First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above. To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”
Landing number 2292; A Landing A Day blog post number 722.
Dan: Well, Ohio was PS (perfectly subscribed) with one landing. This was my second landing there, pushing OH into OSer-land. My Score (of course), went up, from 699 to 705.
If you don’t understand the above paragraph (and for some reason want to), check out “About Landing (Revisited).”
Here’s my regional landing map:
And my local landing map:
Hmmmm. Very urban. Maybe I need to zoom out a little:
So I’m just inside the beltway, in suburban NE Columbus. I wonder if they call it “the beltway” (like us easterners) or “the 270” (like westerners)?
Anyway, I need to zoom way in:
Take a close look at the street names! What an international community!
I like the little area west of my landing where Canberra (Australia) and Vienna (Austria) are surrounded by Saigon (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Paris (France) and Rangoon (Myanmar, aka Burma). You’d think that the cities would at least be grouped by continent. Oh, well . . .
A couple of street names aren’t familiar. Makassar? Indonesia. Karikal? India. Varadero? Cuba. Bolamo? Well, it only comes up as a street in NE suburban Columbus . . .
How about my watershed? Rather than my usual streams-only map, I’ll start with a local street map, showing where I think the storm sewers go (based on topography):
I’m sure the water ends up in Alum Creek. Zooming back with a more traditional streams-only map:
You can see that the Alum Creek discharges to the Big Walnut Creek, on to the Scioto River (6th hit).
Zooming back once more:
The Scioto (of course) goes to the Ohio (140th hit); on to the MM (897th hit).
It’s time for my spaceflight from an upside-down continent (this time South America), right on in to central Ohio. Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and hit your back button.
Now I’ll use GE to get a closer look at my landing:
I really don’t need a Street View shot, but it’s available, so what the heck:
For those who need to know, I landed in the backyard of 3743 Paris Boulevard East, Westerville.
So, I headed downstream a few miles to get a look at the Alum. I found this, which looks like the GoogleCamMobile drove up towards a footbridge (the blue line):
But see where the Orange Dude is? That’s because he drove out halfway across the footbridge! Here’s the mid-span view:
You can tell that the side rails are pedestrian-worthy, not vehicle-worthy!
And looking back towards the parking lot:
AYKM? He drove halfway across a pedestrian bridge? Oh, well.
So, Columbus. Columbus and I go way back. My family moved to Zanesville (50 miles east of Columbus, right on I-70) in 1960. In the early 60s, I was a rabid Ohio State basketball fan (Jerry Lucas! John Havlicek! Bobby Knight!). I was heart broken when my beloved Buckeyes lost twice in a row in the NCAA championships to Cincinnati (’61 & ’62)! Imagine that. Two national championships in a row that were all Ohio.
I remember curling up on the couch in my living room, all by myself, in the dark, listening to radio broadcasts of OSU basketball. The radio was part of this huge console record player. I can still hear radio announcer Jimmy Crum saying “How about that!” when the Buckeyes made a particularly impressive shot.
And football. I went to my first college football game in Columbus. It was 1965 and Hang On Sloopy (which I loved and quickly learned how to play on the piano) had been a huge hit in 1964. I was blown away when the Ohio State marching band actually played it! Little did I know then that Hang On Sloopy would become an absolute regular for the band. It’s still played today!
And when I’m in the mood for raucus rock ‘n roll, I still play it on the piano . . .
Here’s a must-watch 2012 video.
This brought tears to my eyes. And (as anyone who knows me can attest), I mean that literally.
While I’m at it, here’s the Band’s famous Script Ohio. Well worth the 3 minutes and 49 seconds investment:
I remember the summer of 1967. I was just 17. Amazingly, my parents trusted me to ride as a passenger with my best friend Robby Higgins (driving his parent’s red 1958 Ford Station Wagon) and go all the way to Columbus. I have no clue why we went to Columbus. I remember hearing “Penny Lane” by the Beatles numerous times on the trip . . .
OK, OK. Gratuitous opportunity to post this:
So Columbus is huge (pop 850,160), not even considering the entire metro area (pop 2,000,000). I’m overwhelmed. As is my wont in these cases, I’m going to focus on interesting/famous people with people with a connection with Columbus. I decided that only going to OSU wasn’t enough. I’ll start with Simone Biles. World #1 gymnast and Rio Olympics superstar.
Here’s some background info from Wiki:
Simone Arianne Biles was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio. Her mother, Shanon Biles, was unable to care for Simone or her other children – a girl (seven years older than Simone), a boy (five years older), and Adria (two years younger) – due to her drug and alcohol addiction.
Shanon’s father and stepmother, Ron and Nellie Biles, who had two nearly-adult sons began temporarily caring for Shanon’s children in 2000, in the north Houston suburb of Spring, Texas.
