Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friends From Ohio

It goes without saying that the stuff I don't know far outnumbers those I do. I knew that the Drew Cary Show was set in Ohio - Cleveland to be exact (home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, btw), Columbus is its state capital (see, who said junior high school civics class was a waste), famous son John Glenn was the oldest man to venture into outer space, Canton is where the Pro Football Hall of Fame resides, and that it's known as the Buckeye State (college football 101). But, what I didn't know about the 17th state of the union was staggering:
  • 50% of the U.S. population lives within 500 miles of said state capital
  • its state flag is pennant shaped - the only state flag of that design in the whole darn country
  • the Wright Brothers were from Dayton
  • 7 presidents were born there: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, McKinley, Taft, and Harding
  • the first state to enact laws for working women
  • and the number one jar dropper for me, and what I most associate with my 9-year old daughter, is that this is its state rock song:

Incredible, huh? I know, I know. But, the real reason I bring all of this up is that within its borders are some of the most genuine, best read, and the very definition for good friend people. Why do I say this?
  • I've recently won the Ohio Lot O Play? I wish... but, no
  • I own stock in Goodyear? Not hardly (and I should have bought some in March)
  • there's a really cute girl at work and she's from OH - Huh... never mind

None of that. However, by luck or good fortune, two of my favorite bloggers on the planet fit that definition. Jen Forbus and Corey Wilde. Gracious and insightful in their posts, generous and keen in their comments. Always. Recently, both managed to catch this old one quite off guard - around the time I clicked off another year (somewhere out is a speed limit with my age on it). And they did this all without knowing that I was born on Friday the 13th.

First, Corey sent me a copy of his favorite (but short-lived) series on DVD, American Gothic, because he knew I never saw it and was very interested in it. Plus, a copy of author Michael Koryta's newest, The Silent Hour (Lincoln Perry series). Not just that, but an autographed one! Then, this weekend, I received something special from Jen - the award winning Envy the Night by the same author, and with this inscription:
To Michael - a friend of Jen's is a friend of mine! Best, Michael Koryta
This, along with a wonderful card, from someone I met via the inter-tubes (and who I actually got to meet in person this spring at the L.A. Times Festival of Books). See, this is why I had to learn more about the people of Ohio. It is the reason I recently uploaded a clip of a favorite scene of mine that best expresses what I think of friends:

And before I go all mushy, I have to share this additional tidbits. You know you're from Ohio if...
  • You don't think of Florida first when someone mentions Miami.
  • You've heard of 3.2% beer.
  • Schools close for the state basketball tournament. Deer season, too.
  • You know all the 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction.
  • You can spell words like Cuyahoga, Olentangy, Bellefontaine, and Tuscarawas *(Wapakoneta?) and you know which letter is doubled in "Cincinnati."
  • You know what a buckeye really is, and have a recipe for candy ones.

My thanks to Ohio, and both of my friends. If everything works out for all, I hope dearly to see both of these friends at Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis (along with Robert Crais). Say goodnight, Gracie. Goodnight.

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  1. Maybe it's not Ohioans that are so wonderful. Maybe it's Californians, and the rest of us are just paying dues. 'Cause I notice how you didn't mention all the nifty items that have come my way courtesy of you and SheWMBO: Books, cookies, movies, Robert Crais autograph...

    Glad you had a happy birthday.

  2. BTW, all the friendliness between Ohio and California ceases for approximately three hours on Sept 12. Peace talks begin immediately afterward.

    And this link is for SheWMBO - I dunno when her birthday is, but this might give her an idea about what gift to request:
    Almost Live

  3. I second Corey's notion. It is one of my greatest honors to call you "friend." So, so glad you enjoy the book! :) And I'm looking forward to 2011, too...if not another Festival of Books before!

  4. Corey: I'm glad you understand about the 12th. I would cheer for OSU, but I have to live with a certain SC alumna ;-)

    Jen: that is a great gift. And I really appreciate it, and your friendship.

    Hopefully, we all can get together on some upcoming future events. Thanks, guys.

  5. Those are great gifts you got from Corey and Jen. You can tell a lot about a man by the way his friends treat him so you're obviously pretty special.

    If you don't want to, you don't have to wait until Bouchercon 2011 to meet up. I hear the author you all want to see will be at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco.

  6. You're very kind, PCN. And what is that B'con 2010 date in S.F.? Thanks very much, PCN

  7. Bouchercon by the Bay will be Oct. 14-17, 2010. Here's the site: (How do you insert links here?)