Ohio (the Burning River State)

the Buring River State)
by Andy Whitman

Someone said... "Well back in the brief time I lived in Ohio, I remember the rivers catching on fire if that gives you a hint..."

That's our big claim to fame.

* Seven presidents
* home of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame
* home state of the first man to orbit the earth and the first man to walk upon the
* the birthplace of the tomato (that's right. It was a Buckeye who
first dared to eat the fruit of the deadly nightshade family)
* the spawning grounds of:

Dean Martin, Rebeccah Schaeffer (Miss America of 1979), Pee
Wee Herman, Paul Lynde, the star of Hollywood Squares (from my hometown of Mount Vernon, Ohio, I'll have you know. It says so right on the sign as you come into town.)

* home to the largest Amish population in the world
* the largest state fair in the world
* the most gargantuan university in the world
* the biggest molded butter cow in the world
* possessor of more fast food burger restaurants than the entire continent of Europe

And what do people remember? The river catching on fire.

There's more, of course.

Much more.

Like the fact that several major insecticides were developed here.

And hybrid corn.

Like the Danville Turkey Festival, where more turkeys are displayed than
any other turkey show in the known universe.

Like the Circleville Pumpkin Show, where you can actually buy pumpkin ice
cream and pumpkin burgers, and witness pumpkins the size of mobile homes.

Like the Our Lady of Perpetual Harvest shrine near Findlay, where Mary's
face miraculously appears on the side of a silo.

You would think that those kinds of attractions might warrant some attention -- maybe a national park near the shrine, or four stars in the AAA book, or something. But noooooo.

We're the state where the river catches fire.

But I know the truth. This is a state of infinite variety --

not only corn, - but soybeans, and alfalfa, and hay, and virtually any legume
you could name.
Not only big cities with small town mentalities, - but
actual small towns, and tiny hamlets with small town mentalities.
Not only
McDonald's, - but Burger King, and Wendy's, and Rally's, and the various roast
beef restaurants that also serve burgers.

So enough of this one-dimensional stereotyping.

Ohio -- it's more than a (burning) river.

Thank you to the person who sent this to me in email. I can say that we really are much more than a (burning) river state.

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