Bay Village, a great American town

Many years ago in Houston, I met the woman I fell in love with and married. She was from Ohio, and I was from Michigan. I knew little of Ohio, except there were some cousins, near Ashtabula.

As I got to know my wife, I visited her family in the town where she graduated from high school and her parents resided, Bay Village. At first, it seemed like just a nice name. I met her mom. Within half an hour, she told me how proud she was of living in Greater Cleveland, saying many times that day (later, too): "Cleveland, the Best Location in the Nation." I was open to that and felt welcomed and loved.

The purpose of this essay, is to celebrate a special place which, from the perspective of a visitor here, is amazing. Though, I have been here many times in the past 29 years, this year I was struck how simply incredible this small town really is.

First of all, right in the middle of the town on Lake Erie is big Cahoon Park. I learned early on that no organized activities can occur there on Sundays, per a stipulation of the the Cahoon family that willed it to the city. Some pretty special things occur there on the other six days of the week. How about "Bay Days" to coincide with the Fourth of July and a big fireworks display on the shore of Lake Erie.

There Huntington Beach for swimming and great views of the beautiful blue waters of Lake Erie. Just down the road is Lake Erie Nature & Science Center honoring local flora and fauna.

Sitting on the front porch on the residential street where Mom's home has been for 62 years, the three of us sat under the huge acorn factory call a giant oak in the front yard. Over the course of an hour and a half, only three cars drove by, quietly. Six young women on a walk strolled by. They were enjoying the moment.

Later that evening after dark, I stepped out side and was immediately struck by how quiet the streets were. While Houston has its quiet moments, they seem to come only between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. It was noticeable here that solitude and quiet living is just the way each day is lived.

Later, my wife and I went to the Cahoon Park walking path. We watched the slow progression of another stunning sunset.

Last October when we visited, these same parks and residential streets were filled with the incredible color of fall foliage. Yellows, oranges and reds make me marvel at the beauty of God's handiwork. I took so many pictures of tree colors I never see in dear ol' Houston.

I am leaving town next week. I will miss my mother-in-law until seeing her next time (God willing and Wischmeyer Creek don't rise)! I will look down on Lake Erie as our plane ascends from Hopkins Airport north over the lake. The plane turns left to head south toward Texas and flies right over Bay Village. I will wave back in my heart to this lovely oasis from the hustle and bustle of 2019 life. Where time is measured in moments of self enrichment and joy.

A part of my heart will forever be in this tree-lined village by the Bay. I shall return.

– Conner Bentley, Houston, Texas

Conner Bentley

Grew up  in Michigan, moved to Texas in 1977, and visit Bay Village to see wife's mother each year. I am a big fan of Bay Village and Westlake.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:23 AM, 08.20.2019