It is snowing hard when I set off in late January 2009 on Rte. 585 to drive the thirty miles from Wooster to Bath, Ohio, to meet Heather Connell, the recently widowed wife of Michael Connell, a prodigiously gifted computer expert who had worked for Karl Rove and both George Bush Sr. and Jr. Stepping out of the terminal at Columbus Airport the day before felt like walking into a freezer chest. Two feet of snow have fallen since then. It’s what they call up here a “ white out. “ Snow blows across the road in blinding clouds, the roofs of farm barns are piled high with drifts. On Christian talk radio stations they rail about Obama’s release of Gitmo prisoners. According to one shockjock, they are going to kill American children. Welcome to the Heartland.
It’s all I can do to stay on the road. The wipers have frozen during the night and the torn rubber only keeps a fist-sized patch of glass at the bottom of the windshield free of ice and snow. To keep that clear, I have to have the defroster up so high that I am drenched in sweat. To see where I am going, I have to bend down in my seat, like a contortionist, and peer through the circle of clear glass. When a truck going the other way passes, I am submerged in a swirling, white cloud.
The weather inside me is equally stormy …( to be continued )