With a nod to Jerry Garcia, we'll proclaim, "What a long, strange trip it's been."
We're talking, of course, about the ebb and flow, the twists and turns, the fortunes and misfortunes of Warren's Hotel/Conference center.
Like the organization that was instrumental in its promotion - GRO-Warren - it exists, and yet doesn't exist.
It exists in the periodic comments from its front-man, Tim King, that the effort goes on to take the project past the talking stage. It's somewhat reminiscent of the scene in "Animal House" when a frazzled Kevin Bacon proclaims "Remain calm; all is well" just before being trampled by a stampeding crowd.
The latest example of Warren's strange trip is the story of the multi-million dollar state grant that existed and now doesn't exist.
The city's Convention Center Authority, meeting a month ago with not a penny to its name, appeared at least somewhat concerned that the deadline was only a month hence to put the local ducks in a row to receive $5 million in state money that would pay for a significant portion of the project. And, it would work with the developer to round up the ducks.
The month came and went. The ducks didn't align. The authority even floated the idea of requesting an extension from the state, but the developer said in essence, "Nah, we don't need it."
All that worry for nothing.
In the meantime, the former Loranger Manufacturing property continues to languish, the new subterranean electrical service stands idle, and the "long strange trip" seems headed for a dead end.
City fathers should start at least thinking about pulling the plug on this bit of municipal black humor, cutting the city's losses and reconsidering the entire project. Perhaps - just perhaps - the best use for a former manufacturing facility with brand, spanking new electrical service is manufacturing.
Over the months and years that we have followed what dribs and drabs of information have been available from the developers, we have consistently expressed hope that the project would succeed.
That hope has now waned.