Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where in the world is Losantiville?

Hopefully if you are reading this, it means that you have either heard of Losantiville or come from the Tri-state area. However in the event you don't, Losantiville is the original name for Cincinnati. In 1788, Israel Ludlow, Matthias Denman, and Robert Patterson purchased eight hundred acres from John Cleves Symmes along the Ohio River at the Licking River's mouth. They called this area "Losantiville" the name being a convoluted contraction of the idea that this was a "city across from the mouth of the Licking River."

I've always thought this to be a more elegant name for the Queen City rather than its later name, "Porkopolis" or even its current Cincinnati. I don't know, perhaps if we had kept Losantiville our city would have a different identity today. We may have become a more quaint city such as Ashville in North Carolina. Or we may have become more hip destination like Lexington. Instead, we are known as the city featured in WKRP in Cincinnati (which is one of my favorite sitcoms from the past). Or the home of the Bungles (sorry, Bengals), or the Big Red Machine (which was 30 years ago), or that funky chili made with cinnamon. Trust me, having lived around the country that's pretty much our pedigree.

It seems like everyone has a blog now and like others, I feel I've got something to say. Losantiville will be primarily focused on my observations of current events based on being from Cincinnati and having spent my formative years here (I went to St Xavier high school and the University of Cincinnati). I can still tell the difference between Skyline, Gold Star, Chili Time and Empress chili. I am not proud of but have consumed Burger, Hudepohl 14K, Hudy Delight, Little Kings Cream Ale, Schoenling and Sir Edward Stout (with a little Wiedeman and Cost Cutter thrown in for good measure). For those not from the area, those were all local beers with the exception of Cost Cutter which was a generic beer sold by Kroger's.

I spent over 2o years in the military (a combination of time in the US Air Force and Air National Guard). I now teach at Cincinnati State Tech and Community College which has really gotten me back into all things Cincinnati.

Right now the radio and TV news are sharing equal time between the super bug (multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and whether Chad Johnson will be traded later this year. I just don't get it, from all indications this super bug is very difficult to treat. The best bet is to never get it in the first place however thorough hand washing and following good sanitary practices will greatly reduce the risk of spreading infection. Unfortunately the track record for people doing these simple steps is not good. Just look at what has happened with out food supply recently. A number of produce items have been contaminated with E. Coli and recently a beef supplier went out of business for processing contaminated food.

My initial research into the superbug shows that the biggest risk for exposure is at hospitals (not schools as it would seem to be the case according to a flyer sent home with my kids). Why? Because Staphylococcus aureus normally enters through cuts and abrasions. Nothing like an incision to provide the type of exposure for this bug. But aren't hospitals the epitome of cleanliness and sanitation? Not necessarily so, other microbes (such as flesh-eating bacteria) run around hospital wards and operating rooms. All it takes is for someone to miss a disinfecting a bed rail and these germs have a ready made petri dish. Think of all of those human hosts with depleted immune systems.

But instead of providing us further information on this we get the latest soap opera courtesy of professional sports. Hey, don't get me wrong. I like watching football as much as the next guy but why do we allow ourselves to get so distracted by the antics of grown men (or women) who play games for a living?

Or what about the Bearcats? We haven't had a nationally ranked football team since 1954 so what happens? We lose two in a row and now people want to put Brian Kelly's head on a pike. Give me a break, this is his first year. Let's give the guy a chance to turn things around before we throw him under the bus.

But again more effort goes into discussing college sports than the proposed street cars. I may be in the minority but I actually like the street car concept, except the question becomes where exactly are they going to take us? Street cars may help commuters get to work but after quitting time, where are you going to go? Most of the destinations are either in Mt Adams or across the river in Kentucky. A real vision needs to be created for our city BEFORE we go about creating (and paying for!) the infrastructure to support it. Otherwise, we will just end up with a pink elephant on our hands (and another tax levy)


Anonymous said...

Now u see - I do learn something every day. Keep up the good work, Bob.

Unknown said...


How about running the street cars to...Coney Island? Fly that Wildcat! Swim in Sunlight Pool! Listen on the way to Waite Hoyt broadcasting the Reds sponsored by Burger Beer! Some of us old guys remember.

Thanks for the memories.

---An Old West High Teacher

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