I have a confession.
I’m not a native Coraopolitan.
I actually come from a small town named Lawrence Park. It reminds me of Coraopolis. Both are small industrial towns. Both have small school districts where everybody knows everybody. There’s a local breakfast and lunch spot which has been there forever. The librarians know you by your first name. And each night I’m lulled to sleep by the sound of the train tracks.
Still, I feel out of place. Being from a small town on the outskirts of Erie, the Great Lake was intrinsically part of my identity. I skipped rocks. I drank in the crisp lake air. Lake Erie was my compass. The process of adapting to my new river town has been a gradual one. The neighbors I grew up with have been replaced by friendly strangers. The borough roads meander and wind wherever they please. The Ohio River is cold and imposing.
They say “you can’t go home”, but they omit whether you can create one. Will Cory ever settle into my psyche in the way Lawrence Park did? I’m not sure.
Coraopolis History Archive is my journey to acquaint myself with this area. To meet its people. Learn its stories. History speaks to those who listen. Maybe others will be interested in the Tale of the Maiden City as well, and our story will become richer, having sailed down this branch for a while together. I hope so. I do know that when it comes time to disembark, I’ll be happy I was able to fall asleep each night to the sound of the trains.
Maybe the Ohio will even warm to me, if I give her a try.