Wednesday, October 24, 2012


As long as there is a place called Ohio…we can solve our equations there.

Have you been to Ohio?  I have seen much of southern Ohio. My father used to go to Dayton when I was a kid for meetings. He would bring back boxes from a company named Reynolds and Reynolds. The boxes had green lettering. It must have been a thrilling company. Read all about it here:  I knew it was just a little business town where my father had to go work on his computer forms and the like---but it had a bit of romance since, you know, my Dad, a Chevrolet man, went there for business.   As a young actor, I found myself in cheap costumes in civic centers and theaters in Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati. How sad to see what Dayton really was. And again, back to Dayton one time for a photo shoot during my short lived career as a photographer assistant where we shot a “show house” which was a lovely old mansion in an old neighborhood of decaying old mansions where local interior designers each decorated one room and then the locals would pay admission to see these wonders and the cash would go to charity. I distinctly remember a music conservatory with black and white floor tiles and a grand piano with some splotches of red around. It was the early 90s and big bold things were still in. 

One of my best friends from college was from Cleveland. He was extremely attached to being very American, though his father, a successful doctor, was born in the Philippines. His sisters were in cotillions. His mother was a lovely looking woman. He once turned to me, I think it was freshman year, both of us pre-med, and he asked me, achingly, “Don’t you want to marry a beautiful woman?”  I said no. Not because I was against beautiful women at the time, but because I could not believe that his only desire for a woman was for beauty. But hell, we were 18, and I did need women more for their brains than for their bodies, and he had a bad case of acne and I was kind of in love with him.

And then there was the visit to the Cincinnati zoo when I was playing the tin man in the Wizard of Oz. That was a nice day.

And when I moved to California, I drove from New York to Chicago in one day---and I found crossing Ohio to be quick and easy compared with Pennsylvania.

I kind of like Ohio. It’s Midwestern but pushes to be “sophisticated” in its own industrial way. It wants to be New England preppy. It smells of corn and chemicals. It’s kind of conservative, but kind of liberal, industrial and farmy…

It is a true mutt of a state, both eastern and midwestern, northern and southern, and it makes complete sense that this somewhat densely populated state gets to call a lot of elections.

Florida has its moments, as we have all seen. But Florida leans redder and redder with the passing of each acre of wetland into another little affordable neighborhood.
It is one huge exurb plunging into the ocean.

You kind of count on Ohio to be sane, or at least mixed, and you stare at it, every four years, going—“Come on, honeys, give us what we want.”

Romney could win Ohio. He has the hair for it. But maybe not the eyes. They look very scared. Like a rabbit about to get run over on the I-70.

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