As I waited in construction traffic yesterday at the I -65 to I -80 west ramp I looked around me. The sky to the North was an impossibly perfect shade of blue. It was the blue you see in your mind when you close your eyes and remember the carefree days of childhood summer. Not a cloud marred the sky over the distant lake. You know which lake.
Not so long ago as you neared this part of NW Indiana near Gary the sky would have a faint yellow tinge. The air would smell of chemicals and the rotten egg odor of sulfur from the refineries and steel mills.
I rember the trips we made in the early 1970s to visit my only aunt and uncle in Western Illinois. The stretch from Gary to the Illinois line was a time of misery, of watering eyes, of choking smells. Those of you who lived and worked in Hammond, Whiting, Gary, or Griffith probably did not notice the air like a traveler from a Central Indiana farm town.
Today the air is clean and fine. Is this a function of environmental awareness or the decline of the US steel industry?