20-Feb-2011 -- Considering in 2010 I not only stood on the first confluence visit site, but also got to meet Alex Jarrett, DCP founder; there was little chance my International Confluence Day activities for 2011 would be as exciting as last year’s events. However, certainly a highlight was a visit one of the other four points Alex recorded for that inaugural year of 1996: 40N 84W.
Leaving 40N 85W I passed up the opportunity to visit nearby Hoosier Hill, and with no further distraction, drove east on I-70. I continued back into Ohio, until I exited the interstate north on Highway 235. I passed through New Carlisle, and after crossing Highway 41, for the second time of the day, approached the 40th parallel. I pulled off on a farm field access to the east, just before the woods containing the confluence point. The bare trees to the north look identical to those seen in the December 1996 photo. The tower to the south which has been around since at least 2005 is the big change visible in that direction.
Since my last stop in Indiana, the weather has turned into a dreary overcast winter day. The wire fence at the wood line is secured to several large trees, which provide enough stability to easily scale the barrier. A short distance into the woods I wander around until I find the zeroes.
To paraphrase weatherman Phil Connors, when Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. Standing here on International Confluence Day among the people of Pike Township and at least figuratively basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter…
I snap my pictures, but do not linger. I had hoped to recreate the famous Alex Jarrett 40N 84W portrait, standing at wood’s edge with arms raised in triumph, but alone and without a tripod, I can only wait until later to share with readers the prized possession I brought with me: an autographed photo of Alex and me from ICD 2010.
I drive back to the southeast side of Dayton, and stop to pick up some coffee for the missus. When I come back out of the store, the weather begins to sleet, and, I have to admit, I am glad to have finished my outdoor activities in the Dayton area for the day. If I continue to observe International Confluence Day 2011, I am going to have to find a warmer clime…
40N 84W marks the 16th confluence point I have visited on International Confluence Day, each being in a different state.
Ohio – "With God, all things are possible"
[Last year, as my list of ICD visits to different states began to grow, I started listing the motto of each state as a part of my reports. Here in the Buckeye state, it seems appropriate for me to thank (formerly) young James Mastronardo for making this possible today: On April 6, 1866, Ohio Republicans, with the support of Governor Jacob D. Cox, adopted a new state motto: Imperium in Imperio, "an empire within an empire,” to express their pride in the prominent role Ohio had played during the Civil War in defending the Union cause. A furor arose over the new law, with Democrats complaining the motto was too pretentious, regal, and imperial to be associated with a democratic state. Besides, it was in Latin. When the election of 1867 swept a Democratic majority into the legislature, the motto was repealed. For the next ninety-one years, Ohio was without a motto. Then, in 1958, his history teacher pointed this fact out to Jimmie Mastronardo, a twelve-year-old student in Cincinnati. The sixth grader resolved to do something about it. He proposed a phrase used almost daily around his home by his mother: “With God, all things are possible.” Jimmie’s suggestion was immediately accepted by his classmates and a petition was circulated by the teacher and interested friends. State Senator William H. Deddens, sensing a chance to make some political hay, introduced a bill in the legislature early in 1959, and signed young Jimmie up as a registered state lobbyist. With bipartisan support, the new law became effective on October 1. Ohio had lost its unique status, and within a few years, the motto was largely forgotten. It would not again become newsworthy until 1996, the inaugural year of the Degree Confluence Project. (End of Part 1 of today's civics lesson. Part 2 continues in Kentucky)]