Recycled Creativity #1: Louisville _____

I moved to Louisville with my wife, Sara, in May of 2008, and knew little of the place except that it, like Columbus, OH, was a river city with a downtown that’s interesting to look at. We found a spacious apartment with a loft on the East End and have since enjoyed its plentiful natural light and nearby swimming pool. After moving in, we took to walking our immediate neighborhoods and discovered, with some awe, that we were living in an area dotted with cul de sacs, Italian restaurants, and expensive-looking brick homes.

We found that equally fortified mailboxes stood before many–if not most–of these homes.

The sight of so many brick mailboxes sparked a lot more creative thought than it perhaps should have. They’re probably in a lot of places, but, Sara and I hadn’t seen them. We grew up in older neighborhoods than this–neighborhoods where the houses went up in the 50s and 60s, and the tin mailboxes stood on wooden stakes and were rusted by many seasons of rain, snow and salt. The little brick fortresses in Louisville seemed as potentially dangerous as they were permanent–for what about errant driving? Back home, one could smack a mailbox with any part of a car except the side mirror and neither driver nor car need notice. In Michigan, a combination of deer and darkness proves more dangerous than any communication recepticle.

We're #2! We're #2!

I mean, look at that. The only state ahead of that which I grew up in is West Virginia … and it’d probably be wrong to devise some sort of misplaced comment about Appalachia, moonshine and so forth here, since it seems that our beloved, decayed Detroit has around a bazillion liquor stores and no grocery chains.

Anyway. Mailboxes. After reading around online, I find that the lethality of a brick mailbox depends on the drunkeness of the driver and how many wheels are underneath said driver–that is, if you’re drunk on a motorcycle, and you try a wheelie, Death’s holding trump.

So, if an army of brick mailboxes at the side of the road is quite legal in certain residential neighborhoods limited to certain low speeds, located in certain states … still, why the little fortress? Permanence? An aesthetic accessory to a mighty home? I wondered, I recalled the habit of certain delinquent persons with a car and a baseball bat, and, of course, living in a town that’s home to a rather famous maker of baseball bats, I found a ridiculous reason and I drew it:

This is not quite the chicken and the egg.

Protection!

cell phone + night = grainy image

Of course, Sara and I have since been to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. It’s not bad for a factory tour (as a Michigan-der, I’ve been on a few of those). You can buy a Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth model if you so choose. You can hurt yourself in a batting cage, and then buy a baseball-bat-cane afterward. But the postcard photo op is outside, where there stands a baseball bat against which no mailbox could survive.

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About Jeff Mazurek

My name is Jeff. I am an introverted mumbler prone to fits of creativity. I run. I draw cartoons. I like fish and don't get my hair cut often enough. I am happily married to my wife Sara. She likes my hair short and tolerates my fondness for fish.
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