Friday, August 14, 2009

Columbus to Zanesville Oh --Reynoldsburg

I traveled Route 40 east from Columbus and the first town I came to was Reynoldsburg. What really got my attention was all the references to tomatoes and then I saw the plaque on the edge of town that said R-burg is "the birthplace of the tomato". This was big news to me and I thought about that declartion for a lot of miles today. I had to check this out asap.

It is all about the tomato in Reynoldsburg and appears to be the towns claim to fame --besides being the boyhood home of rapper BOW WOW.
Anyway , back to the tomato deal. If true, this is huge. I mean what would pizzas or french fries or tomato soup be w/o sauce/catsup/tomato--none of these staples of our diet would exist. Our lives would be drastically different than it is now. What would be soak our pets in after they get sprayed by skunks(I have done this on 3 different occasions). There must be many many other important uses and by products that I have not thought of, and according to Reynoldsburg the tomato was born here. Who knew?,_oh.htm This website gives some info and kinda lets us know that although the tomato was really domesticated a long time ago but was really not the tomato that does all the cool tomamto stuff we know about today.

A farmer in Reynoldsburg actually changed the exisiting tomato into something that had a zillion more usues and was much more practical to use than what was known beforehand.

I rode around Reynoldsburg awhile until I came across the home of the guy who "fathered" the tomato and got some more info. This marker is near where the guy lived. It seems that the Reynoldsburg folks like to interchange the words "birth" and "developed" when it comes to talking about the tomato. In any event something big did happen here regarding the tomato that did affect us the last 100 years.

As I rode away from Reynoldsburg my mind was a puree (pun intended) of thoughts about what I had seen while there. I wondered if the local high school team names were tomamto related like so many other places are. Many times when the town is known for something the sportsteams carry related names. I can only think of a few good examples right now like the Zeeland Michigan "Chix" (big time poultry) and another school calling themselves "The Ironmen/women" after a local steel mill, but I know it is fairly common. Anyway I checked out Reynoldsburg High School to see if they are called the tomatoes or something similar.
What I learned is that the Reynoldsburg football team is called the Raiders and have a purple and gold pirate like guy with a knife in his mouth as the mascot. I was disappointed because unless this Livingston guy was a reformed pirate on the side or smuggled tomatoes overseas or something similar there is no connection.

Then as I rode along my mind thought of other school mascots and for some reason the town/school of St. Henry popped into my mind. Now St. Henry has arguably the most famous high school sports in Ohio and maybe America--they are that good. Anyway their nickname is the Redskins and their mascot is an Indian with a full feathered headdress. To many casual observers this is about as politically incorrect as it gets and very offensive to a huge number of native Americans. There has been talk (nothing real serious) on and off for years regarding changing the name or mascot much like Miami University did a few years back from Redskins to Redhawks

When the topic is brought up to St. Henryites the standard line is that the name originated many years ago when their basketball team wore new red uniforms that stained their skin red. Thus the nickname Redskins that stuck. Nobody has an answer when the question of why the mascot did not become a red arm or leg instead of a red faced Indian chief. Now this situation may never get hot enough to force any action of change by St. Henry but if it does I have a suggestion for them to consider.
Why not adopt the redskin potato as their mascot? They would not have to change their entire name like Miami U. It would be real easy to paint a big red potato on the town water tower and sports scoreboards. It would even be easy for the cheer leaders --no switching the "gimme a R, gimme a E....." or if they wanted to change a little they could do the "gimme a P, gimme an O, Gimme a T........" because Redskins and Potatoes have exactly the same amount of letters so it spelling the word would not strain the attention span of the St. Henry fans , although it might take a few years for them to do it automatically without thinking.
It would be cool to call yourself a St. Henry Potato Head--GO SKINS GO!!!
Besides the big Redskin Potato mascot walking around games there could little kids dressed as tater tots entertaining at halftime. Of course opposing teams like Fort Recovery would make signs like "Peel, Boil , Mash or Fry the Redskins"as well.

You can kinda see my thought process after riding thru Reynoldsburg and having tomatoes on my mind for about 30 miles. Cruising along at bike speed gives a person a lot of time to roll things around in his head.
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1 comment:

  1. I liked your commentary. Very entertaining.