St. Cloud, via Garrison
Garrison speaks on my college town.
“The eastern approach to Lake Wobegon is Division Street, St. Cloud, a five-mile strip of commerce in full riot, the fast-food discount multiplex warehouse cosmos adrift in its asphalt sea, the no-man’s-land of twenty-four-hour gas stations that sell groceries and have copiers and the bright plastic restaurants where, if you ate lunch there for the rest of your life, you would never meet anybody you know or get to know anybody you meet, a tumult of architecture so cheap and gaudy and chaotic you wonder how many motorists in search of a drugstore and a bottle of aspirin wound up piling into a light pole, disoriented by flashing lights and signage and sheer free enterprise, and then the cosmos peters out and you emerge from hell and come into paradise, rural Minnesota.”
-“In Search of Lake Wobegon” – Garrison Keillor
I hold St. Cloud fondly in my heart. I love the town. I went to school, made lifelong friends and began a career in St. Cloud. And, without fail, I take an extra hour out of my day and pass through whenever I’m on my way to Minneapolis.
But, man. I’ve been there recently. And nothing has changed from this quote.