Last month Jude Tallichet and I and our dogs Fleurry and Jeffrey drove from Jude’s parents’ house in Louisville, Kentucky, to our home in Ridgewood, Queens, reversing the direction of the drive we made six days before. We make this car trip twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. It’s a long day, but can be handled in three or four driving shifts with time out for dog walks and occasional stops to look around. Six states are involved: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. What we always remember are the endless mountains and tunnels of Pennsylvania, the strange bridge passage through Wheeling, West Virginia, and the flatness of Ohio. Depending on the direction we are going, it will be bright and empty early on in Kentucky and dark and frantic in the eastern states at the end of the drive, or the morning traffic will be slow and congested in the east and it will be dark and wet late at night in Cincinnati and Kentucky. There isn’t a single dramatic moment when the red states shift to purple and then to blue or vice versa. Maybe the closest happens just west of the New Jersey state line in Pennsylvania when you become aware of the buildup of fracking equipment, trucks, pipes and storage tanks in the turnoffs and fields running parallel to the highway. We like to stop at Big Bone Lick State Park, the Birthplace of Extinction, but we haven’t had a chance to visit the Creation Museum or Noah’s Ark or Roadside America, The World’s Greatest Indoor Miniature Village. Someday we hope we will, though.
Matt Freedman is an artist living in Ridgewood, Queens. A current show of his work, Slap-Stick, is on view at Fjord Gallery in Philadelphia. His ongoing performance collaboration with Tim Spelios,... More by Matt Freedman