Chillicothe, Ohio might be the prettiest small town in America. There is a Main Street, and a set of railroad tracks that divides the town along class lines. Pairs of teenagers troop down the streets intermittently, looking for something to do. When I arrived, Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing was tolling from the bells of the black church. There is a plant that lets out at five, and a steel mill just beyond the Greenlawn Cemetery. It’s the closest place I’ve been to the small town from Back to the Future. There’s even a broken clock tower.
There’s also an erie silence to the place. Many of the small shops were closed, and I wondered had the steel run out in the nearby hills? How could such a pretty town be so sleepy? I walked around for a couple of hours, but the only businesses I patronized were the Shell station, and the $.50 Pepsi machine at the supermarket. Photography, like mining, can be destructive. You take, take, take, and then you move on to the next place that has something to offer. For that, I owe something more to Chillicothe. I’m probably not the only one who does.