Well, we’re waking up today with a new governor occupying the Statehouse at 1 Capitol Square in Columbus.
Out with the old — John Kasich — and in with the new, Mike DeWine.
It’s a relief for me because now I won’t have to train anymore for a foot race against Kasich.
I guess I have been holding off telling you about that one.
Yeah, the governor — or now we should say ex-governor — got a little riled up at a question your’s truly asked and challenged me to a foot race.
It was during an editorial board meeting The Lima News arranged with Kasich back in September. We had invited Kasich to come to Lima to talk about his eight years in office. He had been to the newspaper twice before, but this time said he would be willing to meet, only it needed to be in Columbus.
So it was a road trip for Publisher Doug Olsson, Managing Editor David Trinko, Photo Editor Craig Orosz and myself.
We weren’t disappointed.
Kasich was in his element as we met in the governor’s office. He told stories and shared insights, challenged some of our questions with questions of his own, and zinged us with a reminder that we endorsed Ted Strickland in 2010.
An hour went by quickly when Kasich said he had time for one more question.
That’s when I asked his thoughts about a candidate running for office at the age of 70.
It was a reasonable question, I thought.
After all, if Donald Trump serves two terms as president, he’ll be 78 years old when he ends his final year in office. Mike DeWine will be 80 in his final year as governor should he be a two-termer. Are they going to be awake should the Bat Phone ring?
Anyway, the governor found the question hard to chew.
He came leaping out of his chair, arms flapping in the air, asking how old I was. (I’m 62 and he’s 66). He said he would gladly race me if I wanted — right then, there or even later. He would also swim laps, if that’s what I chose to do.
Ma-no vs. Ma-no.
Now anyone who knows me can tell you I’ve never been accused of being a speedster. Kasich probably could give me a 90-yard head start in a 100-yard dash and I wouldn’t win. All I could do was go into the rope-a-dope as the governor’s tongue-lashing continued. Finally, Olsson suggested we arm-wrestle.
Kasich broke out in laughter and all was fine.
I got my answer on the age question, although I don’t know what a foot race or swimming laps had to do with anything.
It did, however. make for an interesting ending to an enlightening meeting with what has to be one of the most fiery governors in Ohio history.
It was an editorial board meeting I’ll never forget.
ROSES AND THORNS: A councilman with a mission makes his way into the rose garden.
Rose: To Lima City Councilman Derry Glenn, who continues to push for ways to end the violence in Lima.
Rose: To Ronnie Kahle Sr., 82, of Kalida. He is a strong supporter of his community and has been a Kalida Lions Club member since 1957. For the past 10 years he has been instrumental in the development of Four Seasons Park and The Plum Creek Nature Area in the Village of Kalida, in which he was honored for by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.
Rose: To Vicki Gossman, of Delphos. Her idea was featured Friday in the nationally syndicated comic strip Pluggers. Gossman said a Plugger doesn’t bother buying a lottery ticket for a chance to win several million dollars — he waits for it to hit a billion.
Rose: Herman’s Hermits, one of the great names for a 1960’s rock ‘n’ roll band, will be performing April 28 at the Niswonger Performing Art Center in Van Wert. No doubt, Peter Noone will be singing, “I’m into Something Good.”
Rose: Community support for two programs operated by the Allen County Children Services agency helped make the holiday season a little brighter for hundreds of area children. The agency’s Adopt-A-Family program provided holiday gifts to 217 children in December, while the Cole Collection provided gifts to 189 children. Both programs rely exclusively on donations and the generosity of people in the community.
Thorn: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan was not listed among the more than half of the members of Ohio’s congressional delegation who are turning down paychecks while the federal government is under a partial shutdown. Among those forgoing a check are U.S. Rep. Bob Latta and Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.
PARTING SHOT: “If you’re not around the hoop, you can’t get a rebound.” — John Kasich, former Ohio governor.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.