My early nomination for Time magazine’s Person of the Year: Jane Bond, new commissioner of what soon will be known as “Summit Metro Parks.”
To the relief of right-thinking people everywhere, the former judge has issued a death sentence to the worst name in the history of public parks: “Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.”
Since its introduction in 1987, that name has taken a richly deserved beating in the pages of this newspaper and elsewhere. A few examples:
• “ ‘Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’? As opposed to not serving Summit County? As opposed to serving Marin County?”
• “Who in God’s name would name something that? We don’t need a definition, we need a name.”
• “Does any normal person refer to the local park system as ‘Metro Parks, Serving Summit County?’ As in, ‘Hey, kids, let’s say we pack a picnic lunch and head on down to Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.’ ”
• “This Thanksgiving, I am thankful the people who named our local park system ‘Metro Parks, Serving Summit County,’ have not named anything else.”
OK, I’ll fess up. Every one of those blasts came from my keyboard. I lodged my first complaint on March 16, 1994.
That’s two decades ago. Twenty long, agonizing years of suffering an insufferable injustice.
Much to my delight, Bond piled on repeatedly during Tuesday’s board meeting, referring to the previous name as:
• “A little unfortunate.”
• “A little lengthy.”
• “Dramatically challenged.”
Indeed, Ms. Commish. All of the above.
What was the park board thinking when it decided to bring unwarranted ridicule to our 11,500 acres of greenery?
I found out last year, when a former member of the board sheepishly volunteered an explanation: The board had grown weary of people not knowing whether various local parks were owned by the city, the county or the feds.
My reply: You could have fixed that problem with “Summit County Metro Parks.”
Bond did me one better, by going one word shorter. And shorter is definitely better, because what other “Summit” park system would we be talking about? Summit Heights? Summit Upon Avon?
Although this is wonderful news for Greater Akron, it is terrible news for Greater Cincinnati. The biggest park system in the southwestern corner of the state immediately becomes the reigning champion of horrible names:
“Best Parks in Hamilton County.”
That’s not a name. That’s an editorial — and a cheesy one at that.
Thank you, Jane Bond. We owe you one.
Plan B, C or D?
From a recent Medina crime roundup:
“A Grove Lane woman called police to report that her bra was missing. She told officers that she suspects the handyman took it.”
Maybe he needed a holster for his hammer.
Tallmadge Middle School sponsored a program for parents last week to help them identify signs of drug use and other risky behaviors among their teenage children. It included an interactive exhibit designed to mimic a student’s bedroom.
The program, created by the Bath and Copley police departments, has been staged in a number of communities to good reviews. But you have to wonder about the carrot dangled by Tallmadge to boost attendance.
A letter to parents read, “Any student that [sic] has a parent/guardian present will not have to serve their [sic] next after-school detention.”
In other words, parents could win their kids the educational equivalent of a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
No irony there, eh?
Getting it straight
Can you still pull rank after you’ve retired?
I guess so, because Mickey Porter will get his wish.
The long-retired Beacon Journal copy editor who doubled as author of the popular “Porter’s People” column, left a voice mail after I wrote about an old safe that belonged to John S. Knight.
Porter gave me hell for referring to Knight as “the legendary publisher” of the Beacon Journal.
During the three decades I have worked here, the man or woman at the top has always been referred to as “publisher.” But, as Porter pointed out, Knight never referred to himself as publisher. He much preferred the term “editor.”
Porter said plenty of other ABJ writers have messed that up over the years and told me to get this on the record so others of my ilk will never screw it up again.
Well, it’s on the record. But, as Porter should know, that’s no guarantee somebody might not screw it up again.
Maybe even me.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.