I just got back from spending the past week at the 2004 Ohio Star Ball. It's like nothing else.
One of the odder things I saw was on the last day of competition and many of us were leaving. I was riding in an elevator at the Hyatt Regency Columbus when some others got on. One volunteered something about going home to a "blue state", in a tone suggesting he'd been playing Jane Goodall for the past week in red Ohio. Someone else seconded the concept as the elevator opened to the lobby.
I couldn't let that pass, but wasn't particularly inspired - I just said something like "I'm a red stater, I'm proud of it, and I'd vote for Bush again" as the others left. I didn't chase them down to argue with them, but I'm sure I left them shaking their heads.
I know I shook mine. What is it about these people that makes it so important to let people know where they stand? Apparently they think they're superior and demand recognition of this, but why?
Thinking about it later, I wanted to say something like "we red staters are the ones who feed, clothe, shelter, power, and defend the rest of you. We are the sources of physical and moral capital that make this country what it is and can be. Kill off the blue staters and that would be a setback. But without the red staters the blues would starve in weeks". (apologies to William Jennings Bryan).
Anyway, I'm guessing that the blue stater expected solidarity because of the nature of the event - surely there wouldn't be any NASCAR-loving red-staters there!
If so, he sure wasn't paying attention. The winners of the professional American Smooth were Ben and Shalene Archer Ermis from red Tennessee, and they'd won the year before too. The event has been held in red Ohio from its beginning almost 30 years ago because that's the home of organizer and former Blackpool competitor Sam Sodano. And on Saturday night during a break in the finals they announced the retirement of one of the best American Rhythm couples ever, Dan Rutherford and Nicole Carroll from red Indiana.