American Consequences - June 2019

Lake Erie and the Maumee River – the largest river flowing into the Great Lakes, a mile wide at its mouth – have been cleaned up. There are 29 marinas and nine beaches. Rome has no beaches. And the Toledo area has 46 golf courses, while Manhattan doesn’t have any at all. The Toledo Museum of Art was a 1901 gift from glass magnate Edward Drummond Libbey. It’s a perfection of neo-classicism with a graceful sweep of an addition by Frank Gehry and a 1,750-seat concert hall whose acoustics are perfect for a symphony orchestra. And Toledo has a symphony orchestra. The museum’s collection contains works by Rubens, Rembrandt, El Greco (who may not have painted Toledo, Ohio, but his painting

wound up there), van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, and Edmund Osthaus (1858-1928) “the world’s greatest painter of hunting dogs.” (My kind of art.) And the Toledo Zoo now has 10,000 animals belonging to 720 species (some obviously more prolific than others). Now click on Zillow and see the five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 1907 stately home in Toledo’s Old West End two blocks from the art museum on a half-acre lot with a carriage house – that you can buy for $260,000. The junkyard of capitalism makes the Seven Wonders of the World look like curbside trash. All the success of the rest of mankind sucks by comparison to America’s failures.

TOLEDO BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES I am – as perhaps you can tell – fascinated by Toledo, Ohio. Partly because I’m from there and partly because, just as I was leaving in 1969, one of my oldest friends, John Fedderke, returned and stayed and kept me updated on the town’s continually checkered history. My story of Toledo’s economic adventures spins off John’s “Letter From Toledo,” published in the June 2018 issue of American Consequences . In addition to John, I’ve relied on two excellent and entertaining books, Gateway to the Great Lakes by Morgan Barclay and Charles N. Glaab, published by Continental Heritage Press in 1982 and Toledo Profile, A Sesquicentennial History , by Tana Mosier Porter, published by the Toledo Sesquicentennial Commission in 1987. I’ve also relied on the less entertaining four-volume Lucas County Historical Series by Dr. Randolph C. Downes, published by in 1948 by The Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio – of which region Downes was the most august and preeminent historian. These are, as I note in my article, what put me into a coma in 8th grade. But they too are excellent in their own way – a great marshalling of facts and figures, even if presented in a way that bludgeoned middle schoolers. To return to the entertaining (as well as the excellent), I have also consulted the archives of the Toledo Blade , a newspaper that has been in print without interruption since 1835; The Great Black Swamp and The Great Black Swamp II by Jim Mollenkopf, published by Lake of the Cat Publishing in 1999 and 2000 respectively; Nothing Personal Just Business , tales of Toledo during Prohibition, by Kenneth R. Dickson, published by Lesher Printing, 2006; and The East Side, Past and Present by Isaac Wright, originally printed in 1894 by the 2nd Congregational Church in East Toledo.

American Consequences


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