Happy Columbus Hour: Our CXC 2017 Intermission

McKinley statue II!

William McKinley, 25th President of the United States of America, born and raised in Ohio. It’s not the first McKinley monument we’ve seen this year.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last weekend my wife Anne and I attended the third annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, where I immersed myself in the wonderful world of comic book creators and the associated arts. In our typical entertainment “comic con” experiences we usually try to find a balance between the world of comics — totally my thing — and the experience of greeting actors from films and TV shows we’ve enjoyed, which has been her thing a bit longer than it’s been my thing, but now it’s our thing. Either of us gets self-conscious whenever a given event is lopsided more in favor of our interests than in the other’s. Given our eighteen-year road trip history together, comics and celebs aren’t our only interests when we’re away from home.

Partly as a cheerful concession to Anne, but mostly out of a shared mood to explore, after lunch we took a break from CXC and took a half-mile walk westward to see a bit more of that Ohio state capital.

Downtown Columbus!

The view of downtown Columbus as we approached on southbound I-75.

The destination for our one-hour afternoon getaway: the Ohio Statehouse, center of the Buckeye State’s government and home to a number of monuments as well as a small museum. Ohio’s is among the few American capitol buildings without a standard dome. The architects, working in the Greek Revival style, opted instead for a two-story cupola with a conical topper barely visible from street level.

Ohio Statehouse!

An extra foot in height gave me a slightly better view than Anne’s, but not by much.

Past a security checkpoint is the Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center, which provides snapshots of insight into Ohio history and culture. Admission is free. Their gift shop has souvenirs and snacks, including variations on their beloved buckeyes.

Ohio county hardwood!

A map of Ohio counties on beautiful hardwood floor.

Museum Tunnel!

Ohio history begins here through the tunnel.

State Seal Glass!

Stained-glass version of the official seal of the 17th state. Its symbols acknowledge the thirteen colonies, Native Americans, and agriculture in general.

Voting 1800!

A timeline of standees recreates the long journey for Ohio voting rights, from the early days when only the best landlords chose your rulers for you…

Voting 1977!

…to the most recent update in 1977, when voting was legalized for ages 18-20, thus allowing the final wave of Baby Boomers to ruin everything decades before those darn millennials came along.

The displays and lessons held a certain level of fascination, but Anne had a primary objective: checking out their smashed penny machine. Longtime MCC readers may recall those are her thing. She’s filled a few smashed-penny books with dozens of keepsakes from our adventures in various states as well as from sites here in town. They’re cheap, they’re fun, and if you pick your pennies well, they can also be really shiny.

Education + pennies!

Oh, and here’s some inspirational relief art about education and The Children Are Our Future and whatnot.

The Ohio Statehouse grounds has memorials and statues everywhere you turn. We didn’t catch it all, but we walked a full lap around and captured some highlights.

Holocaust Memorial.

The Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial, dedicated in 2014 and built under the authorization of Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Holocaust wall.

The stone wall leading up to the monument.

Columbus 1492!

Christopher Columbus, famed explorer and city namesake. For online dwellers, a popular target of rotten egg/tomato throwing around this same time every year.

Civil War monument!

Levi Scofield’s 1894 “These are My Jewels” is their Civil War monument — surrounded by Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, among others.

War Memorial Letters.

The key feature of Ohio Veterans Plaza is the curved limestone wall engraved with the text of actual letters from veterans to their families, some of whom never got to see them again.

Civil War Peace.

The grand guardian on the north end of the Statehouse grounds is “Peace”, built in 1923 as a Civil War tribute to its soldiers “and the loyal women of that period”.

By the time we finished our lap around and retraced our half-mile of steps back to CXC, my mildly sprained foot became more bothersome as we went. Two Q&As later, we took our leave of Columbus, satisfied with the visit and hopeful that we’ll find opportunities for future visits. I understand they have two other smashed penny machines in town if you know where to look.

* * * * *

To learn more about American state capitol domes, be sure to visit your local Wikipedia, or check out the photos of the capitols we’ve visited so far, or at least glimpsed in passing. Thanks for reading!

* Indianapolis, IN (our very own hometown, of course)
* Washington, DC (2003 — sadly from a post-9/11 distance)
* Harrisburg, PA (2011, on or way to Manhattan)
* Denver, CO (2012 — the highest dome we’ve seen, elevation-wise)
* Hartford, CT (2013, on our way out of a not-great neighborhood)
* Boston, MA (2013, as part of the Freedom Trail)
* Madison, WI (2014, with an art fair in full swing all around)
* St. Paul, MN (2014, one of the few times we’ve taken a guided tour of a Statehouse)
* Montgomery, AL (2015 — the summertime walk to it was miserable)
* Nashville, TN (2015, our last stop that year, up on a high hill)
* Charleston, WV (2008 — not yet reposted on MCC, but we’ll get to it in the months ahead…)

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