- Andy Whitman -
- 8 April 1997 -
Just to whet your appetite, here are a few of the many cultural attractions that await you:
- Mount Vernon Nazarene College -- Most normal people know that when it's 95 degrees with 95% humidity it's time to take off the long pants and long dresses and put on some shorts. Not the Nazarenes. Shorts are lewd. Come see one of the few places in America where people are both insane and really, really sweaty. While you're there, say things like, "Got a smoke?" and "Any good bars in this town?" just to get a rise out of the locals.
- First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, Ohio -- You've read about it. You've dreamed about it. Now here's your chance to experience it firsthand. The power. The passion. Lois Brehm, organist extraordinaire, dazzling the faithful with really hard-to-play classical stuff. Lois Brehm, organist extraordinaire, intentionally messing up on simple praise choruses 'cause she hates 'em. Old guys in suits and ties. One guy (known to the locals as "the man who looks like John the Baptist) resolutely refusing to wear a suit and tie. Pass the locusts, honey.
- Semple Chewing Gum Museum -- William Semple, the inventor of chewing gum, hailed from Mount Vernon, Ohio. Now Betty Furniss, who is the only person in town who cares about such things, has opened the Semple Chewing Gum Museum in the basement of her home. Come read about the chewing gum manufacturing process. See many exotic wrappers. Buy well-known brands, such as Dentyne and Juicy Fruit, in the gift shop after your tour.
- Daniel Decatur Emmett Gravesite -- Daniel Decatur Emmett, author of "Dixie," "Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care," and "Old Dan Tucker," is Mount Vernon's most illustrious son, even though he left town for NYC in his early twenties and never came back, describing Mount Vernon as "the most vile backwater, totally bereft of cultural opportunities." We love him anyway, (it was either him or William Donner, head of the ill-fated Donner expedition, whose followers ate each other when the beef jerky ran out) and we've got his decomposed body safely stashed underground in the local cemetery. He'll never escape again.
- Civil War Re-Enactment -- If you come on the right weekend in August, during the Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival, you can see bankers and insurance salesmen dressed up in ridiculous uniforms and engaged in such authentic Civil War activities as Brewing Coffee Over An Open Fire and Admiring Each Other's Gun Collections.
- Kenyon College -- The evil twin of Mount Vernon Nazarene College. Officially run by the Episcopal Church, but you know how wacky they are. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who are alums, show up once a year and put on a play. Otherwise this is a beautiful, quiet little liberal arts campus stuck up on a hill out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing for the students to do except drugs. The Kenyon College Bookstore, justly (in)famous, features a "Human Sexuality" section that offers no books written from a heterosexual perspective. The Kenyon Review used to be one of the finest literary magazines in the world, but these days it will have little appeal to anyone who is not a Native American lesbian. Gotta cater to those niche markets, I guess.
- Yoder's Cheese Barn/Miniature Golf Course -- Two for the price of one. Not only can you find some wonderful Amish cheese at bargain prices, but you can munch away as you play the demanding course. The baby Swiss on the difficult windmill hole is about as close to heaven as I want to get on this earth.
- Tara-in-the-Corn -- That's my house. It kinda looks like Tara, Kate kinda looks like Miss Scarlett, and frankly I look like I don't give a damn. Y'all come and see. We'll have the mint juleps ready on the front porch.
Last updated: 08 April 1997
Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514