Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

The List Redux: How You Know If You're From Toledo...


5 AM

OK, where were we .? Oh, yeah.

The List: You Know You re From Toledo If

This list has dominated much of my week. First, it was the focus of my Tuesday column. Then, it was the focus of my inbox, as readers took me up on my invitation to make their their own additions to the list, which was first sent to me by reader Barb Padgett. As promised yesterday, here are your very own deep thoughts on the subject of How You Know You're A Native. (I have, in some cases, edited to remove duplication and/or boost clarity.)


Hi.....I just had to write you and tell you a quick story connected with the article you wrote in Tuesday's Blade. I got an e-mail on Monday from the wife of an old buddy I went to school with in Genoa [who] then moved to North Carolina. It was the same article you wrote about Tuesday. So imagine my surprise when I read your article in the paper Imagine how even more surprised I was when I read about Barb Padgett ... I'm 99 percent sure that Barb Padgett is the same one who lived across the street from me when we were children. Even freakier is the fact that my friend in North Carolina used to date her cousin. Only a stunning set of coincidences allows the story to come full circle. I really enjoyed the e-mail and enjoyed your article even more. To receive the e-mail the day before your article and [to] have Barb Padgett mentioned just blew my mind. Anyway, thought you'd get a kick out of it. Keep up the great writing.


Daniel Lindesmith

Genoa, Ohio

OK, all together now, It s a small world after all/It s a small world aaaafter all RdB


You know you are from Toledo when you drive by a hardware store with its sign upside down and you don't even do a double take.

Jay Nielsen


A few more to clog your blog!

* You know but can't describe, what Tiedtke's smelled like.

* You remember where you were the night Tiedtke's burned down. Or the fire at Mancy's.

* You know who Mr. "O" was.

* You remember the life-sized lion statues at the Lion Store.

* You know what the Toledo Mercurys were.

* You know, as John Denver did, that they roll up the sidewalks precisely at 10.

Michael E. Lewis, Sr.

Albertville, AL

Mr. O. Hmmm. Mr. O .? RdB


How about the Town Hall Burlesque?

Phil Philbin


I remember looking at the ad for this place in the Peach section when I was a little girl, wondering what it was, exactly Nice to hear from you again, Phil (whose blog, is always worth a read).


You need to add the ICE COLD BEER sign -- everyone knows what and where that is.

Daniel Radwanski

Worst part? I KNOW I ve seen that sign, but for the life of me I can t remember where. Oh wait a sec. Is it on the Trail coming into downtown? RdB


Hi Roberta,

A year or two ago, my sister in Florida sent me a You know you re from Ohio e-mail that was closer to the truth than I wanted to admit. In response, I came up with a number of Toledo-specific items.

I m pretty sure the original Ohio list included:

1. You know several people who have hit a deer.

2. You know what s knee-high by the Fourth of July.

3. You install security lights on your house and leave it unlocked.

4. You carry jumper cables in your car.

5. You design your kid s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

6. Your childhood classes were ever closed because of cold.

7. Your childhood classes were ever closed because of fog.

8. Your childhood classes were ever closed because of snow.

9. You ve had to switch from Heat to A/C in the same day.

10. You think driving is better during winter when the potholes are filled with snow.

[NB: I m pretty sure that s Jeff Foxworthy material ? RdB]

I recycled three old jokes as:

11. You know both seasons, Winter and Road Construction .

12. You know what a Sylvania housewife makes for lunch (reservations).

13. You know how to spot the newly-widowed Sylvania housewife (black tennis outfit).

And then I added:

14. The only celebrity you ever met was Mayor Finkbeiner.

15. You d like to meet a real celebrity, like Jamie Farr.

16. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on US 24.

