This is Ohio. I grew up there. From where I live now, it’s less than an hour’s drive to the west.
This is Columbus. This is where I was born. It’s a pretty cool place. I just spent a weekend back there, seeing a Dead show downtown, seeing high school friends I don’t see enough at a reunion and spending a Fourth of July in a suburb that celebrates it like no other place I’ve ever been. Columbus is a different place than it was when I was growing up — and by that I mean it’s only gotten better.
And this? This is Athens. Yeah, it’s a little college town, but it’s as important to me as any other place on the planet. In the decade I lived there, I met the people who are the best friends I have. It’s where I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. And it’s not only where I met Mrs. Crappy, but it was important enough to both of us that I took her back there in December 1998 so I could ask her to marry me. That’s just a few of the reasons why I’ve always thought of Athens as my spiritual home, a place I can return to and immediately feel centered, no matter what has changed since my last visit.
I lived in Ohio for the first 28 years of my life. That time and those experiences inform everything I am and everything I do. I’m thankful every day to be here in Pittsburgh, to know the people I do and to have the fun I’m having, but am, and I always will be, an Ohioan.
Got a problem with that?
I used to believe I had a problem with Ohio. Then Daughter #1 wandered off to College in Cleveland. The pro sports teams still seem a bit dodgy, but the folks are all right
Shhh . . . don’t tell anyone, but I love Ohio almost as much as I love Pittsburgh. Specifically, I’m a big fan of Akron/Cleveland. Shhh! It’s our secret!
I left Ohio, lived on the coast of Maine, and came back to Ohio. No regrets. Love it here. It is home.