The first time I visited Berlin Heights, I fell in love with it.
From small shops to the one-stoplight intersection, the town reminded me of my home in Pinckney, Mich.
I arrived shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday. I wasn't really sure where to start.
After an initial bit of wandering, I happened over a hill on the outskirts of downtown and saw a man on a tractor. He was slowly weaving in and out of rows of apple trees spraying a fine mist onto the plants.
I heard the Main Street Cafe was the place where everyone gathered in the morning I was greeted with hellos and smiling faces. The best-looking group at the cafe was a table of about 10 ladies who meet every morning to chat over coffee.
After the cafe, I began walking through the neighborhoods that surround the one-street-downtown. I'm pretty sure I ended up talking more than picture-taking.
Conversations ranged from the weather with 62-year-old Alfread Thomas, who was mowing his grass, to the inner workings of clocks with Don Lautzenheiser, who has been repairing clocks since he was a kid.
Along the way I met people like Berlin Heights May Kelly Moon, who runs the city, to Betty Kudela, a Marathon attendant who makes sure residents don't run out of gas.
The highlight of the day was a T-ball game at the local park. Family and friends gathered to cheer as their young ones scrambled for losse balls, played in the dirt and made wild swings.
As the sunlight faded, I stopped into Oscar's Bar & Grill, known as Bar 61 to the locals. Inside only a handful of people sat that Wednesday night. I asked where everyone was. Fridays and Saturdays were the big bar nights. Duh.
Thinking back on the day, I determined why this little town reminded me of home: Residents were as warm-hearted and welcoming as everyone I grew up with.
Wark is a staff photographer at the Sandusky Register.