Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why are people sitting in folding chairs along Rt. 15?

At the moment Jim, Hope, Jacquie, and I are driving south on Route 15 to the Potomac River. This is our annual Reunion weekend and both the CLYMER and WEIR Reunions occurred in Laceyville, PA  at Jerry and Dottie Weir's lovely rural home. A first-time venue for both Reunions. We are now on our four hour drive home to Virginia.

As we followed the Susquehanna River through small river towns for almost 100 miles we observed a curious phenomenon.

First we noticed the population of a nursing home lined up in wheelchairs facing the four lane highway.

Further along the highway, every front porch was crowded with rocking chairs and people staring at the highway. 

Yes, it was a perfect summer evening to sit outside, but why face the highway?

(Yesterday we saw a similar phenomena in the little town of Tunkhannock . . . but then fire trucks, and riding lawn mowers led a parade through town to the annual carnival.)

Was a parade coming down a four lane major interstate highway? 

A major shopping area, with large box stores on both sides of the highway, offered another odd sight. Only a few patches of grass exist between turn lanes and traffic lights. But 20 people crammed their lawn chairs or blankets on every tiny island of grass. They too faced the highway.

Then to a rural area of farms and vegetable stands. A crowd sat around tables in front of a country church. It could have been a pot luck fellowship dinner, except all chairs faced the highway.

Was a regatta floating down the Susquehanna? No. Some spectators had their backs to the river so they could stare at the highway

A group of  Amish teenagers stood next to bicycles, with wicker baskets attached to the handelbars, staring at the highway. 

More people on blankets faced the highway, some with picnic baskets and baby strollers.

I phoned my cousin Rob who was an hour behind us on Route 15 and acquainted with the route  and Central Pennsylvania. Rob did not have an answer,

We stopped at a Quick Mart. A man exited the building and I asked if he lived around here. "Not really. What do you need?"

"Have you noticed all the people sitting on the side of the highway?" I asked. "What are they expecting?"

"Nascar," was his answer. 

The bewildered expression on my face prodded him to add:

"The NASCAR haulers are on their way down the highway after last night's races in Watkins Glen, NY ."

The bewildered expression remained.

"NASCAR is popular along the Susquehanna."