Excursion 7, Part 2 (Urban Urbana)

In which our intrepid hero encounters a county seat…

What makes you love a place?  I grew up in El Paso, Texas, and though I have not lived there in over a quarter century, I am still possessive and protective of the place.  When I left Texas in 1988 to move to Ohio to go to graduate school, I really did not know what to expect.  Having grown up in the west, I had a number of prejudices against the eastern United States.  To the extent I knew anything about Ohio, I knew that it got very cold there in the winter and humid in the summer and that the state was part of the “rust belt.”  I also knew that it had none of the grandeur of western geography.  It had no mountains, no gorges, no big waterfalls.   When I arrived in Columbus, Ohio, I was pleasantly surprised (except about the humidity, which is indeed nasty).  But between then and now I somehow moved from being pleasantly surprised to loving the state.  I can’t say how exactly Ohio started to grow on me, but I know it started early on and I was soon defending my adopted state from the disapproving remarks of some of my stuck-up fellow graduate students.  I came to love the diversity of Ohio, the quiet beauty of the Midwest, the little places.  Over the years, more and more, it just seemed like home.

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