Naupactus sits on a route which used to see a lot of traffic and produced a lively income for those of us lucky enough to set anchor at the yard during the good times. Our stories grew together as one long passage of maritime activity. Like a train or a convoy of stories, big boats, little ones, beautiful ones and broken ones, they all stopped at one time or another in front of Naupactus. Those good times are remembered when we travel along a desert highway and read worn out signs promising fresh seafood and live music in places found on half full tanks of gas, stops no longer required by our larger capacity vehicles and busier and more hectic schedules. No, no time for this and no time for that, just enough time to get from A to B.
Many years ago I was traveling with my Grandfather “Pop” in the high desert and we stopped for gasoline. The station was quiet and the attendant was happy to see fellow human beings stop along what appeared to be a wasteland of nothingness lined with granite mountain tops and sage. As we fueled up we were updated on the local fish counts, water levels and politics. When we concluded our business, we hopped back in the truck and sped back onto the hot black cinder paved highway and pointed our hood ornament down the middle towards a horizon capped in royal blue.
As we pulled along I sensed that we were moving along not just geographically but socially. We were change and the place we had visited was not.
Today, Naupactus assumes the position of that old roadside service station in a vast wasteland of nothingness. At least that is how it feels today and I don’t even see customers coming down the road. The road is empty.