April 09, 2008

Green Grass and High Tides

I've been away on a little road trip through the land of my ancestry: the part of PA south and east of Pittsburgh. I wanted to see how green the grass was, and I'm not sure it's any greener there than it is here. That's a metaphor, folks. I understand the grass is blue in Kentucky. That's not a metaphor, though--it's a damned lie, from what I've seen.

It was a good drive--no cops, no deer. I had the strange experience of driving past two ball parks whilst listening on the radio to the games being played therein: the Pirates in PNC Park and the Altoona team. I want to say the Altoona Swerve?

I just looked it up. It's the Altoona Curve. I'm not sure I like the sound of that name. Isn't the curve something to be ahead of? Their website says this:

The combination railroad/baseball moniker beat out several choices like "Lake Monsters", "Ridge Runners", and believe it or not, "Fish"!

Apparently Jerome Bettis threw out the first pitch for the opener. If he had been there last night, I would have stopped.

Hmm. Anyhow, driving past towns named Armagh and Tyrone, along with Latrobe and Blairsville and Johnstown where my grandparents came from, I had the opportunity to reflect on the Scotch-Irish influence on the region, not to mention the aforementioned ancestors. It's not something I know a lot about, and it's not even something I feel like I should, particularly. I've always suspected I hail from fairly generic stock.

Ever notice how people who trace their ancestry always find out they're descended from somebody interesting or famous? What are the odds?

I do know that I'm descended from a long line of people who, against all odds, at least lived long enough to reproduce. What are the odds? Especially if they had eyesight like mine?

If I'd had more light, I could have seen some sights, since unlike the Scotch-Irish who tamed the western PA wilderness a few hundred years ago, I enjoy the benefit of corrective lenses. I'll bet it's a pretty drive during the day. There's so much Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and between I-80 and the Turnpike. I wonder if senators Clinton and Obama are seeing any of it?

1 comment:

--S. said...

I'd've liked to be able to root for the Altoona Fish, personally. I consider that a terrific loss.