Whenever I’m back in my home state of Ohio I try to visit The Building, as my family has always called it. It’s a two-story brick building at a crossroads in Mutual, Ohio, once a thriving little hang-out for local farmers and now just a random collection of residences and a few empty commercial buildings.
My mom has an antiques shop on the first floor of The Building, and a few years ago the family came together to clean up the upstairs for use as a music hall. The upstairs has seen a lot of action; it was even used as a basketball court when the place was, very briefly, a school. Before those giant windows were boarded up and the place was used for decades of storage (and a home for generations of birds, which proved to be disgusting beyond words), it was a function hall, as they say here in New England. Rumor has it that one hundred or so years ago, things got pretty wild in Mutual. So wild, in fact, that the deed to the building contains the clause that no alcohol can be served on the premises, ever and in perpetuity.
I was in Ohio a few weeks ago and took some photos of what is now the Madden Road Music Hall in repose, with just the faintest echo of loud music, basketball games and wild farmer parties.