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Henry J. Inman

2324 Riverfront Parkway
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Phone: 330.923.9734
Cell: 330.571.7727

Skype: Goldfinch2324

Twitter: @GoldfinchComm, @HankInman

Facebook: Goldfinch Communications, Inc.

Email: hjinman@goldfinchcommunications.com


After several decades of living in Ohio, I know how to be an Ohioan. While I was learning, written guidelines would have been helpful. So I've written some to assist others:
1. Know the State casserole. The State casserole consists of canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and dried onions. You can safely take this casserole to any social event and know that you will be accepted. In fact, Neil Armstrong almost took this casserole to the moon in case he encountered alien life there. NASA nixed the plan out of concern that the casserole would overburden the Apollo rocket at lift-off.
2. Get used to food festivals. The Ohio General Assembly, in an effort to grow bigger offensive linemen, passed legislation years ago requiring every incorporated community to have at least one festival per year dedicated to food. Thus, Sugarcreek honors Maple syrup, Beavercreek loves popcorn, Waynesville adores sauerkraut, Troy delights in Strawberries, Bucyrus has a bratwurst celebration, Circleville has a pumpkin festival, Reynoldsburg has the Tomato Festival, Jackson has an apple festival, Deerfield has an apple butter festival, Rio Grande has the farm festival, and Gahanna, seeking an edge over other towns, has recently introduced the Triglyceride and Low-density Lipoprotein Festival. In addition to festivals, each county has a fair. It is your duty as an Ohioan to attend these festivals/fairs and at least buy an elephant ear. Don't forget the Port Clinton Walleye Festival!
3. Get to know the geography....Of Florida, I mean. I've run into Ohioans who couldn't tell you where Toledo is but they know the exact distance from Fort Myers to Bonita Springs. That's because all Ohioans go to Florida in the winter. Or plan to when they retire. Or are related to retired Ohioans who have a place in Sarasota. We consider Florida to be the Lower Peninsula of Ohio.
4. If you can't afford to spend the winter in Florida, use the state excuse, which is that you stay here because you like the change of seasons. You'll be lying, but that's OK. We've all done it.
5. Speaking of Ohio weather, wear layers or die. The thing to remember about Ohio seasons is that they can occur at anytime. We have spring-like days in January and wintry weekends in October. April is capable of providing a sampling of all four seasons in a single 24-hour period. For these reasons, Ohio is the Layering Capital of the World. Even layering, however, can pose danger...Golfers have been known to dress for hypothermia and end up dead of heat stroke because they couldn't strip off their layers of plaid fast enough on a changeable spring morning. 
6. Don't take Ohio place names literally. Upper Sandusky is below regular Sandusky. Circleville is square. East Liverpool has no counterpart to the west. Also, if a town has the same name as a foreign capital... Lima or Berlin or Louisville, for example......you must not pronounce it that way lest you come under suspicion as a spy. Hence, it's not LEE-ma as in Peru, but LYE-ma as in bean, and it's BER-lin, not ber-LIN, like in Germany. Louisville in Ohio is pronounced Looisville, not looeyville as in Kentucky.
7. Become mulch literate. Ohioans love mulch and appreciate its subtle differences. Learn the difference between hardwood, cypress and pine bark at a minimum. Researchers think the state affinity with mulch derives from its relatively flat terrain. People have a subconscious need for topography, and when it can't be supplied naturally, they are more likely to make little mulch hillocks in their front yards.
8. In order to talk sports with obsessive fans in Ohio, you have to be knowledgeable on three levels -- professional, college and high school. The truly expert Ohio sports fan knows not only the name of the hotshot quarterback at Canton-McKinley High School, but also what college he's interested in, how much he bench-presses, who he took to the prom and what he got on his biology quiz last week.
9. Remember that Ohioans are never the first to embrace trends. When we do embrace them, we do so with a Midwestern pragmatism. For example, if you see an Ohioan with a nose ring, there's a good chance he's had it undercoated to guard against rust.
10. The best way to sell something in Ohio is to attach the term "Amish" to it. The product need not be genuinely Amish. This would explain the existence of Amish moo shu pork.
11. Know the local celebrities who are/were Ohioans - Clark Gable, Cadiz (KA-diz - again, not like the city in Spain - (ka-DEES); Dean Martin, Steubenville; Robert Urich, Toronto; Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's), Dublin; Toni Morrison; Phyllis Diller; Bob Hope; Elliot Ness; Orville and Wilbur Wright - and many others.
12. Know that Ohio has been home to more Presidents than any other
state except Virginia. Ohio and Virginia are currently tied..
13. Be able to properly pronounce the unusual names of counties and cities like Tuscarawras County, Guernsey County, Gnaddenhuten, Bellefontaine, Cuyahoga County, and Geauga County . And don't forget the Scioto and Olentangy rivers.I hope you found this guide to be useful. If it offends you, please let me know and I will bring green bean casserole to your home to make amends

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