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After reading the first draft of yesterday’s post, I realized that it was too long, and that some of my readers may yawn and move on.

So, knowing that less is more, and really not being very good at it, here’s some more about Ohio.  After all, why just celebrate a birthday?  Let’s make this a several day affair.

“No.”, you say.

Well, tough cookies, it’s my blog!

Some Ohio facts:  Ohio is the 10th most densely populated state, and the 7th most populated state. 34th in size, and a very important state in Presidential elections.  It is courted by any Presidential hopeful, and often is “the” swing state that decides the contest.

We’ve always liked attention.  And there really is some swinging going on UP there!

Ohio, the word, comes from an Indian word meaning “great river”.  That would be the Ohio River, which is the southern border of the state.  The northern border is Lake Erie.  Erie probably means something too, but hey, the fore-fathers crossed the river first, and the French were UP in Cleveland being all French and everything, so, I’m sure they all said ‘screw it’ and went with Ohio.  Plus, some Indian probably had a tomahawk to their heads.

The state tree is the Buckeye tree.  The State Team is the Buckeye.  The state candy is called the Buckeye…ok…I made that UP…and the people are called Buckeyes.

Buckeyes 2

The Capital City is Columbus, named for Christopher Columbus, why I don’t know, since he never went there, didn’t know it was UP there, and would have turned tail and run as soon as the first winter slipped in.

And speaking of weather.  Ohio weather, there are four seasons just like every where else according to Jeff Foxworthy:  almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.  He obviously spent some time there.  The lowest temperature ever recorded in Ohio was -39 degrees.  Frankly, I don’t know how the place got settled.  Really, the first winter in the log cabin at 0 degrees for several days, and I’d have been on the first Conestoga headed south.

I grew UP in the central lowlands of Ohio.  Rolling hills, pretty rivers and streams, beautiful farms, and small towns full of closely related people.  Oh, and lots of muscle cars.  Lots, seriously, lots.

Most of the people of Ohio are European – German, Polish, English…all that stuff.  76 percent of them say they are Christian…but not that many act like it.

There is a large Amish population, they make great quilts and furniture…and awesome food.

Ohio has 13 State Universities with 24 branches, and there are 46 Liberal Arts Colleges as well…plus a butt load of Community Colleges and technical schools.

There is really only one College in Ohio…and we all know it’s in Columbus.

THE Ohio State University is a public research university.  It was founded in 1870, one hundred years before I got there, as a land grant university.

Land grant universities came from the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890.  Morrill was some politician who was educationally minded.  He was from Vermont, introduced a bill to promote land grants to states for educational institutions, which passed and was vetoed by James Buchanan.  Who was obviously anti-education.

President Buchanan

Morrill, undaunted, resubmitted it the next year, it passed, Bucky decided to leave it alone, and viola, history was made.

Iowa stepped UP to the plate first and got the first university.

Ohio State jumped in and the college on the Olentangy River was born.

University Hall

It’s not the number one University in the US, but it’s my favorite!  After all, they don’t call it High Street for nothin’!

I went to Ohio State (what a week that was!!).  And I continue to remain a huge fan…Woody Hayes inspired me.  I hit a reporter every chance I get!

I was there when Luke Witte got hit in the nads at the Minnesota basketball game.  The entire Fraternity, yes, I was a Frat Boy – we partied on before Wayne knew what a party was – had driven UP for the game.

Luke on the floor at Minnesota

It was a mess, Witte was in the hospital for several days, spending the night in ICU.  A brawl ensued, several players were suspended.  When the Minnesota coach said the game was over, and that OSU had won 50-44,the crowd went wild, booing, throwing things…such fun!

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen in Columbus…the out come would have been quite different.  Basketball was as important to OSU fans as football was.

I do remember getting the helvetica out of there as fast as we could!

The welcome to Ohio sign never looked better!

Oh, BTW, Luke became a minister after his college and pro careers in BB!  He may have met God on the basketball floor, I’m sure he felt as though he was going to go to him!

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