Let’s say you’ve never been to Ohio, but you’ve just met someone from Dayton. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
You’re thinking about cows, aren’t you. Or corn fields? There’s a farm in there somewhere. And probably one of these:
Oh, please. You know there is.
Well guess what, you’re right. All of these things are in Ohio. I saw one (and possibly two or three) of each this weekend, so I can attest.
There are pockets of my state that are all about farming, and that’s fantastic. (Who doesn’t like milk? And soybeans? And delicious sweet corn? ) But Ohio is a whole lot more than hay bales and scarecrows. Consider the facts:
- Josephine Cochran, James Spangler and Thomas Alva Edison were from Ohio. Without them, you’d be washing your dishes by hand and using one of those non-electric lint rollers to vacuüm your floor. In the dark.
- You’d also be destined to drive or travel by horse to your next vacation destination, because where would you be without Dayton’s Orville Wright and his newfangled airplane? (Note: Wilbur was born in Indiana.)
- Ohio boasts three pretty hardcore astronauts: Neil Armstrong from Wapakoneta; John Glenn, from Cambridge, (who, incidentally, lived across the street from my parents during his years in the Senate); and Judith Resnik from Akron, the second woman in history to go into space.
- By the way? We Ohioans know how to lead a country. Take exhibits A-G:
- Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885) 18th President (Point Pleasant)
- Rutherford B. Hayes (1822 – 1893) 19th President (Delaware);
- James A. Garfield (1831 – 1881) 20th President (Cuyahoga County)
- Benjamin Harrison (1833 – 1901) 23rd President (Cincinnati)
- William McKinley (1843 – 1901) 25th President (Niles)
- William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930) 27th President (Cincinnati)
- Warren G. Harding (1865 – 1923) 29th President (Marion)
- Note: An honorable mention goes to William Sherman, that Lancaster-born Civil War general who led “Sherman’s March” through Georgia
- Plus, we know how to entertain you. Just ask Halle Berry (Cleveland), Drew Carey (Cleveland), Clark Gable (Cadiz), Bob Hope (Cleveland), Sara-Jessica Parker (Cincinnati/Nelsonville), Mrs. Tom Cruise (Toledo) and Steven Freakin’ Spielberg (Cincinnati).
- We have some stellar athletes, too: Jack Nicklaus (Columbus), Jesse Owens (Cleveland); Pete Rose (Cincinnati);and LeBron James (Akron), to name a few.
- Plus, we’re home to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Eric Clapton lives in Columbus part of the year because he married a local girl. Rod Stewart and his hair have been spotted at Stauf’s, a local coffee place in Grandview (my hometown), Maynard James Keenan of Tool is from Raveena, Marilyn Manson is from Canton, Trent Reznor is from Cleveland. The Black Keys’ mindblowing Dan Auerbach is from Akron. 80s punk staple Devo formed here. (!!!) And? Neil Young wrote a song about this joint, and it’s a good one.
See? You had no idea we’re such titans of industry, did you. But we are. Just ask Proctor & Gamble, Abercrombie & Fitch, Mead, American Greetings, Bob Evans, Wendy’s, Goodyear, and The Limited Brands.
I leave you now with this intriguing riddle: What’s round on both sides and “hi” in the middle?
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