17. You think vacation means driving through the Irish Hills.

18. You see all the biggest music groups ten years after they were popular.

19. You think down south means Dayton.

20. You think the Deep South means Cincinnati.

21. You don t question the need for two completely separate public school systems.

22. You don t question why only certain parts of the city recycled for years.

23. You complain that no one goes downtown any more.

24. You haven t been downtown in the last five years.

25. You think all Michigan drivers have barely-sublimated death wishes.

26. You think all Indiana drivers suffer Attention Deficit Disorder.

27. You distrust any Ohio driver that has a county sticker other than Lucas on their plates.

28. Your paper covers world news on one page, but needs four for sports and two each for UT and Carty.

29. You look back wistfully on the days of the weak mayor system.

30. Your ABC TV affiliate wouldn t carry the first two years of NYPD Blue because it was too racy .

31. You remember when they tried to call the Mud Hens the Glass Sox .

32. You know what Bancroft High is, and where to find it.

33. When Jeep was owned by Willys, you called it The Overland .

34. When Jeep was owned by Kaiser, you called it Willys .

35. When Jeep was owned by AMC, you called it Kaiser .

36. When Jeep was bought by DaimlerChrysler, you gave up and call it Jeep .

37. But you still call GM Powertrain either Chevrolet or Hydramatic .

38. You allow an extra half-hour when driving through East Toledo (for the trains).

39. You know there was no big top for the Jefferson Avenue Circus .

40. You know there aren t showgirls at the Central Avenue Strip .

41. You know there s nothing gymnastic about the I-475 Split .

42. You accept the Cherry Street Mission being on 17th Street for years now.

43. You never question Central Avenue never having been near the center of town.

44. You buy Main Street running only about ten blocks (and 1/2 a bridge) before becoming Cherry Street.

45. You remember the Convention Center losing every single time it was on the ballot.

46. You remember them building it anyway because it d pay for itself.

47. You remember these last two items every time it comes back for more money.

48. You remember Elvis playing the Sports Arena in 1956.

49. You suspect that was the last time the place was cleaned or painted.

50. You ve been dialing 419 on every call for years and there s still only one area code.

A loyal fan,

Bill Rinehart

Toledo, Ohio 43606

Bill: Meet me at The Blade, 541 N. Superior St., tomorrow at 9 AM. I m just going to turn my job over to you Great list -- a veritable history of Toledo! RdB



After 12 years in the netherworld of central Ohio, I can still answer most of the questions in your quiz. Should you include something about realizing Carty has been one of each political affiliation (Democrat, Republican and Independent)?

Peace and Harmony,


*** hear someone say he went "over town," and immediately realize he's from the east side and means "downtown."

.... Someone reminisces about his "southmore" year and you know he's talking about 10th grade.

Do you suppose a lot of cities have these idiosyncrasies or is it just "Taleedah"? Good column!

Jack Baumgartner

Petersburg, Michigan

Idiosyncracies? Oh, Jack, we ve got better than that. We ve got . Carty! RdB


Hi Roberta! I love your column, here's a few add-ons for your "You know you're from Toledo if..."

* you know that Lion Store was at Westgate Shopping Center.

* you know that The Real Seafood Company restaurant was at Portside, which COSI recently vacated.

Will be in touch as I come up with more and will be looking for your blog.

Pamela L. Green-Jones


I read your column today and I have the complete [list]. I was born and raised in East Toledo until we moved to Michigan My question concerns #23 on the list. Where is or was Gibbs Bridge? I remember almost all the things on the list but never heard of Gibbs Bridge. I'm 70 so my memory goes a long way back. Thanks for your help.

Mary Lowry

Mary, I d tell you if I knew, but I don t, so I can t. Readers -- can you help? RdB


I live out of state now, but run into people who say they once lived there too. So, my test for people who "Claim" to be from Toledo is:

* Have you ever shopped at the Lion Store at Westgate for ALL your Christmas gifts?

* When was the last time you bought anything at Southwyck?

* Where is the MLK Bridge in Toledo? (Trick question for people who know the Cherry Street Bridge)

Have fun!

