Kish and I are up in Vermilion, Ohio for a family bridal shower. Because I’d rather thrust rusty screwdrivers under my fingernails than participate in a bridal shower, I’m spending a soggy Saturday knocking around the downtown area of Kish’s home town.
Vermilion is a cool place. Located right on Lake Erie, about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo, it’s got a clear nautical orientation. The high school football team is the Sailors, there are boats pretty much everywhere you look, and there’s a well-stocked bait shop right in the center of town. It’s one of the best places in the world to get a Lake Erie perch dinner — and anyone who has had a fresh, hot, fried Lake Erie perch dinner knows that’s the best fish you can eat, period.
Lake Erie is vast — it is a Great Lake, after all — and choppy on a day like today. A landlubber like me is endlessly fascinated by anchors, and masts, and rigging, and large mooring pylons that look massive enough to hold a freighter hard against a pier. They can be found in Vermilion in abundance. With its quaint buildings, white wooden frame houses by the lake, and the ever-present sound of water slapping against docks, Vermilion is like Ohio’s special little slice of New England.