(Forgot to post this last week - just found it. Free Bleat! Good, because I have column to do.)

At the risk of sounding pretentious - and there’s no risk, so I think that’s baked into the souffle at this point - I had a great Beethoven moment on the highway while driving back from Traders Joe and Target. I had been in a mood all night, and I had shopped angry. Well okay hell yes I’ll buy this big bag of dishwasher nodules instead of the smaller one even though it’s $11 because the unit price is much better, so screw you store brand that has 32 capsules for $6.99, I’m set for two months. It’s an odd mood. It leads to excessive spending. Mood’s shot, might as well just pall myself with a total at the register.

Not really that bad; I am a prudent shopper who knows the price of everything and moves when it drops. But it’s the mood where you get the shampoo and toothpaste even though you’re certain you already have a backup in the closet.

Because, well, you don’t know if they’ll lock us up again.

Even so, I’d be able to come here for shampoo, right? Not if it’s France-style, where the hypermarkets have to put tarps over some goods because they’re non-essential. You can buy bread, but if you wish to buy a book or some masking tape, you will get le Covid. Okay. Don’t think it would be as arbitrary here, but you never know.

That’s the thing about 2020: you never know. I have a lot of yeast. But I bought some more yeast. Because you never know.

The things you remember vanishing, you never trust will be in the usual abundance anymore. The shortages of the spring were a serrated knife that gouged deep: every day by the end of the afternoon some paper good at Target is gone.

None of this improved my mood, but when I got in my car the classical station was finishing up the second movement of Beethoven’s 6th. Ah, good: Bacchanalian reverie and a thunderstorm to come. The boisterous third movement came on just as I hit the highway, and I rolled the window down and punched it. I mean, I had it as loud. The third movement took me to my exit, and I pulled some G-forces on the turn as in the accustomed style; the raindrops of the fourth movement hit as I entered the long dark road down to the parkway. I still had the window down, because I figured hey, this is an NPR kind of neighborhood, they won’t mind if a car races past with someone playing Beethoven too loud. Took the slalom turns of the parkway as the storm raged, and it was about two blocks from home when I realized what I had become.

Pulled into the garage just as the storm ebbed and the peaceable fifth movement began.

That was perfect.

So no, I won’t give up my car, for anything. Don’t even start with that.








Almost 35,000 souls here. Named after George Pullman, whose name will always be associated with railway sleeping cars - and d'oh. I just realized something.

That's why porters were always called George, right? Googling . . . ah. Wikipedia:

Many passengers called every porter "George", as if he were George Pullman's "boy" (servant), a practice that was born in the South where slaves were named after their slavemasters/owners. 

The view above is so unremarkable it makes me wonder why I went here. Again, as I always say, a postcard or a matchbook. Well, let's see what's here.

I swear, this is every building made in a downtown or downtown wanna-be area in the last 20 years.

Not necessarily a bad thing, that.

Audian! A Pet-Themed Cafe that used to be a theater!

Details here. It appears to be closed.

“They’ll come back to our historic downtown if we plant trees.”

You know me, I’d rather see signs than trees.


It was not long for this world. On the site now:


Why am I here? Did I choose this place for its ordinariness?


Ah. This was why. I must have checked out the postcard.


Handsome, stately, sedate, not ostentatious: what the rest of the country probably used to think Washington was like.


This . . . is not the best advertisement for the Meece.

Nice to see that clip art from 1972 still has a home.


Why did I choose this?

Ah, I know. Because you make certain assumptions about a building with a civic purpose, and that type of configuration. You think granite, columns, Roman touches.



Nicely restored or never-ruined. Also a reminder that even when the building looks as it once did, the old structures can be ungainly and oddly unfriendly. What’s with all that unbroken brick?


It’s an old theater, of course. Not sure they could have jammed any more marquee into that space, but hey: modern! A cool place to see movies about giant angry ants!

The rest of the block:

I found an old image of its previous life.



If they’re smart, they’ll go with The Old Post of Ice.

There was a movie theater in town called the Old Post Office. Searching . . . ah. Cinematreasures:

According to the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Jack Clark opened the Old Post Office Theatre in 1980. The 230-seat seat was built, like its name says, in the old 1930’s post office.

I wouldn’t call that 1930s, but it’s possible it was an old design used in the early 30s. But I doubt it.

Nice little town. Looks like a lovely place to live.

That'll do; off to the Motels with you now.





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