Michael Burkhart

Tucson, AZ

I live so close to the old Lion Westgate, Michael, that I can remember back when it was easier to run there for new underwear than it was throw a load of dirty underwear into the washer. Er, hope that wasn t TMI RdB


Here's my take:

* You know you're from Toledo if you dress up a plastic duck or goose in costumes and display it on your front lawn

* You know you're from Toledo if bowling is your favorite sport.

Charlene Fink

Really? Bowling is a sport? Oh, just kidding... RdB

*** know that Carty Finkbeiner IS a real name.

True -- somebody laughed and accused me of making up the mayor's name. It took some convincing before they realized I wasn't kidding.

Love your columns!

Jeanne Berry

Ah, but Jeanne, you and I both know that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet RdB


* You often use the phrase "I seen" instead of "I saw"...

* You remember when The Blade's Peach Section really had a "peach"...

Don Alter


Yeah, I remember I seen that once in the newspaper . RdB


* You pronounce it Ne-vay-duh street

* You miss Swayne Field and you don t mean the shopping center

* You call it the High Level (no bridge )

* You call them Carty, Marcy, Lud (what other one-namers do we have?)

* You fear East Toledo somewhere deep down

Dave Beckwith

Hey, Dave, you forget Hoag Street, which everyone knows is pronounced Hoig. Anyone know why? RdB


Hi, Roberta --

Some remember Toledo when:

* The Jesse James drive-in movie was cheaper than a hot-sheet motel on Reynolds Road;

*Jerry Bush's TU (see how I snuck "TU" in) Rockets basket ball team played home games in the Field House (and a couple of players shaved points, sob, boo hoo);

* The Ottawa River was really just a wide stretch of 10 Mile Creek;

* Chub deWolf's column appeared in the Peach Section;

* Burnham High was the only high school in Sylvania Township, before they built North View up the hill and across 10 Mile Creek;

* Amateur golf great Frankie Stranahan (his old man made spark plugs) substituted for the injured Ben Hogan in the Inverness Invitational;

* And The Blade's Mitch Woodbury shamelessly promoted a local girl for movie starlethood, until she went to Hollywood and no one ever heard of Dusty Rhoades again.

Larry Hawkins

Larry, you know how contestants on Jeopardy! can lose even when they have the right answer, just cuz they failed to phrase it in the form of a question? Well, I m gonna let your e-mail slide, even though it doesn t conform to the You Know You re From Toledo If format. Bet Chub deWolf wouldn t have been that gracious. RdB


Hi Roberta,

Potential source of the list, but I'm sure it originally started somewhere else: Click here.



This thread has a number of very funny additions. My personal favorite? You know you re from Toledo if you know who Richard Tapper is and what he does for a living. This might indeed be THE litmus test of Toledoana. Hint: Look him up under physicians and check out his specialty. Got it? OK. Now think about it RdB



I grew up in Toledo, but live on the East Coast these days. I try to read the Blade online as regularly as I can, and really enjoy your column. When I saw this list today, I had to dig out a much longer list sent to me last year by another Toledoan. I admit that there are several on here that apparently became regular things after I left Toledo. While there are some repeats from the list in today s column, most of them made me laugh even now. Enjoy!

Dee Dee Eberle

Thanks for the kind words, Dee Dee. Your list has much in common with the one Barb sent, so you ll forgive me for not re-running the whole thing. Instead, I'm including items that weren t on the list I saw. Thanks! RdB

* President Bush came to your school

* You know what Magic Wok is.

* You know what Krogering is.

* You felt cool going to Ohio Skate on weekends as a kid.

* When you can pick one of five Wal-Marts to drive to, all in a 10-minute range of each other.

* You know where the nearest Tim Horton s is.

* You remember when Toledo didn't HAVE any Wal-Marts.

* You've driven to Gibbs Bridge to try to see the ghost.

* You can drive down any major road and have access to 100 different restaurants within five minutes of travel.

* You're so used to driving in construction that you feel odd driving where you can't see orange barrels.

