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The Rancid amidst the Resplendent

July 22, 2010

A potent stench can ruin a splendid view. My recent trip to the East Ohio River valley reminded me of this adage. Eastern Ohio presents some lovely scenes: rolling hills, lush grass-heavy valleys, and, among my favorite, a peaceful lake hidden at the foot of steep, winding path. And hidden as well from cell phone signals–unless one stands upon a particular tree stump waving the phone around in the air.

Alas, there’s also the infectious smell of pollution. I understand the air is much cleaner than it used to be. I read a children’s book about how drivers in an nearby industrial town had to turn on their headlights at noon because of the dense concentrations of smoke in the air. You can’t see the pollution as much these days, but the nose knows it’s still there, lurking. Sundays seem particularly stinky for some reason.

So despite the beautiful scenery, I don’t think much of the environment. Or, rather, when I do think of the environment there, I think mostly of the stink and much less frequently of the sights. If I didn’t have family there (who, for the record, are fine-smelling people), it would be a place I’d rather visit through pictures than in person.

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  1. July 23, 2010 10:56 am


    Is Dallas preferable?

    It pains me to say negative things about my sorta hometown (my dad lives in Garland), but having lived in both Ohio and Dallas, I think the environment in the DFW Metroplex suffers greatly by comparison – from the suburban sprawl that stretches as far as the eye can see, to the horrendous traffic, to the nasty, smoggy haze that hovers over the city of Dallas.

  2. Kyle R. Cupp permalink
    July 23, 2010 5:00 pm

    Dallas doesn’t smell as bad, although I live almost an hour north of downtown where the urban meets the rural. I might have a different take if I lived toward the center of the metroplex.

    I should also add that most of Ohio that I have visited doesn’t have the rancid stench.

    The most painful polution I’ve experiences was in southern California, where it literally hurt to breath on particularly smoggy days.

  3. Rcm permalink
    July 24, 2010 6:56 am

    I agree, Kyle, SoCal wins the toxic pollution award. And while DFW has the brown haze, I never smelled Dallas. And this is comng from an Alaskan girl.

  4. July 24, 2010 10:02 am

    I’m in SE Ohio. Where were you?

  5. Kyle R. Cupp permalink
    July 24, 2010 12:52 pm

    Steubenville area.

  6. John Henry permalink
    July 24, 2010 8:26 pm

    I think the steel mills are the main reason for the stench in Steubenville.

    I live within Dallas city limits and work downtown; I’ve never noticed an odor or even much of a brown haze. Most days it’s easy to see Cowboys Stadium from downtown, which is at least twenty miles away. That said, Dallas is very ugly compared (to this native Virginian’s eyes), both because of the lack of distinguishable geographical features and the suburban sprawl.

  7. Gregory B. permalink
    July 26, 2010 3:26 pm

    Then by all means, please stay away, Its fly over zone anyway.
    The little bit of polution that so offends you smells like jobs to me for human beings who are grateful to have Jobs in this economy.

    Of course I’m sure our jobs are worth the sacrafice
    so that your sense of smell is not assaulted.
    Let me guess, your a liberal democrat?

  8. Kyle R. Cupp permalink
    July 26, 2010 3:34 pm

    Probably so, John Henry.

  9. daledonz permalink
    July 31, 2010 6:24 pm

    Ohio bores me silly to drive through, can’t imagine living there…

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