Excursion 6, Part 4 (The Return of the Urn)

In which our intrepid hero re-encounters a persistent mystery…

An interesting thing happened to me the other day.  I was going on another excursion and had to pass through the town of Coshocton, Ohio, which happens to be a town in which I spent some time on this excursion as well (see Excursion 6, Part 3 as well as this post).  I passed through Coshocton from a different direction and for a different purpose, and yet somehow the choices that I made in terms of streets to turn on managed to take me past the same old industrial buildings I had seen on my first trip and past the same urns (see below) I had passed by on my first trip.  Although completely unintentionally, my brain had decided to take me on the same turns and I ended up in the same places.  It occurs to me that this is a useful analogy to our own lives:  all too frequently we think we are starting anew, but we end up back in the same old spots, despite all intentions.

[Remember that you can click on each image below to see a larger, better version]

While taking my twists and turns through the vicinity of Coshocton, I took this rail tracks shot (hoping no train would hit me from my blind direction!).  To me there is something really captivating about photographs of rail tracks, because they imply motion towards an unknown destination.  They are an unfinished sentence.


This is a small green house that upon closer inspection will be seen to be rather dilapidated.  Another feature of this house—which is actually quite common on many residences in Ohio—is that it has two front doors, even though it does not appear to have two separate internal structures (like a duplex or apartments).  I encounter that two-door feature quite a lot and don’t really understand why it exists. exc6pt4-2

Here’s another Coshocton shot which gives a less picturesque take on the “industrial graveyard” angle. exc6pt4-3

This was a grand old house once. exc6pt4-4

This Coshocton ice cream shack, Dari-Delight, has seen more delightful days.  It does not appear to be in business anymore.  Although ice cream shacks don’t have a huge overhead and have a ready and eager customer base in the summer, surviving the Ohio winter must be difficult each year. exc6pt4-5

But ice cream shack owners seem to be born optimists.  Here is the nearby “The Freeze,” whose sign says “since 2013.”  They clearly think they’ll be around for a while.


On my way out of town I was somewhat surprised to pass by a school building whose entrance was flanked by two more of the mystery urns that I keep seeing in eastern Ohio.  I have mentioned them before in Excursion 2, Part 3 and Excursion 4, Part 3.  If someone knows where these things come from, please let me know!


Here’s another ice cream shack, the Dari Hut in West Lafayette, Ohio, a bit east of Coshocton.  It was pretty busy when I passed by.exc6pt4-8

Here’s a decent landscape shot showing the rolling green terrain of eastern Ohio. exc6pt4-9

I was on my way back when I came across this ugly indicator of humanity:  a sign vandalized with the phrase “white power.”  I see enough stuff related to white supremacy in my day job; I don’t need to be reminded of such evil when I am trying to relax.  This was out in the country, east northeast of Columbus.  I took a quick shot through the windshield because there is no way to make something like this pretty.


As I returned, I continued to find ruined and abandoned buildings, such as this shack here.exc6pt4-11

Here’s another one.  This must have been a nice home at some point.exc6pt4-12

There is nothing, I am afraid, intrinsically good about this photograph.  I just liked the combination of odd elements juxtaposed together:  a farmer plowing his field, an oil well, a girl’s soccer field (“Home of the Lady Bears”) in the background, and the wooded hill behind that.   exc6pt4-13

2 thoughts on “Excursion 6, Part 4 (The Return of the Urn)

  1. I live in West Lafayette and work at the Dari Hut. The owners of the Dari Hut also own the Freeze but it is run by a different person. The reason it says since 2013 is because it was bought in 2013 by the new owners. Before that it was called Wayne’s Freeze. The dari its self has been around for a very long time.

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