2011.09.21 Where shall we go?

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It was a brutal weekend. Football, cross country, two music-in-the-park events, a 5K run. To top it off, there was a drive to Ann Arbor to visit my fake Uncle Bill and Aunt Joyce, plus my fake Cousin Joanie. I guess that makes her husband, Paul, a fake, also.

All that brutality sent me back to the archives again to dig out a column from a few years back.

I have to note that once-shy daughter Maddie is on what I call her West Coast Tour. She’s starting in Seattle and working her way south to Santa Barbara, visiting friends and relatives on her way down the coast.

She’s had only one near-death experience along with a lot of fun. I mention this excursion so you’ll have it in mind when you reach the last line of this old column.

Sept. 25, 1991

If you could go anywhere in the United States, where would you choose?

That was a late-night question to Colleen sometime last week. If I remember right, Idaho was the first state she mentioned.

The Archbold Buckeye was responsible for bringing up the question. Two members of their advertising sales staff took off to Florida last week for a short vacation. That struck me as one of the strangest things to do. Why would anyone want to go to Florida when there are 49 other possibilities? Make that 48 if you take out Ohio.

On second thought, maybe Ohio should be left in the running. As the Ohio Tourist Council points out, September is when the buckeyes drop from the trees. What’s that little jingle they make the governor sing?

“Autumn’s when the buckeyes fall.

Come and see us, one and all.

Bring a pail, collect a few.

Plant them and life springs anew.”

I asked at the Buckeye office about the women’s choice of Florida and I was given three reasons: very cheap air fare, shopping, and something about a man. That’s not enough to get me down there.

As I said, Colleen mentioned Idaho first. Perhaps she want to visit our only Idaho subscriber, Connie Seymour. I met Connie when I worked in a hotel during a college summer. She began receiving the Observer around Christmas last year and she still assumes I gave her that gift. Actually, the subscription came via a mutual acquaintance from Montréal. Sorry, Connie, but Colleen will explain it all if she ever gets to Idaho.

I remember Colleen saying that North Dakota would not be among her choice states, and I was just flabbergasted. We have no subscribers there, but they have the Badlands. I only saw them from a bus window and I’d love to get closer sometime. Some say that Florida is a different version of the Badlands, but I’ll take the original northern variety.

Colleen wondered if I’d ever been to Rhode Island. I wasn’t sure, I might have traveled through it on a train, but she wasn’t going to allow that as a visit, anyway.

I asked the kids where they would go. Ben, as expected, said Florida was his first choice, but unexpectedly, he never mentioned Disney World. It must have been in his subconscious. Why Florida? He wants to see what the undertow is like. He said Alabama would probably do all right, too. He wants to collect shells.

Rosanna’s first choice was Florida, also, but only because Ben said it first. After she chose it, she asked, “Is Florida a beach or a lake?”

The two then rattled off a list of states. Washington, D.C.—Ben: “I want to see the White House.” Washington—Rose: “Killer whales.” Maine—Ben: “Tidal pools.” Alaska—Rose: “To see my cousins.” Ben: “And seals.” Rose: “And elephants.” No, we explained, it’s only Uncle Kevin doing his elephant imitation. They don’t actually live there.

What about Ohio? “I wouldn’t want to live in Ohio,” said Ben. It’s just like what Midwesterners always say about New York City: It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

I visit Ohio frequently and NYC every few years. Both are just fine with me. New York is much more exciting, but Ohio has the Mounds, Nettle Lake and falling buckeyes.

I would join the kids and choose Maine without much hesitation. Whales, seals, undertow—they have most everything but the White House.

The kids never mentioned Oregon. They’d have a good time there, but that’s a state I mentally avoid. I lived there for a couple years, and if I go back I’m afraid I won’t want to leave. I lived in Saginaw for a couple years, also, but I seldom get the urge to return.

California would to fun to visit. Look at it as a study of foreign culture. The problem is that I hate the thought of messing with passports and immunizations.

When we consider available time and finances, we probably wouldn’t even get too far into Ohio. More likely, we’ll just go along with Maddy’s choice of where to go: Around the block in a wagon.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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