Sunday, April 4, 2010

Marietta Mourn



We drove over to our old stomping grounds of Marietta,Ohio to meet our friend Claire for breakfast. We began the morning at the Lafayette Hotel, another historic grande dame hotel in the area. She sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers and is a throwback to a bygone era. The hotel is also the setting where Keith and I first met. The old girl will always have a particular place in our hearts.

Like the hotel, the very town of Marietta will always be special to us. Marietta's a charmer....full of history and eccentricity and civic pride. This town's a pristine example of pure perseverance despite sometimes crippling adversity. Devastating floods and drug problems have plagued Marietta in the last several years. More recently, the heartbreaking loss of the Becky Thatcher, another former workplace of mine and classic old sternwheeler left a big hole in many resident's hearts....and it was truly lost as in sunk and destroyed in the river after being towed to Pittsburgh. Most horrific, however, was the arson which destroyed several historic buildings and businesses on Front Street. The cover-up for another crime was the sad catalyst for this heinous act but thank goodness no lives were lost. It was another setback for Marietta, though. And yet, they move forward...

...and now back to breakfast. After coffee at the Lafayette, we crossed the river to have breakfast at the Harmer Tavern. This classic joint is a true taste of Marietta and is famous for their hot bologna sandwich. Keith and Claire had the Tom Miller...a egg, potato, sausage and cheese scramble so named after a former customer who ate it every day. I had the Harmar Scramble...a spicy breakfast burrito involving andouille sausage and jalapeno peppers. Breakfast was atmospheric and excellent, as always.

It's pretty much impossible for us to visit Marietta without a visit to Rossi Pasta to pick up some housemade lemon pepper fettuccine. Soon after,I decided to get closer to the arson scene and take some photos. As I snapped away, I felt my heart sink and tears form in my eyes. Such destruction due to such pettiness. All three of us felt such a profound sadness it was difficult to stay near the scene long. Soon, we were heading out. With a wistful look back at the charm of Front Street, I knew the hardy and hard-working souls of Marietta would rebuild her soon....she is a true survivor, after all.

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