On Two Bowling Greens

One has a GM Corvette plant and accompanying museum, the other has the National Tractor Pull Championships. One has a population of about 30K (in a rural area) and the other 54K (yet more of a metro area). One became a town in 1798, the other in 1855. Both have similar elevations above sea level (547 & 696) and each located along an interstate highway. Both have public universities.

One is on plains flattened by the glaciers, and the other has a gentle roll. One is the Central time zone, the other is Eastern. One occupies about 10 square miles, the other 35. Probably because of early history, there’s a slight difference in their pronunciation: BOWL-ing GREEN and BO-lin grin. One is in Ohio and the other Kentucky.

One is home to the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and the other the Western Kentucky University (WKU). One has the Falcons and the other the Hilltoppers. One has a college on the hill, and the other’s college created a hill from the removed soil when building a large pond.

I’ve lived in Ohio all but the first 3 months of my life. For some reason people confuse these two universities. I first discovered this in my youth after telling people I was attending Bowling Green, I would get comments like “The one in Kentucky or Ohio?” “Have you gone to the Corvette Museum?” Even after moving to Cincinnati for my adult years, I’ve occasionally encountered similar confusion.

Last week I posted thoughts about the potential disbanding of a known college hockey program. Hmmm … BGSU or WKU? The very next day I was looking at the brackets for the women’s basketball tournament. This bracket, undoubtedly from a major news source, listed Bowling Green, Ohio as one of the first round tournament sites – of which I wondered, “In that outdated, dumpy college gym?”

Well, Bowling Green is also found in Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, and Virginia, but none of these are college towns. Bowling Green is also in New York City as the city’s oldest public park, but it’s not a town in itself. Although nobody has ever confused my Bowling Green with these places, at least nobody has ever related me to Fruit of the Loom Underwear that has a  manufacturing facility in Bowling Green. After all, I prefer Hanes.

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7 thoughts on “On Two Bowling Greens

    • Paulette,
      Ah ha … a witty response because I had to think about that one for a sec. That makes two things MJ & I have in common.

      Thanks reading!

  1. Frank, a most enjoyable read and a great way to start my day. I had no idea there was such a liberal sprinkling of Bowling Greens around the American landscape. Further, my guess is, I’m not alone.

    As the 50’s DeeJays used to say (I know, I was one), ” … keep them cards and letters comin’ in.”
    Joe

    • Joe,
      Glad you enjoyed it. Of course one of the morals of the story was after saying I went to Bowling Green, why would anyone even think I was in Kentucky because that school is WKU!

      I contemplated a difference ending … such as college students going to Athens … so are they going to Ohio University or the University of Georgia?

      Oh well … thanks again and soon I’m be getting my weekly grist!

  2. Frank, your ending is masterful word smithing. Kinda like a good seven-fold amen to a Handel chorus. I was thinking that when my wife asked me to make some cappuccino for her commute to work. When I came back to the computer, I was headed in a different direction. Oh well.
    Joe

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