Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Man Who Should Be Columbus, Indiana's Favorite Son

A blue million years ago (ie. 2005-06) an LA-based Pop Culture blogger took note of my Katrina New Orleans blog and asked me to join her small stable of writers.  It was a fun (unpaid) gig.  Right up my alley.  And I enjoyed the national exposure.  Then one day the blog (Subcrawl.net) just... disappeared.  So sad.  Too bad.

Anyway, yesterday I was reveling in the news that our president not only shot a segment with my favorite uber-geeks, the Mythbusters, but also invited them to the White House.  And I remembered an article I wrote for Subcrawl... and dug it up in ye olde computer archives.  Seeing that it's (A) a Louisville-area-based article and (B) Subcrawl is long dead, I figure it's A-OK to reprint it here.  

An Open Letter to the Town of Columbus, Indiana:

As a frequent visitor to your beautiful and unique small town, I have been charmed by the astounding architecture—from the library designed by IM Pei and the bank building designed by Saarinen to the cozy Victorian homes downtown.  

I have sipped upon hot mochas at Jitters, gotten drunk on New Years Eve at the Eagles Lodge while watching a grown man prance about in an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikini, and breakfasted on biscuits and gravy at the Moose (the half portion is large enough for a lumberjack).  It’s a great town, full of great people.

Columbus has enjoyed many honors in recent years.  It was named one of the “Ten Most Playful Towns” by Nick Jr. Magazine.  The National Trust named it a 2005 Distinctive Destination.  And the city is ranked sixth in the US for architectural innovation by the American Institute of Architects.  
It is in this spirit that I write to protest the fact that Columbus has failed in bestowing  sufficient honor upon its most illustrious native son.  

Yes, I recognize that Columbus has many “favorite sons” (alas, few daughters) to choose from including Chuck Taylor (of the Chucks sneakers fame) and Clessie Cummins (who created the Cummins diesel engine).

Yet, as a visitor enters the town the “Welcome to Columbus” sign is flanked by two “Home of…” designations.  Home of Tony Stewart, race-car driver extraordinaire.  Home of Don and Ross Barbour Original Members of The World Famous Four Freshmen, who are, according to their website “The Best Vocal Group of All Time!”  (Note that there have been TWENTY-TWO incarnations of the Four Freshmen since 1947).

It is with heartfelt love for your town that I urge you to consider bestowing the great honor of a “Home of” sign to Jamie Hyneman, the oddly sexy walrus-mustachioed co-host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, and 1974 Columbus North High School Graduate.

Hailing from Indiana farm country, Jamie Hyneman is a not just a Mythbuster-- he's a multifaceted man: wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wrangler, machinist, and chef. His career has been equally diverse: Jamie earned a degree in Russian languages and literature and ran a sailing/diving charter business in the Caribbean for several years before he moved over to the visual-effects industry.

I’m sure Tony and Don and Ross won’t mind sharing their roadside space with a genius of Hyneman’s stature.  I’m sure Hyneman would appreciate the nod (as long as you don’t put his high school picture on the sign). 

Kind regards, 


Anonymous said...

And I might I add, Jamie was a graduate of Columbus North High School. As was Tony Stewart. As was I.

-- Roommate

M said...

Roommate was kind enough to forward a link to my site to someone in Columbus's government. Here's the response... let the brainstorming begin!

Thank you for contacting us regarding the Tony Stewart and Four Freshman highway signs. You are correct, Columbus has many residents and former residents of which we are very proud.

Other than the “official” welcome sign at each entry into Columbus, we do not use taxpayer’s money for these signs. I believe our local Elks Club is responsible for providing the funding for the Tony Stewart sign and Tom Pickett (Tom Pickett’s Music Store) was instrumental in raising funds for the Four Freshman sign.

If you would like to request placing another sign at our entryway(s), we would be happy to consider it. It would be your responsibility to provide us with a design and, if the design is approved, it would then be your responsibility to provide (or raise) the funding for the sign as well.

If you think this is something that you would like to pursue, I am happy to work with you.

Shiloh Walker said...

Whoa... he's from Columbus? I didn't know that. but I'm out of touch with reality...