I'm sorry to disappoint anyone who thinks this is going to be about chuckholes -- it isn't. The simple answer there is, if the state doesn't provide the money, the county can't repave the roads.
No, the poor roads in our area have a deeper, more fundamental problem -- a problem so deep it might take a human being years in counseling to recover.
Our roads don't know who they are.
It's a problem we need to correct right away ... or is it "right of way"? I suppose it depends who you ask.
A Fillmore resident will tell you the road that approaches town from the west along the edge of the CSX Railroad right of way is, fittingly, Old Right-of-Way Road. That is, unless they tell you "Right-Away Road."
Yes, that's "right away," as in immediately, ASAP, pronto, now, on the double!
At first I thought this was a quirk of our local dialect of Hoosierese -- the kind of thing that causes names like Versailles, Milan and BRA-zil -- until I realized it's actually been institutionalized. According to the official street signs across from the liquor store, Main Street actually intersects with "Old Right-Away Road."
Of course, this isn't the first time faulty signs have led county residents astray. For decades, the City of Greencastle operated under the faulty assumption that "Carp Street" ran between Madison and North Jackson streets. As it turns out, the humble road wasn't named after a fish with a mud vein, but a lawman of Dodge City and Tombstone fame.
That's right -- Earp Street. I guess the middle bar of the "E" was shot out at some point.
You tell 'em I'm coming, and hell's coming with me, you hear?
It's not just about wrong names, though, there's the problem of too many names. Go to the end of Albin Pond Road and turn south. You're on County Road 100 East, then you're on Round Barn Road, then 10th Street, then Warren Drive. By making no turns and traveling less than a mile, you've been on four roads, but you've really been on one road. Before you know it, you are actually back on 100 East.
Travel to the other end of the Avenues (Or are they streets?) and you find much the same story. It's Zinc Mill Road, First Street, Percy L. Julian Drive -- formerly Tiger Cub Trail -- and eventually Fawn View Lane.
To heck with getting that road resurfaced in time for school, I just hope the workers can keep straight what road they're fixing.
And none of this addresses a Round Barn Road with no round barn, a Zinc Mill Road with no zinc mill, County Home Road with no county home, Seminary Street with no seminary or Airport Road with no airport. (You get there via Ballard Lane now.)
Everybody -- including me -- wants to put an "H" on the end of Hanna Street (I even had to type it twice, I swear.) and there are 173 ways to spell Larabee Street. Unfortunately, only one of them is correct.
Does Rockville Road lead you from Greencastle to Rockville? No. Does Lafayette Street take you from Cloverdale to Lafayette? It's near U.S. 231, which eventually gets to West Lafayette. But that's really another no. I suppose Indianapolis Road does take you to U.S. 40, which leads to the heart of downtown Indianapolis. I'm not sure if that counts or not.
At least I know Manhattan Road still takes me to Manhattan -- Indiana, not New York. I just might have to go through a few curves and, yes, over a lot of chuckholes to get there.