My Town Monday: Crap from Dayton? Not!

Score one for Urban Legends

A funny image was circulating around the web and Facebook last week was spreading misinformation along with the laughs. This story originally appeared in The Sun, a UK tabloid, and when I saw the first Facebook post, words failed me.  Supposedly, this woman from Dayton cheated on her boyfriend, a tattoo artist, and later got a tattoo from him, unaware that he knew of her cheating. Instead of a cute scene from the Chronicles of Narnia, she got a steaming pile of poo.

I was skeptical from the get-go. The Sun article says the woman was drunk and passed out – which might be believable, since she got the tattoo from someone she knew, who therefore might have been willing to disregard laws against such things. But a tattoo of this size would have taken many hours and required several potty breaks – probably lunch and dinner break, too. I also find it hard to believe she’d have remained passed out for this much time, given the painfulness of getting a tattoo, especially over such a wide area.

A couple days after the article’s publication in The Sun, Dayton Daily News staffer Amelia Robinson decided to check things out. What she found:

  • There were no court records anywhere in the county relating to this case.
  • There’s no known tattoo artist named Ryan Fitzjerald in the Dayton area.
  • The woman who allegedly got the tattoo could also not be found.
  • The photo appeared a year and a half ago elsewhere online.

The original article never came out and said where the tattoo was done, only that the “victim” was from Dayton; however, the Facebook postings imply that it did. I won’t lie, a lot of crappy things happen in Dayton. But this wasn’t one of them. If this happened at all, it didn’t happen around here.

Seen any misinformation on your hometown lately? What did you do to dispel it?

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Hunt, Answer, and Win!

Don’t forget to check out the Blog Scavenger Hunt at Samantha Warren’s blog! Just check out a couple of author blogs and answer questions for a chance to win free books, AND go into the drawing to win a free Kindle at the end of the week!

Have fun, and good luck!

My Town Monday: Doorway to Domination

Dayton's Doorway to Domination

No, I’m not talking about a doorway that takes us on a shortcut to becoming the Evil Overlord, sorry. It’s the doorway to Publishing Success, although not for me, a mostly-unknown fiction writer.

This is the side entrance into the historic Dayton Daily News building, at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow Streets, in downtown Dayton. The building itself has a storied history (insert groan here – pun intended). It’s a beautiful, classically- styled office building constructed in 1910.

The Dayton Daily News (then called the Dayton Evening News) was a failing newspaper, purchased by reporter James M. Cox in 1898. Cox changed the name after purchase, and within a few years, he’d turned the business around and was ready to move to a larger facility.

He approached several banks for a loan, but none would lend him money, claiming that newspapers weren’t a profitable business. He managed to come up with the money elsewhere (I couldn’t find where). In an effort to thumb his nose at the banks who’d turned him down, he had his building designed to look like one.

The Dayton Daily News building today

The building housed the staff and printing operations of the Dayton Daily News, as well as the other newspapers it absorbed, throughout the 20th century, until the new Print Technology Center was built about 15 miles south in Franklin. The Dayton Daily News bought the Dayton Journal and the Herald, two competing newspapers, and operated all three out of the DDN building (the Journal and the Herald were soon combined, and then rolled into the Daily News in the 80’s). These were the start of the media empire now known as Cox Enterprises, which is also the parent conglomerate of several other newspapers, dozens of radio and major network and cable television stations, and online classified advertising sites.

Advertising, editorial, customer service, and all other non-printing staff were relocated in 2007 to a newly-remodeled, former NCR office building about a mile and a half away on South Main Street. The historic building on Fourth Street now sits empty, its future unknown.

Does your hometown have any famous doorways?

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My Town Monday: What the Heck is a 90-Minute Market, Anyway?

Dayton mapNot too long ago, I ran across the phrase “90-minute market” – maybe it was on the Dayton Daily News website, an ad, or maybe something I was researching, I can’t remember. But I did remember what it meant, and where I’d first seen it: years ago, on a phone book cover. And 90-minute market was in reference to the fact that, whatever you’re looking for as a consumer in the Dayton area, you probably won’t have to drive more than an hour and a half to get there.

Fifth Third FieldIt’s true: for example, Dayton doesn’t have a zoo, but we’re within 90 minutes of two cities that do, Cincinnati and Columbus. We have our own art museum, orchestra and performing arts groups that might be smaller than Cincinnati’s or Columbus’s, but they’re often cheaper than those of our neighbors, and easier to get to. Baseball? You can go to Cincy to see the Reds play – or if you’re willing to settle for minor league, go watch the Dayton Dragons. Sure, they don’t have the winning record the Reds currently do, but you’ll spend far less money, get in and out with no hassle, and few sporting events can match a Dragons game for fun for all ages.

I’m sure there’s something I can’t get to within a 90-minute drive… oh yeah, a Space Shuttle. (New York? Really???) Moving on…

I did a little searching, trying to figure out where I saw the term recently, and ran across a snarky blog post by a Dayton Daily News columnist that reminded me of an Andy Rooney segment, only less funny. The main point was  about how the idea never really caught on in the 80s. Maybe so, but the real estate companies, shipping companies, local business groups, and especially the airport are doing their best to revive it. The blog post was in response to a more positive take on the concept from a couple weeks earlier.  What it comes down to is, a business in the Dayton area, has quick, easy access to a big customer base as well as suppliers and business partners. If you’re talking about flying, they say it’s the nations #1 90-minute market. (They leave out the part where you wait for security and such at the airport, but even that’s not so bad in Dayton.)

And if you want to drive across town during rush hour? Thirty minutes, and that’s even with a few orange barrels. 

What do you like about your hometown? What does your hometown lack, that you can still find nearby?

More at the My Town Monday Blog

Dayton Map via city of Dayton website
Photo of Fifth Third Field via Wikimedia Commons