Darke County Up Close

The Washington Post headline read: In Rural Ohio, It’s No Country For Democrats, and I thought, bet you it’s about where I live. And sure enough, the reporter went to Greenville, county seat of Darke County (and where, some of you OMW readers may recall, John Perry went to get inducted into the Colonial Defense Forces), about 11 miles from where I am typing this. Come see a big-city reporter’s view of where I live.

Note also that Greenville, with 13,000 residents, is the big city of the entire county; Bradford, where I live, has 1,800 people in it, and because the county line goes straight down our main street half of them live in a different county. Rural America, folks: It’s here.

31 thoughts on “Darke County Up Close

  1. Great pic! Love the change in the blue from the horizon to the top of the image. I take many pictures trying to capture sky colours well.

    What is your camera by the way?

  2. It’s a Nikon d70s.

    This is not a recently-taken picture, by the way. It was taken two Octobers ago, if I remember correctly.

  3. Your town straddles two counties? How does that work? Some laws affect half the town while other laws affect the entire town? (I guess that I’m assuming actual county level government. NY state has county level government. MA, not so much. I know nothing about the governments of OH.)

    How do county lines get drawn through (as opposed to around) towns in the first place?

  4. You know, I have absolutely no idea how it works, other than it does, because there’s a school, a village government, and everything seems to run as it should.

    If you think Bradford’s weird, wait till you hear about Union City, which straddles the border of Ohio and Indiana. It’s technically two cities (because it exists in two different counties and two different states), but no one there seems to notice much.

  5. D70s…. jealousy. I love my D50 and I can’t even nearly justify an upgrade.

    Also if you ever sell an option on OMW (though i imagine it would need a biiiiiiig budget t do right) write it into the contract that they have to film the early scenes on location in Greenville!

  6. You live in Dark County? ZOMG! You do live ‘on the wrong side of the street’ in Bradford. (I’ve got a friend that lives there, it’s a nice little town. If you hear a loud ‘Boom!’ it’s probably just one of this guy’s welding projects going slightly off plan.) Technically, wouldn’t it be ‘Dork County’ you live in since you’re one of those ‘Inter-tubes’ Geeks and all?

    And I agree, any film for OMW should have some authentic Greenville / Bradford footage in it. :)

  7. Another town stradding a state line is Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee. In the 1980s, the area code of the Virginia half was the same as the area code in northern Virginia where my family lived, and there was a hospital on the Tennessee side whose seven-digit main phone number was the same as my family’s seven-digit phone number. So we got a lot of calls.

  8. I live in Darke County. Thanks for posting about this story John. It’s great seeing where you live put in it’s lowest terms: Beans and Corn – Good. Abortion – Bad. Guns – Love ‘em.

    I will forever think highly of the Washington Post; they found a Democrat in Darke County! Now, that’s some investigative journalism. I thought my mom and me were the only ones.

  9. Columbus, GA/Phoenix City, AL are also the same city, straddling the Georgia/Alabama border.

  10. Years ago I worked with a guy from Ohio and he swore on a stack of Bibles that the sky was literally bluer in Ohio. This was compared to southern Minnesota, which is not really known for pollution or pretty sunsets for that matter.

    Assuming you didn’t photoshop the photo I can see no difference in the hue of your blue sky compared to ours. We all knew the guy was a little whack. He showed me mail-ordered plans for a 100 mpg carburetor he was planning to build for his car and asked my engineering opinion.

    The device would heat the gasoline up to vaporize it instead of spraying or injecting a mist of the gasoline into the air stream. I told him in theory it could work but in practice it sounded a lot more like a bomb than it did a carburetor. He lived in town so thankfully he never got around to trying the device.

  11. Matt @7, do you know the song “Carrie Brown” by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band? It’s a rollicking murder/obsession bluegrass song where the protagonist and his rival have their final encounter across the state line.

  12. Interesting article, John. But how about visiting the Kitchen Aid Experience and reporting on that? I got my first new Kitchen Aid mixer last year after using my grandmother’s old mixer for 20+ years. They’re really built to last.