* You get stopped by a train almost daily!

* You'd take Beaners over Starbucks any day, and you use your Beaners card religiously.

* Your mayor has gotten into almost-fist-fights with people.

* You can drive from one end of your city to the other in 30 minutes.

* You know of two ways to pronounce the street name "Nevada."

* You know that Smurf Ice Cream is the only flavor worth eating at Mr. G's Barn.

* You think snow days are a big deal, even if they don't apply to you anymore.

* It takes you 15 minutes to get to work.

* You've seen Ferdo s burn down at least [once].

* You'd rather drive an hour to Detroit than fly out of Toledo Express.

* You go anywhere and see at least two people you know, and one you recognize from somewhere random.

* You've been to Meijer's at 2 AM, just for the hell of it.

* You've been to Children's Wonderland at the Lucas County Rec Center.

* You hate the Blade, but read it anyway.

* You live in a suburb, but say you're from Toledo.

* You survived the North Toledo Riots of '05.

* Your basement, yard, porch, driveway, ditches, and malls flooded from June-August '06.

* You know where to get the best Mexican/Chinese/Italian/Pizza, but still proclaim Toledo is running out of good restaurants.

* You've ever been sledding at Fort Meigs.

* You can finish this Banner Mattress commercial: "No gimmicks, no tricks till 200_"

* You got confused when they added onto the mall.

* The last time you went to the art museum was in 4th grade.

* You agree Toledo is "a great place to raise a family," but you want to get the hell out now as soon as possible.

* You're torn between rooting for BG or UT.

* You've smoked a hookah at Maxwell's.

* You know of at least three clubs downtown, but are too afraid to go to any of them.

* You know where Katie Holmes [parents] lives and don't care.

* You know what Q-Zar is and have a favorite team color.

* You have at least one Race for the Cure T-Shirt.

* You know where the only White Castle in Toledo is.

* You've ever been to the Holiday Inn French Quarter for a birthday party.

* Your idea of a "family vacation" is a weekend trip to Cedar Point.

* You know who Mr. Atomic is, and you want his car.

* Your mom has at least one Garden Smiles by Carruth somewhere in the house.

* It's not mini golf. It's putt-putt.

* You know what a walleye is.

* You remember the FOX Kids Club rap, and you know who Freddy Fox is.

* You know your choice in colors on OSU vs. Michigan day cuts out any decent conversation with half of your friends, because unlike most Ohio towns, Toledo is 50 percent Michigan fans and 50 percent Ohio State fans.

* You can actually say the word Michigan unlike the rest of the state.

* You go to Michigan regularly and enjoy it even if you hate the team.

* You become mulch-literate.

* You ran (or rolled) down the hill at Maumee Bay.

* You realize that layers are our friends.

* You use the excuse that you love snow when you can't afford to spend the winter in Florida.

* You have had Green Bean Casserole.

* You can explain snow and every other weather pattern.

* You can't drive anywhere without seeing something named after Martin Luther King, Jr.

* The only thing to do when it's not football season is go to the movies.

* You drive around Sylvania because you know the neighborhoods with the best Christmas lights!

* You went to high school with a radio D.J.

* You ve eaten at Dominic s and wonder what happened to all the autographs.

* The only schools that are good in football are Catholic schools.

* You know that no Republican will ever win the Mayorship of your city.

* You've been to AT LEAST five concerts/ shows at the Sports arena.

* You realize that one of the most important battles ever to take place on the North American continent was the Battle of Fallen Timbers, yet they want to make [er, they made] the ground into another stupid mall.

* You know a zillion different restaurants of all different cuisines, but your favorite is a typical steakhouse (Outback, Longhorn, Texas Roadhouse).

* You know the best place in the world to buy cakes is Wixey's Bakery.

* You know what speed to drive on the Trail at night so that you never have to hit the brakes.

* You overheard at least one panicked conversation after the 9/11 attacks about how Davis-Besse was going to get blown up.

