In my post of October 16, 2017, “When Will Pennsylvania Welcome Me? Part 1,” I inserted a chart that rated my driving experience on the Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turnpikes. One section of that chart summarized the quality of each state’s rest areas. I indicated that Pennsylvania had none.
I was wrong.
On my recent summer solo road trip, I observed no rest stops during my drive across the state. But during a return trip last week, I actually stopped at one with my friend. I’m guessing that I hopscotched them on the previous trip. (This also suggests, of course, that I have never developed object permanence … which may explain other challenges … but that’s for another post).
The rest stop was a close replica of the photograph above. It provided a gas station, small restrooms, racks of brochures boasting local attractions, and two vending machines.
I short-changed you, Pennsylvania. For that, I apologize.
It’s not advisable to omit information about such a basic, important state-level service. Pennsylvania — one of the original 13 colonies, the state that played such an important role in the birth of this nation — the state with the beautiful Allegheny Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Poconos — the state with the Liberty Bell … you deserved more.
The state with the oldest golf course (Clarion) — the state with the first department store (Wanamaker’s) — the state with the oldest gas station (Altoona) … what did you ever do to deserve my error?
Plus, my mother was born there. What was I thinking?
In closing, I offer the lyrics to the State Song of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, mighty is your name, steeped in glory and tradition, object of acclaim. Where brave men fought the foe of freedom, tyranny decried, ’til the bell of independence filled the countryside.
Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, may your future be, filled with honor everlasting, as your history.
Eddie Khoury and Ronnie Bonner, 1990