In 2003 the couple officially adopted the two youngest children, Simone and Adria, and Jean’s sister adopted the two eldest. Simone’s father Ron, originally from Haiti, is a retired air traffic controller and Nellie Cayetano, who emigrated from Belize, is the former co-owner of a chain of nursing homes.
There’s quite the story here, eh? And it’s so cool that her father is from Haiti (where they speak Haitian Creole and French) and her step mother is from Belize (Spanish-speaking). What a cultural blend.
Here’s a shot of Simone (People Mag):
And, as a child (NBC):
Moving on to Jack Nicklaus (the Golden Bear). Generally considered the greatest golfer ever, Jack won more major golf tournaments (the US Open, the PGA, the British Open and the Masters) than anyone. He has 18 championships, Tiger Woods has 14.
I think Tiger was poised and in line to become the greatest ever, but Tiger imploded and likely will stay in second place.
Anyway, Jack was born & raised in Columbus/environs and went to Ohio State. Here’s a little from Wiki:
Nicklaus was born on the East side of Columbus, grew up in the suburb of Upper Arlington, Ohio and is of German descent, the son of pharmacist Charlie Nicklaus (who ran a small chain of Nicklaus Drug Stores) and his wife Helen. Charlie was a skilled all-round athlete, who had played college football for the Ohio State University Buckeyes, and had gone on to play semi-professional football for the Portsmouth Spartans (who later became the NFL’s Detroit Lions). Charlie had also been a scratch golfer and local tennis champion in his youth.
[OK. So it was in Jack’s genes.]
Jack went to Upper Arlington High School, whose nickname and mascot are called the Golden Bears.
[I never knew why he was called the Golden bear.]
Nicklaus was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection in basketball as a shooting guard in his senior year, and received some recruiting interest from college basketball programs, including Ohio State. He also competed successfully during his youth in football, baseball, tennis, and track and field.
[I’ll say it was in his genes.]
Nicklaus took up golf at the age of 10, scoring a 51 at Scioto Country Club for his first nine holes ever played. Charlie Nicklaus had joined Scioto that same year, returning to golf to help heal a volleyball injury.
Nicklaus won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12. At 13, he broke 70 at Scioto Country Club for the first time. Nicklaus won the Tri-State High School Championship (Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana) at the age of 14 with a round of 68, and also recorded his first hole-in-one in tournament play the same year.
At 15, Nicklaus shot a 66 at Scioto Country Club, which was the amateur course record. He won the Ohio Open in 1956 at age 16, highlighted by a phenomenal third round of 64, competing against professionals.
There’s more, but you get the picture . . .
Speaking of picture, here’s a nice one of Jack from the Daily Mail:
Moving along to somewhat famous boxer, Buster Douglas. From Wiki:
James “Buster” Douglas (born April 7, 1960; grew up in Columbus, Ohio) is a former American professional boxer who competed from 1981 to 1999. He is best known for his stunning upset of Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo to win the undisputed heavyweight title. At the time Tyson was undefeated and considered to be the best boxer in the world, as well as one of the most feared heavyweight champions in history due to his utter domination of the division over the previous three years.
The only casino to make odds for the fight (all others declining to do so as they considered the fight such a foregone conclusion) had Douglas as a 42-to-1 underdog for the fight, making his victory, in commentator Jim Lampley’s words, “The biggest upset in the history of heavyweight championship fights.”
Douglas held the title for eight months and two weeks, losing on October 25, 1990 to Evander Holyfield via third-round knockout, in his only title defense.
Douglas came out rather sluggish, and was thoroughly dominated by Holyfield during the first two rounds. In the third round Douglas attempted to hit Holyfield with a hard uppercut that he telegraphed. Holyfield avoided the uppercut and knocked an off-balance Douglas to the canvas with a straight right to the chin. Douglas did not get up, ending his brief reign. He retired after the fight.
Douglas vs Holyfield was a reported $24.6 million payday for Douglas. Doing little for the next several years, Douglas gained weight, reaching nearly 400 pounds. It was only after he nearly died during a diabetic coma that he decided to attempt a return to the sport.
The coma made Douglas realize he had to pull himself together, and he decided to go back into training. He won six consecutive bouts, but his career did not get back on track. He finished with an overall professional record of 38-6-1.
Here’s a pic of Buster (from Wiki by Lasan Rajapaksa, columbusmonthly.com,):
From what I can gather, ol’ Buster’s doing just fine now (at age 56). . .
Next on my list is Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace. He led an incredibly full life. I’ll just pick out some highlights:
- Born in Columbus in 1890; grew up with a fascination for machines
- As a boy, nearly killed twice. First, when run into by a horse-drawn carriage; and then when on a thrill ride in a cart down into a mine and the cart flipped over, just missed crushing him.