    Also, I thought you were an Independent and couldn’t vote in the Democratic primary? Glad to hear you could.

  13. I like how Wayne quotes a piece of misinformation and how the reporter corrects him. Good journalism.

  14. Dave, the sad part is that there are quite a few people that believe that misinformation in Darke County. This article outs our ignorance.

  15. Whenever I read your more intemperate political posts, I think, “Well, he’s living deep in Red State America. How would I feel if I were a conservative Republican living in the San Francisco bay area?”

    Then I think, “Hey, wait, I am a conservative Republican living in the San Francisco bay area!”

    So I cut some slack.

  16. Actually the day to day politics of Darke County don’t really affect me much. I’m well aware most of my neighbors have politics that diverge from mine on several important points, but there’s more to life than politics, and we get along just fine.

  17. Psh, Greenville. They shoulda gone to Delphos. Preferably to the A&W, where the waitresses still come out to hang a tray on your car door.

    Thanks for the link, John. Reminded me of all those trips down to see my aunt and grandma down on the farm.

  18. If you liked the WaPo article, read What’s the Matter With Kansas?

    @Dave 14: the way I read that quote, the interviewee corrected himself. But it speaks for something either way.

  19. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that guy in that article say that he thinks the Republicans are “not as sloppy as the Democrats.” I would have spit up all over my keyboard.

  20. I was highly amused when browsing through my atlas and found that there’s a town named Arcanum in Darke County. That’s the sort of thing that would be seen as over-the-top for a modern fantasy novel.

  21. @18: Joe, fwiw you can still get your A&W carhop fix in the blue part of the state, at two locations northeast of Akron. Look to that lefty-pinko metroplex of Tallmadge and Stow/Kent!

  22. Oh, I know what you did. You took a picture of suburban New Jersey, loaded it into Photoshop, and pressed Bucolic. Out went the warehouses, strip malls, overloaded parking lots, and a sky the colour of television; in came green grass, waving crops, blue sky, and a tractor. Nice.

    By the way, the latest version would have added farm-girls. Maybe you should upgrade.

  23. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that guy in that article say that he thinks the Republicans are “not as sloppy as the Democrats.”

    Him and that woman who liked “Huckletree” and thought that being President was a man’s job. Reminded me of what Gene Wilder said to Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles: “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know – morons.”

    They’re not all like that, of course. I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, so I know that it’s a stereotype. Still…

  24. Does Bradford still have their pumpkin festival? When I was in high school (during the 70′s) the marching band contest was my favorite contest to participate in. March down the street, play your song while passing the reviewing stand, make a left turn, put your instrument away, then buy and throw confetti for a couple of hours. By the time we left there was at least 2 inches of confetti on the street. Confetti was still in our uniforms during concert band contests in February and March!

    And don’t forget the lovely Ohio weather – 70′s on Monday and 30′s with rain and ice on Tuesday.

  25. It’s not just Ohio. Here in Western NC, I had dinner with some friends the other night, and the husband was worried about the elections. Seems he doesn’t like Clinton, but couldn’t see voting for a Muslim.

    Yeah, I set him straight. But still, it was shocking to see a grown man so grossly misinformed.

    People. Fact-checking is just not that hard.

  26. Soni,

    I know, I know. My brother-in-law, a serious respected banker, thinks Barrak Obama and all the others are called ‘muslins’ because of the cloth in their robes. I tried to correct him once and got put down into his “know-it-all US-hating homo-loving baby-killing devil-worshiping liberal-elite’ pile.

    Sheesh.

  27. Tripp,

    This is a place for literate people so get your brother-in-law down here; he’s got game with homophones! If not convinced of this, ask him a few questions: What’s a narcissistic blood vessel? A spun globe? Deer money? Motionless paper is….?

  28. Jon Zink,

    He’s got game alright but when I sent him your invitation he said he never thinks of homophones, those thoughts are driven completely out of his mind (praise the lord), and he won’t come near such perverts although he is open to hear some stories that he can condemn and share with his friends.

    So I tried.

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