Last week I attended the Indiana State Byway Conference in Aurora nestled on the Ohio River. I stayed over Wednesday night to hear one of the premier speakers on rediscovering the heritage of our national roads, as a precursor to the conference on Thursday. The evening lecture was held at Hillforest-Aurora's most recognizable landmark.
Leive House B&B
I woke up once during the night at my stay at the Herman Leive House B&B to the sound of barge horns on the Ohio. That was pretty calming once I realized it wasn't Gabriel's trumpet. In the morning I thought I would set out to do a little photography around town. One problem: fog. And the way the fog clung to the hillsides and descended into town was kinda cool. Aurora calls itself the "city of spires", and rightly so. But even the famed spires struggled into view through the dense fog.
After attending the byway conference, Aurora wasn't the only thing left a little foggy. Folks, southern Indiana has its act together when it comes to capitalizing on its heritage. And less you think that cheapens it....I believe they know how to capitalize because they honor it. Grassroots organizations are making substantial headway in bringing about heritage tourism all through the hills of the south. They aren't being held suspect by their elected officials and are being welcomed with arms open wide by tourism and economic development folks.
We in the north are a different breed all-together. I get the sense we think these differences make us better people-somehow maybe more advanced because we can trade heritage for a CVS and think it is economic development. I have to believe it leaves us poorer for not being able to value, much less profit from, our heritage. Whatever it is, likely stemming from ignorance and control issues, I just don't get it. I just hope that with all our conceited belief that we are somehow more advanced because it's easier to say no than yes, we don't wake up and find that we've become the armpit of the Midwest.