September 15th, 2013 | Shored Up | Erie, PA
The fourth stop on the tour brought me to Erie, PA after a 24-hour pitstop with my family in Philly. I’m not sure whether there are any other places on the east coast where you could drive 400 miles in one direction and still be in the same state, but I doubt it. Not that I drove, but I’m just saying.
Fourth stop on the tour, fourth coastal community. In this case to be fair we’re talking about a lake coast and not an ocean coast, but there are issues with erosion on Lake Erie like there are everywhere. My hosts, Christine Olivier and Jamie Grady were terrific. Christine lined up a post-screening panel with Dr. Jennifer O’Donnell of Coastal Ocean Analytics and Jacob Moore of the PA DEP, and once the audience got going in the Q&A they didn’t stop until Christine stepped in to call it a day. Special thanks to Christine’s mom and dad who traveled all the way from Mystic, Connecticut for the screening and then got the Q&A rolling with a couple of great questions.
I didn’t get a picture of it but there’s this strange geologic formation that runs at an angle to the shore on Lake Erie for 14 miles which is called Presque Isle. In many ways it resembles a barrier island, but between the two coastal experts on the panel and myself, a truly amateur scientist, none of us could figure out how it was formed other than it probably had something to do with the glacier that was there during the last ice age. They’ve been building breakwaters off of it recently to try to keep sand in place…sounds familiar.
This truck caught my eye in the parking lot next to where I was parked for lunch. When it rolled in with the big “Herzog” on the side, I couldn’t help imagining Werner on some sort of “rail testing” documentary road trip. It’s not totally implausible.
And here’s the amazing Tom New. He’s the President/CEO of WQLN in Erie whose very modern, almost post-modern building is tucked away in the woods on the outskirts of town. Tom and I did an interview which will air sometime in late October. As we talked some gophers were hanging outside the glass doors as blue-jays swooped around. It reminded me somehow of the Van Gogh Museum I visited in a nature preserve in the Netherlands many years ago.
Post by OSIP Touring Filmmaker, Ben Kalina