles, pavement-basking snakes, suicidal chipmunks, homicidal groundhogs and squirrels who can't ever seem to make up their mind have all placed themselves in my path at one moment or another.

If animal encounters provide the spice in my traveling tales, some of the inanimate objects I’ve found along the way provide the meat and potatoes. Pliers, wrenches, ratchets, hammers, a spatula, a magic wand, at least four separate buggy whips and too many horse shoes to count all have played starring roles in my travelogue as well. Oh, and I’d be remiss not to mention the human bones. They turned out to be plastic reproductions from a Halloween horror shop, but they had me going pretty good as I eyeballed them from across the ditch.

The wonders of the roadside are many and varied, and while most things lost have been left to remain that way — low-value items the owner has determined to be worth less than the effort it would take to retrace his footsteps to retrieve them — some things simply demand to be reunited with their rightful owners. I’ll feature one of those in next week’s column.

Kristin and John Lorson would love to hear from you. Write Drawing Laughter, P.O. Box 170, Fredericksburg, OH 44627, or email John at jlorson@alonovus.com.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load