- As a young adult, became well known as a race car driver.
- After the US declared war on Germany in 1917, he enlisted in the Army, and immediately had his eye on being selected for pilot training.
- Instead, he was trained as an aircraft mechanic; but he managed to talk his way into some flight training.
- He proved his flying skills and was selected for an air combat unit.
- He ended up being the #1 American Ace, credited with 26 “kills” of enemy aircraft. But get this, four of them (including #ers 25 & 26) were balloons. Should they really count?
- After the war, he founded the Rickenbacker Automobile company, and was the first manufacturer to use a 4-wheel braking system.
- In 1927, he bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which he operated for 15 years.
- In 1938, he became the founder and owner of Eastern Airlines.
- In 1941, he was in an Eastern DC-3 that crashed just outside Atlanta. He was left for dead by rescuers. His injuries included a fractured skull, a shattered left elbow with a crushed nerve, a paralyzed left hand, several broken ribs, a crushed hip socket, a pelvis broken in two places, a severed nerve in his left hip, and a broken left knee. Rickenbacker’s left eyeball was also blown out of its socket.
- He recovered fully!
- In 1942, the Secretary of War Henry Stimson sent him on a tour of airbases in the Pacific theater.
- He was provided an older B-17D Flying Fortress as transportation to the South Pacific. The bomber strayed hundreds of miles off course while on its way to a refueling stop on Canton Island and was forced to ditch in a remote and little-traveled part of the Central Pacific Ocean.
- For 24 days, Rickenbacker and his crew drifted in life rafts at sea. The food supply ran out after three days. Then, on the eighth day, a seagull landed on Rickenbacker’s head. He warily and cautiously captured it, and then the survivors meticulously divided it into equal parts and used part of it for fishing bait. They lived on sporadic rain water that fell and similar food “miracles”.
- One crewman died and was buried at sea. After two weeks, the search for the lost B-17 was to be abandoned, but Rickenbacker’s wife persuaded them to extend it another week. At the end of the third week . . .
- He resigned as CEO of Eastern Airlines in 1960 (due to declining revenues); he retired, traveled extensively with his wife, then died of a stroke in 1973. He is buried in Columbus.
Phew. Quite the life, eh?
James Thurber’s next. From Wiki:
Born in Columbus, Ohio, James Grover Thurber (1894 – 1961) was an American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit. Thurber was best known for his cartoons and short stories, published mainly in The New Yorker magazine and collected in his numerous books.
One of the most popular humorists of his time, Thurber celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people.
He described his mother as a born comedian and “one of the finest comic talents I think I have ever known.” She was a practical joker, and on one occasion pretended to be crippled and attended a faith healer revival, only to jump up and proclaim herself healed.
Once, while playing a game of William Tell, one of his brothers shot James in the eye with an arrow, and he lost the eye. This injury would later cause him to become almost entirely blind. Unable in his childhood to partake in sports and other activities because of his injury, he elaborated a creative mind which he then used to express himself in writings.
Here are some Thurber cartoons:
And some Thurber quotes:
I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness.
Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest earliest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost.
Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance – a sharp, vindictive glance.
There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
I’m 65 and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics. But if there were fifteen months in every year, I’d only be 48. That’s the trouble with us. We number everything. Take women, for example. I think they deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of 28 and 40.
I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.
Women are wiser than men because they know less and understand more.
Moving along to music – I love rock and roll, and I love the music of Joe Walsh. Maybe this is a slight stretch, but according to Wiki, “Walsh and his family lived in Columbus, Ohio, for a number of years during his youth.” But more importantly to me, Walsh went to Kent State University (in Kent, Ohio), which is where I received my Master’s degree in geology. I was there in ’73-’74, and knew people who heard Joe’s group “The Measles” playing in Water Street bars in Kent back in ‘66/’67 in Kent.
I really don’t have much to say about Joe. He was a hugely talented and original guitar player who had great success with the James Gang (Funk#49 and Rocky Mountain High), the Eagles (Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane) and as a solo artist (Life’s Been Good). Plus others.
Like so many of his ilk, he hit rock bottom with drugs and alcohol. But he had a choice: die or sober up. Twenty years ago he jumped on the wagon and hasn’t jumped off (and is still touring).
Anyway, here’s a picture of Joe in the Fast Lane:
And here’s a shot of Joe going the speed limit, after getting a good night’s sleep:
If (and only if) you’re a Joe Walsh fan, here’s a cool video with some great music. He plays his hits (Funk#49, Rocky Mountain High, Life’s Been Good) with Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates). OK. It’s really long . . .
I’ll close with this GE Panramio shot of Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville by John Weinhardt (about a mile NE of my landing)
That’ll do it . . .
© 2016 A Landing A Day