My long-time readers know that I can be very protective, even belligerent, when it comes to discussing the merits of an Ohio lifestyle. I was transplanted to the Midwest as a tween-ager and although I despised it in the early years I have come to believe that central Ohio is a good place to live and work. Twenty years’ worth of traveling the country and (occasionally) the world has only served to confirm me in this bigoted, insular Stockholm-syndrome opinion.
With that said, there are a few things I continue to truly hate about Ohio, and the cover of the newest CityScene magazine is a veritable tableau of them. This fellow knew that he was going to be photographed for a piece spotlighting various Columbus-area guitar collectors. He figured that this was the right time for an Ohio State golf visor, a Serbian-issue pullover, and the cheapest watch you can get off QVC between two and three in the morning. I spend much of my life surrounded by people exactly like this. “Male basic bitches” is what Mrs. Baruth calls them, and I have to agree. There is no time in your life when it’s a good idea to advertise that you went to “THE Ohio State University”, although I will concede my younger brother surely holds a different opinion.
Rest assured, however, that I have not chosen to spotlight this fine publication merely so I could express my disappointment with the cover.
Early last month, I welcomed the lovely-and-talented Amanda DePerro to my home so she could take a look at some of my favorite guitars and listen to me rant in a quite insane manner about mid-life crises, amplifier repair, Paul Reed Smith, and the Nicene-creed variant of my personal origin story. I believe that she left quite convinced that advancing her career in color-rag production past the municipal level would only result in a sort of semi-syphilitic madness. She was certainly very gracious about declining my ungentlemanly offer of a drink or ten.
Amazingly, Ms. DePerro hits most of the high notes in just a few paragraphs: my obsessive nature, ocean fade guitars, multiple marriages, complaints about my father, ridiculous jargon, shocking sexual audacity, and repulsive images of the ghetto. I think it’s quite delightful. Today I rode my CB1100 over to her office. When she came out to greet me, I chivalrously managed not to suggest that we put her on the back of my bike and go riding down by old man Johnson’s farm.
I left with just a few copies of the magazine and a tangible sense of loss. Never again will I grace the pages of CityScene. I’m not particularly wealthy or notable; I’m certainly not charitable or sociable. This was my one chance at fame and it is gone, Daddy-O. Fifty years from now, my son will only remember me as the fellow who was briefly discussed in a magazine with an OSU golf visor on the cover. You can read the complete text, minus one or two of the photos, at the CityScene website.