My quiet, intellectual father shouted about Sandusky Bay each summer as we crossed the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Bridge, and my sister and I always echoed his exclamation. The Bridge carries Ohio Route 2 and Route 269 across Sandusky Bay and was the only way to get to a peninsula in Northwestern Ohio. Once a year, my parents packed the car for our family trip to Ohio’s vacationland area, where we spent a week at “Lakeside on Lake Erie.”
After riding for several hours on highways, and then on roads through marshy settings interrupted by cabins and trailer parks, after passing the enticing sign for the Blue Hole in Castalia, and the somewhat mysterious billboard for Sorrowing Mother Shrine, our hot and cranky spirits were lifted when my Dad marked our arrival at the white Edison Bridge. “Sandusssskkkyyy Bayyy!” As we rose over the quiet waters of the bay, we knew that our week at heaven was close at hand.
Soon we would be settled at a quaint, Victorian-era cottage, ready to go to the dock to swim, to the park to play miniature golf and meet friends on the playground, to the little shops for ice cream and candy and to entertaining programs each evening. Our parents had more time to help us fly balsam airplanes, to go for walks or bicycle rides, and maybe they would even play a game of shuffleboard. Oh, the joy of hearing my Dad shout that we were crossing Sandusky Bay!
But the week at Lakeside passed so fast, and before I knew it the elation and thrill of crossing the bridge to Lakeside was replaced by the melancholy emptiness of driving across the bridge to leave and go back home. “We’ll be back year,” my Dad would say.
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