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ON THE EDGE OF COMMON SENSE

Mr. Washington

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Lee Trevino has a street named after him in El Paso. Abraham Lincoln has a town named after him in Nebraska. Monty Montana has his namesake state, and I’ve even got some hills named in my honor in South Dakota.

But there’s one feller who left his mark all over these United States. He’s got more towns, cities, counties, streets and states named after him than anyone else. An ex-president. It’s ol’ George Washington.

I’ve noticed in most every town of any size there’s a Washington Street or Washington Avenue. I dug out my Rand McNally and looked. Thirty one states have Washington counties. I found 19 states with cities called Washington, not counting Washington, D.C. Of course, we have Washington state.

From what I recall from my dusty history books, ol’ George was a modest man. They wanted to make him a king, but he refused. They wound up making him first in a long line of presidents.

I’m sure there’s a Fidel Castro Boulevard in Havana. They probably had to twist Fidel’s arm to let ‘em name it after him. We have a whole raft of politicians who get dams, buildings, airports and other pork barrel projects named after them. They might have even insisted on it.

But we’ve named our hometowns and counties after George because we admired him, not because he suggested it.

Yes sir, he left his mark. But what if his name had been Bumgarner or Svenson or Alvarez. We’d probably have still used it. Or what if his opponent in the election primary had won. Every April we’d have to send our checks to our nation’s capital in Dewey, D.C.

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large-animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. Learn more at www.baxterblack.com.

Baxter Black