On the Edge of Common Sense
Lee Trevino has a street named after him in El Paso. Abraham Lincoln has a town named after him in Nebraska. Monty Montana has his namesake state and I’ve even got some hills named in my honor in South Dakota. But there is one feller who left his mark all over these United States. He’s got more towns and cities and counties and streets and states named after him than anyone else. An ex-president. No, not Jimmy Carter. It’s ol’ George Washington.
I’ve noticed in most every town of any size there’s a Washington Street or Washington Avenue. I dug out my Rand McNally and looked. Thirty-one states have Washington counties. I found 19 states that have cities called Washington, not counting Washington, D.C. Of course, we have Washington state.
From what I recall from my dusty history books, ol’ George was a modest man. They wanted to make him a king but he refused. They wound up making him first in a long line of presidents. I’m sure there’s a Fidel Castro Boulevard in Havana. They probably had to twist Fidel’s arm to let ‘em name it after him. We have a whole raft of politicians who get dams, buildings, airports and other pork barrel projects named after them. They might have even insisted on it. But we’ve named our hometowns and counties after George because we admired him, not because he suggested it.
It’s not regional either. There’s plenty of states in the northeast with his moniker; NY, PA, RI, VT, MD and MA. You’d expect it there. But the south is covered with ‘em. Too; Al, AR, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, FL, GA, TN, TX and VA.
In the Midwest, which was still a wilderness when our people fought the battle and ran the British back to London, you can find lots of Washington’s. They’re in IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, NE, OH, OK, and WS.
And as if that wasn’t enough, just to show you his stayin’ power he’s represented in CO, ID, OR, UT and the folks in Seattle named their state after him.
Yes sir, he left his mark. But what if his name had been Bum garner or Svenson or Alvarez. We’d probably have still used it. Or what if his opponent in the election primary had won. Every April we’d have to send our checks to our nation’s capital on the banks of the Potomac, Dewey, D.C.
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