* You don't question the continued construction of new houses for a shrinking population. You rent!

* The President comments on how bad the streets are yet the potholes don't faze you anymore.

* You know and can explain what a buckeye is.

* You like spending your Sundays at the Anderson's and you aren't afraid to admit it.

* You're completely cool with paying 10 bucks for a movie because there's nothing to do in your damn town

* You can list 100 different Chinese restaurant within a 10 mile radius, the majority of which begin with the word "magic" and end in some sort of flower.

* You know what he street signs mean when they refer to "street humps."

Phew! Thanks for all that! Hey, would you please let Mary (see above) know where the Gibbs Bridge is? Thanks, Dee Dee! RdB


Hello Roberta,

Thanks for the laugh. I enjoyed your column today. A good friend of mine, Dee Dee, sent it to me via email from Washington D.C. She grew up in Toledo and thought she would pass it on. It's a great list but I have a couple of things to add if you don't mind. However, as you said, it wasn't the complete list so some of these may have already been covered. Nevertheless, here it goes:

* The Medical College of Ohio (MCO) was renamed the Medical University of Ohio (MUO). MUO then merged with the University of Toledo (UT) whereby it was re-christened the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC). But between you, me and other true Toledoans it's still called MCO.

* You know who Baby Louie is.


John Jacob

Dear Dee Dee: John says hi. OK everybody, one more time: It s a small world after all Thanks for the contributions! RdB


It will always be "The New Bridge" not the Glass City Memorial Whatever Whatever Bridge.

Bill Thomsen

Ah, a man who s thinking ahead. And who is, I suspect, absolutely right. RdB


I haven't lived in Toledo for more than 20 years, but it's like a bad case

of sniffles; I just can't seem to get rid of it. I was born and raised

there, graduated from Central Catholic and UT and couldn't wait to get out.

But a curious thing has happened: I kind of miss it. I get weird cravings

for Rudy's chili and Inky's pizza. I actually got a little upset when I

heard they'd torn down the Sports Arena. Whenever I see That '70s Show on TV

I can't help but yell at the TV, "Hey, that's not the real Point Place!"

So how about a "You Know You Used To Be From Toledo" list:

* You remember when Northtowne and Southwyck had, like, stores and stuff in


* You've been to the Purple Store at Portside but, like everyone else,

didn't actually buy anything.

* Hey, where did that Jeep plant come from? And what happened to the old


* How come the Peach Section isn't peach any more?

* You really miss sitting on the hill in the old Glass Bowl and going to

basketball games in Centennial Hall.

* You mean there's no drawbridge on I-280 any more?

Tom Szaroleta

Jacksonville, Fl.


if you can pronounce Ujvagi correctly.

Jim Toth


The Day World War II was over, all the Eastsiders flocked to Front and Main streets to celebrate. I was five, but still remember that day!!!

* you remember the merry-go-round at the Toledo Zoo (which is now the parking lot on the Maumee River).

* the fabled myth: when children asked how the Maumee River was named, they were told: "An Indian Squaw was walking along the river and the papoose cried "Maw Me Maw Me";

* In a bar in Toledo, down by the depot ....

* Eppe's Essen - downtown

* Cippriani's Pizza, near Front & Main




My mother (who lives in Toledo) called me bright and early this morning (I live outside of Pittsburgh) to tell me about today's column. Before she could read the whole thing to me, I said " Or if you will always call it TU not UT!" I got online and read the list ... having been away from Toledo for 15 years, some of the things didn't "click", but most did. Some additions:

*You remember Wonder Valley at the Toledo Zoo

* You remember when the Toledo Museum of Art offered free art lessons to children on Saturday mornings.

*You remember the penny candy "department" at the top of the escalator in the Lion Store at Westgate

* For that matter, you remember Lion Store at Westgate!

I do enjoy reading the Blade online. We do have your sister paper here in the 'burg but reading the Blade is so much more fun!

Ellen (Wretschko) Hitchins

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…