G. Sam Piatt
PDT Sports Contributor
I was born in Kentucky and lived for a while in Ohio and can truly say I love both states. I have no problem rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. After all, here’s a collegiate team just less than 100 miles north of my Kentucky home that’s ranked No. 1 in all the land.
In all honesty, though, if they played Kentucky I would no doubt root for the underdog.
And a few of my Ohio friends have a problem with swinging over to support the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.
Nonetheless, it seems to me the differences once experienced by residents on one side of the beautiful Ohio River against those on the other side have dissipated, if not disappeared altogether.
This wasn’t the case many years ago, especially among the younger set. In my novel, “That Summer of ’45,” I wrote about how when Tom Sycamore, a recent transplant to Kentucky from Ohio, and his Kentucky friends crossed the bridge into Ohio there was usually trouble. Insults were hurled by boys from both sides, insults that sometimes erupted into fisticuffs.
The rift between these two particular groups was healed when at summer camp they mingled with each other as competitive Boy Scouts on their respective troops from both sides of the river.
These days there appears to be respect and support, from both young and not so young, for the promotion and betterment of the region as one entity.
The state of Ohio never ceases to amaze me. I drive 250 miles across it from my home in northeastern Kentucky for the fabulous walleye and smallmouth fishing in the one-half of Lake Erie it owns. On the way I see vast level farmlands stretching off as far as the eye can see.
You get the impression that Ohio is a farm state. Yet it has five large cities and big industries such as the “Rubber Capital of the World” in Akron.
Its 10 million or so people, 91 percent of which are Christians (61 percent Protestant and 30 percent Catholic), have much to boast of, including the fact that seven residents became president of the United States.
John Glenn became the oldest American to travel into space. That was in 1998 at age 77, after he had become the first American to orbit the earth in 1962.
A long list of native Ohioans who have gone on to gain fame include Roy Rogers, Doris Day, Hopalong Cassidy, the Wright brothers, Jack Nicklaus, Labron James, the Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh …
The state is home to two major league baseball teams (the Cincinnati Red Stockings, now the Reds, were the very first pro baseball team in the nation), two teams in the National Football League and one in the National Basketball Association, and is home to the Rock & Roll and Football halls of fame.
And of course that defending national champion Ohio State football team.
One of the happiest years of my life was spent at Ashville, Ohio, Elementary. That’s a little town located off U.S. 23 about a mile east of North Brumfield.
It was the fourth grade, a time when 9- and 10-year-old boys were believing they could be anything they wanted to be, and noticing that girls were not just tomboys after all.
Traveling across the state I see woods and fields where white-tailed deer and other game animals flourish. I don’t hunt much anymore but I strongly support the right of others to kill and eat wild animals, birds and fish.
Ohio seasons that are open right now to licensed hunters include squirrel, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and the archery season for deer.
Seasons set to open Nov. 6 include those on ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail.
The most popular of all, the seven-day gun season for deer, opens Nov. 30.
For all of the information needed on all the seasons pick up a copy of the well-laid-out small booklet “Ohio Hunting & Trapping Regulations 2015-2016” wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
Come on, Ohioans and Kentuckians. Let’s enjoy the best of each other.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected]
His web page is gsampiattbooks.com.