Morgan Meis in The Smart Set:

ScreenHunter_1201 May. 27 18.46On a very clear day, blue sky, bright, bright sunlight, you’ll spy an amazing cloud. It is structured like a column. It is dense and white and billows upward, touching the outer limits of the firmament, seemingly. Probably it goes up only a few hundred feet. But the verticality of the cloud is what makes it so inspiring. Just going right up there. Up into the heavens over semi-rural Pennsylvania.

How did this cloud get here, in such an otherwise empty, blue sky? It is a miracle.

They started building the Limerick nuclear power plant in 1974 and it was officially commissioned in 1986. Officially, the plant is called The Limerick Generating Station. Limerick. The name comes from the town. The town is not really a town. Or, at least, I’ve never seen the center of it. There is no locality to the town, just signs as you drive around saying that you’re in Limerick or no longer in Limerick. There is a small, regional airport in Limerick and an outlet shopping center.

Truth be told, the town of Limerick is basically the nuclear power plant now. That is the center. You can see the steam cloud rising over the cooling towers from miles away. It is a useful point of orientation when driving around the windy roads that double back on themselves half of the time.

John Updike always wrote beautifully about this part of the world. The middle class houses. The certain kind of red clay. The specific attitude of a person who grew up around here, in the vicinity of Reading.

More here.