This week, a lot of attention will be fixed on my adopted home state of Ohio. You might have heard there’s kind of a thing going on up in Cleveland, what with
Trump University Pledge Week the Republican National Convention being in town. It promises to be a bigger media circus than normal, as the news outlets are just praying for a Black Lives Matter/White Supremacist throwdown in front of Quicken Loans Arena. There’s more than enough stupid on all sides for a Republican version of the Dem’s riotous 1968 Chicago convention. They’d no doubt love to see it.
Well, screw you guys. Here’s how we do things up here:
We have a lot more in common with the good people of Charleston, who unified in defiance of the out-of-town race-baiters who hoped to tear the city apart after last year’s church massacre. The hard lessons of Reconstruction taught us a thing or two about how to deal with carpetbaggers.
Having said that, I have been a conflicted Ohioan for over twenty years now. “Conflicted” because this means nearly half my life has been spent in a state – nay, an entire region – that is supposed to be anathema to a genteel Southern boy.
In other words, I’m supposed to hate it up here in Yankee Land. But here’s the weird thing: I don’t. In fact, there are a couple of things about it that are actually preferable. Excluding the suicidally dismal months of January and February, it ain’t bad. We’re in the middle of a glorious summer and fall is unfailingly spectacular.
Maybe I’m sentimental because this is where our roots have grown, but it’s been a good place to raise our kids despite not being one of the USA’s more exciting regions (or just maybe it’s because of that). Admittedly, I like that the area we live in has a lot more in common with West Virginia and Kentucky than those poor benighted Yankees up in Toledo and Cleveland. But don’t get me started on our ridiculous taxes; that’s what’ll lead me back down south before anything else. And please don’t ask me about the @#$&! Buckeyes. Ever.
And whereas southerners have a mostly well-deserved reputation for eccentricity, the people here are for the most part polite and level-headed. I married an Ohio country girl and wouldn’t trade her for all of the debutantes in Charleston. Not to say that all midwesterners are corn-fed pragmatists, nor are all southerners high-maintenance hysterics. But after dating far too many of the latter in my youth, my first experience with the former quickly showed which type I prefer.
So this week, the rest of you will get to see what we’re really made of here in boring old Ohio. I’m hoping it remains as good as that video. Let the carnival barkers and sideshow acts stay under the GOP’s circus tent. The rest of us have better things to do.