A great lake filled with memories & negative ions

‘Lake Erie Reverie’: CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO | TheStoryIsTheThing.Substack.com

By Douglas John Imbrogno | may 1, 2023 | thestoryisthething.substack.com

Lakes and oceans talk to us in a language we don’t understand with our cognition, but with our bodies. To be more specific, with our very cells. You might say it is the soothing language of negative ions. These small molecules with a negative electrical charge are found in high concentrations alongside oceans and tide-roiled bodies like lakes. These microscopic ions can not only slip through skin cells, but we also drink them up with every breath we take:

The beach, in particular, can have as much as 2000 negative ions per cubic centimeter as opposed to a crowded city that may have less than 100. Studies have shown that negative ions possess not only an anti-microbial effect but also a mood-stabilizing one.


So, then, in the video above I offer up a mood-stabilizing minute of ‘Lake Erie Negative Ion Therapy,’ especially if your life circumstances put you at the lower end of the negative ionic scale in your life, right now. Plus, you’ll see a Great Blue Heron in mid-flight. I can never get enough of Great Blue Herons.

‘Light Me Up.’ | Lake Erie lighthouse in Lorain, Ohio. | april2023 | thestoryisthething.substack.com photography

I spent last weekend in Lorain, Ohio, on a trip which included a visit to the last remaining Italian aunt on my father’s side. The family’s Old World-Old Guard is on its final legs, with all the Italian-born offspring moved on from this life, including my father. Now, a final elder link — my dear Lorain-born Aunt Teresa — is on her final spins of the Earth.

Lorain holds a key place in my siblings’ heads and hearts. My family couldn’t afford vacations growing up, what with six kids, two parents, and one income. So, our family vacations manifested as twice-yearly trips from our home in Columbus and later Cincinnati, up to Lorain where my parents grew up, met, and married. Once at summertime, once at Christmastime, we would re-enter the clatter and cousin-filled cacophony of separate extended families: my mother’s Germanic-Scottish brew, and my father’s hot-blooded, bubbling Italian stew.

Most of the families of both clans — after the kids struck out into their own families and homes — were strung along or not far from Lake Erie, upon whose waterfront the ethnically various town of Lorain stretches. Not for nothing does Lorain dub itself ‘The International City,’ although its ethnic mix is diminished in numbers, nowadays. But suffice it to say that my Italian grandparents, Eugene and Catherine Imbrogno (christened at their late 19th century Calabrian births as Eugenio Imbrogno and Caterinal Napoli) celebrated their 50th anniversary at Lorain’s American Slovak club. And one Italian aunt and one Italian uncle each married Polish hotties whom they met there growing up, while my mother’s father of Germanic heritage found a Scottish immigrant to wed on the streets of the town.

Lake Study with Distant Heron.’ | Lake Erie jetty, Lorain, Ohio | april2023 | thestoryisthething.substack.com photography

So, in addition to its soothing negative ions, Lake Erie possesses an almost mythic hold upon my growing-up imagination and emotional database. That’s why I begged off booking the Hyatt hotel near my aunt’s assisted living facility, where some of my siblings landed for this weekend’s visit. Via AirBnB, I found a cottage a hundred-yard walk from the lakeshore. I could see the lake’s white-capped waves frothing out the window of my second-floor bedroom.

Soothing and inviting, too, was a dinner of homemade eggplant parmesan at my cousin’s lakefront home, preceded by glasses of red wine and tens of thousands of negative ions bathing us out on their backporch, Lake Erie waving at us just fifty yards away, on to the far horizon.

‘Looking to Canada.’ | Lake Erie, Lorain, Ohio | april2023 | thestoryisthething.substack.com photography

For updates on new essays, poems, diatribes, photo essays, experimental videos & sorta memoir excerpts, subscribe to this site’s free e-mail newsletter: TheStoryIsTheThing.substack.com

You May Also Like


A wonderfully positive tale of negative ions – and the great American melting pot

Douglas Imbrogno says:

Thanks for taking a read and commenting, Gibbs!

Leave a Reply