Excursion 16, Part 2 (Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust)

In which our intrepid hero returns to the Rust Belt along the Ohio River…

The city where I grew up, El Paso, Texas, had industry of a sort, but mostly of the resource-processing kind, such as the city’s numerous refineries (oil, copper, etc.).  I think the first time I ever encountered America’s stereotypical industrial economy was the first time I visited Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1989.  I was driving on one of the Interstates in the metro area and there was a certain point where, if I looked south, all I could see, it seemed, was a vista full of smokestacks belching fumes.  That was my welcome to industry.  Of course, by then Cleveland had already been a rust belt city for some time, so I could only image what it might have been like in, say, the 1950s.  Still, even in the 21st century, Cleveland still operates as an industrial city, both in the old sense (polymers, automobiles, etc.) as well as in the newer sense (information technology, biotechnology, etc.).

In contrast, the cities and towns along the Ohio River have been less able to weather the storm.

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