This is my first day back from vacation, so I'm going to ease into the work routine by relying on reader recipes for today's Lemmon Drops:
In his eyes, I'm an "outsider." Even though I've lived here for nearly nine years.
Thomas says one side of his family has lived here since 1782, and the other side dates to 1880.
"You see," he wrote, "you lack the perspective of a long history in the community, and it really shows."
I told Thomas that I took his intended slap as a compliment. Toledo has so much potential, I said, but it's being held back because people are so resistant to change. (To which Thomas replied it's not the people but rather elected officials who are resistant to change.)
Eventually, our e-mail exchanges produced a terrific example of the fundamental differences in our perspectives.
I call it University of Toledo.
He calls it Toledo University.
"Folks around here can tell 'outsiders' by the TU/UT thing," he wrote.
Only in a parody skit about lifelong Toledoans would I expect to hear someone defend the continued use of TU. But he wears TU like a badge of honor.
(OK, I need to pause for a second. ... AAARRRGH!!! ... There, I feel better.)
Sing it, Barbara Mandrell: If saying UT is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
"Instead of viewing the issue as a public-health necessity, suburban leaders saw it as an economic opportunity. ... Why not benefit at Toledo's expense? In the Toledo area, that's business as usual cut Toledo's throat."
"It's probably too European for Toledo," he wrote.
Martin C. gave me a nudge. "And even then you'd prove yourself wrong: If there were only two of you, you'd be the smarter, not the smartest."
Anyway, I did appreciate the humor in a dig that was posted on toledotalk.com a month or so ago. Some guy wrote he's sure I am "the smartest guy on the bus."
"This community has to wake up and celebrate, and embrace, those who produce wealth. We are driving them out of town and out of state.
"If we want a community of Jeep workers, then all we will have long-term are old abandoned factories. If we want a vibrant, successful region, then let's make some money!"
Get in line, pal.