Madison, Wisconsin is a big city in small town britches. By which I mean that it fills them out nicely. There appears to be culture, the streets are bike-friendly, the capitol building is beautiful, the coffee is acceptable, the beer is pretty tasty, the lakes are sailboat-friendly, the waitresses are attractive, the food is good, the living is…easy? It’s something. Madison, Wisconsin wants to be bigger than it is, and it does a good job of living that lie, which is maybe why I kind of dig it a lot.
Downtown, on one of the lakes that begins with M, there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright building on or near the site where Otis Redding died in a plane crash. I said to Danny, as we were walking down there, “So Otis Redding died on the dock of the bay?” To which Danny said, “Ah, no, he drowned on the dock of the bay.” Or something. I didn’t know I was going to be writing this, so I didn’t write it down at the time. But at the time we thought it was funny. The violence of a plane crash. That’s funny. We couldn’t find the plaque that commemorates the event, so I took Danny’s word on faith.
But I just now looked it up. Turns out Otis Redding’s plane crashed in Lake Monona, in Madison, Wisconsin. So there you go.
Dipped my feet in the other lake whose name starts with an M. Forget its name. I dipped my feet, and Danny and I shot the shit, and then went to a rummage sale, where he bought coat hangers and a mug and I bought nothing. It began to rain. I bought us drinks and lunch at the Weary Traveler. Life went on.
The thunderstorms came a bit later. Two or three hours or so. The rain started thumping, the trees started bucking, and the sky started intermittently glowing. It’s the first thunderstorm I’ve seen in months, and it’s divine.
It even smells like the east coast here.
Ohio, tomorrow. God willing.