Sunday, June 11, 2017

Centralia, PA


In 1962, a mine caught fire in Centralia, PA and it has been burning ever since. The government oredered the evacuation of the town, and, in a form consistent with humanity, a few stalwart citizens refused to move, living there to this day. The mine continues to burn, and upheavals and fissures billowing smoke and steam are not uncommon, though we didn't see any that day.

One of the more interesting parts of the town is the Graffiti Highway, a section of road that has now been closed off. People have taken to spray painting messages and images on the roadway, and it continues to change and evolve.

A walk along the road reveals a thought tableau as diverse as the people who traverse the road. Profane? Beautiful? Vulgar? Thoughtful? Sad? Ironic? It's all here.

The walk is short, but can be surprisingly introspective. Why did this phrase impact me? What was this person thinking when they spray painted that? I wonder if they're still together? Happy? What does that even mean?

It's also a good place to sit and cool off, on a hot day. Or, if you're riding with my buddy Brad, whom I only half-jokingly refer to in equal parts as "The Rainmaker" and "The U-Boat Commander", get out of the rain.