Thursday, August 31, 2006
(quiz feature!) the correction line
I used to think I had a good sense of direction, but that was because I grew up in rural Iowa, where everything is laid out in a grid. The roads run straight north-south or east-west, and, generally, there is a road every mile. I was amazed when I moved to Indiana and then Wisconsin and learned that other rural areas did not do this, because of "hills" or "dairying" or whatever other excuses got in the way of rationality.
Anyway, the map above is the area where I grew up. The green arrow marks the Freese Family Farm. You can see the grid. But, if you look a couple miles south of where I grew up, you can see a road circled in red. And you can see that road is not like the others, because no north-south road crosses it. Instead, if you are driving south, you need to go east or west for a bit, and then you can head south again unperturbed for miles. The road is called "220th Street", but that's a convenience for implementing 911 service and no one actually calls it that. Instead, it is often referred to as the "Correction Line." Quiz feature, for which any Manson-area readers are ineligible: Why is this road called the Correction Line? First correct and appropriately charming answer gets one of the coveted JFW virtual kewpie dolls.
When I was home last week, I got to tease my much older brother when I realized that he didn't know why the Correction Line was called the Correction Line. "You were in the Navy, right?" "And, when you were in the Navy, you got to sail to all the way across the ocean, right?" "And, I've never been in the Navy, so correct me if I'm wrong about this, but when you sailed across the ocean there was never any issue of your ship, say, falling off the edge of the world?" "And, so, did you get a sense these that the world might be--I don't know, just to throw out one possibility--sort of roundish in shape?"