Although a rejuvenated Soap Box Derby brought 12,000 people to town over the weekend, we can still say with some degree of certainty that Akron is not among the world’s top tourist destinations.
Which has pretty much been the case for the past 187 years.
But if we ever do get any tourists, they’re certainly going to be confused.
On East Exchange Street in front of the Beacon Journal, there’s a sign, with an arrow pointing left, for “Inventure Place.”
Driving in the opposite direction, less than half a block away, there’s a sign, with the arrow pointing right, for the “National Inventors Hall of Fame.”
Good luck finding either one.
Nick Bostos lives in Rittman, where new school buildings have been constructed. He notes with amusement a sign leading to the elementary school. It reads: “Parents Drop Off.”
Quips Bostos: “Sure hope the kids have had proper driver’s ed training.”
Lauded, dead or alive
Now, I don’t tend to object to people taking the time to tell me how wonderful I am.
So I suppose I should be delighted to receive a fancy certificate from the Ohio Senate praising me for being named Best Columnist in Ohio by the Associated Press Society of Ohio.
The 176-word certificate, signed by Senate President Tom Niehaus and our own Frank LaRose, contained such over-the-top phrases as “special talents” and “dynamic leader” and “admirable devotion to service and achievement.”
Heck, they even declared me “a conscientious and responsible Ohioan.” Which made my wife laugh out loud.
But who am I to question anything that takes place in the Ohio Senate?
Unfortunately, the Senate clerk mailed this fancy certificate (in a 13- by 18-inch cardboard mailer, postage $2.10) to the home of a different Bob Dyer — an Akron resident who died four years ago at the age of 91.
Oh, well. At least they got the right county.
The late Bob Dyer’s wife phoned to tell me this was the last straw. For nearly three decades, she has been getting confused with the wife of the guy who writes for the paper, and she’s had it.
Just kidding. I paid her a visit and she actually was very nice. She talked about her late husband, a 6-foot-4, church-going gentleman who worked in sheet metal, a kind, generous, compassionate man who was married to her for more than six decades.
Mrs. Dyer has been mostly amused by this ongoing case of mistaken identity, once fielding a phone call from a woman in California who talked to her for 20 minutes even after finding out she wasn’t the right Mrs. Dyer.
I’m glad I got to meet her. But still — couldn’t the Senate clerk have figured out the address of my place of employment?
This seems like something that might have come from the office of Steve Dyer before voters tossed his butt out of the Ohio House.
He’s no relation, by the way. None. Never was. Still isn’t. Never will be.
Long way to go
The Rev. Christy Ramsey took a photo of an odd vehicle he saw in Springfield Township the other day.
It’s a delivery van owned by the Iowa Steak Co. In big letters and numbers is a toll-free phone number for “FREE Home Delivery.”
The van carries Iowa license plates.
Now, call me a pessimist, but doesn’t this business model seem a wee bit inefficient?
The anonymous reader who mailed me a newsletter from the Summit County Farm Bureau found it ironic that the return address for the bureau is in North Canton — Stark County — and the postage was paid in Salem — Columbiana County.
Maybe it’s actually a Tri-County Farm Bureau.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.