Patterico's Pontifications


Our 50 States

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s a glorious Easter Day so let’s take a moment to share something positive about your State or region, or something it has given the world.

I’ll go first: I live in Texas and we’ve given the world Tex-Mex (and maybe chili), Ruby Red grapefruit, Pecos cantaloupes, bluebonnets, the iconic Lone Star, the spirit of the Alamo and “Don’t Mess With Texas.”


84 Responses to “Our 50 States”

  1. I live in Washington State. We have given the world several things, including fantastic apples, much of the plutonium used to make the original atomic bombs (gulp!), and the largest concrete structure in the nation, the Grand Coulee Dam.

    Also, mine is the only state named for a US President. Home of Starbucks and Bill Gates and electoral shenanigans.

    It is a lovely state.

    Eric Blair (ea0564)

  2. Pretty proud of Abraham Lincoln, deep dish pizza and Chicago jazz.

    elissa (34967f)

  3. Washington State — First state in the nation to adopt a “zero reject” policy with regard to children with disabilities and their right to be educated alongside their non-disabled peers, and precursor to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    While we were a leader then, now we are not. But at least we were a big part of the concept and for that, I am proud.

    School Marm (a68c64)

  4. California – giving you Paris Hilton, John Steinbeck, Charles Bukowski, In-N-Out, oranges lemons and lettuce, Dr. Laura, the Big Mac, Richard Nixon and gently rolling earthquakes.

    Vermont Neighbor (4fbbf0)

  5. I’m currently being held hostage in North Carolina, but let me give a shout out to my home state, Arizona!

    Arizona has the Grand Canyon, which is beautiful beyond words. Arizona is gorgeous, from Sedona, to the White Mountains in the east, to the Sonoran Desert.

    The food isn’t “Tex Mex”, it’s more “New Mex”, which is owing mainly to green chile/red chile. Tasty!

    I pray I may some day be reunited with the state I love.

    fiestamom (cf47bb)

  6. elissa – If you’re up by Chicago, let us know to include you in the next Midwest Superstar Blogger Fan Club get together.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  7. Vermont Neighbor, good list but you forgot the most notable and important, influencing the world 24/7:


    *No, really, we’re not just shallow and vapid here…seriously!*

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  8. I’m from New York. I’m most proud of the FDNY and NYPD, the heroes of 9/11.

    Sparrow (290149)

  9. New Mexico. We gave America nuclear weapons, Brian Urlacher, and Chaco Canyon – pretty much the three most badass things ever. And Bearded Bill Richardson, of course.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  10. Dana, good point. I was going to say Hollywood left for Canada and India. But there’s still Burbank.

    Vermont Neighbor (4fbbf0)

  11. I’ll give a shout-out for California avocados, strawberries, and wines, and California King sheets are terrific.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  12. Missouri, the state that gave us Harry S. Truman, the last honest Democratic president and one that had the cajones to drop the bombs ending WWII.

    Hundreds of thousands of grunts like my dad were saved from giving their lives in an invasion of the Japanese homeland because of Truman’s decision.

    MU789 (5776a0)

  13. Louisiana! You’re welcome for the Jambalaya, Jazz, and (Bobby) Jindal.

    Also for Lagniappe, words ending in ‘eaux’, and Katrina refugees (okay, maybe we’re not proud of the last bit…)

    SaveFarris (5b611b)

  14. Yuma, AZ is the winter lettuce capital of the world. Or so we hear. Also the best warm, dry winters anywhere. And the hottest summers. Over 200K winter visitors every year. And sand dunes. They are over the border in CA, but we are the closed city and we claim them.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  15. closed = closest

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  16. Great State of Virginia is the reason you have Eskimo pies. And liberty.

    SarahW (af7312)

  17. California: REAGAN. (Sure, he may have been born and raised elsewhere, but California is where Reagan became Reagan.)

    On a lesser “note,” California is the home of surf music.

    I grew up in NYC, and New York gave America the the push to think big with the ERIE CANAL.

    Ira (28a423)

  18. Here in Colorado, in a 45 minute drive I can be either fly fishing or skiing or hunting pheasant.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  19. We live in the USA – greatest country on Earth. Leaders in technology, space exploration, physics, math, entertainment, medicine, standard of living, no wars in a very long time with its border nations, many different classes of people generally getting along while living together, probably the mightiest military in the world, and one of the few places where you can start a business in your mom’s garage and retire a billionaire.

    Metallica (bb58d8)

  20. DRJ – avocadoes and strawberries in exchange for some good old TX grub. I hear it’s like nowhere else.

    Vermont Neighbor (4fbbf0)

  21. A lot of you Californio’s forgot the single largest impact CA has had on the World, post-WW2:

    Mickey Dee’s!

    First one was in San Bernardino, where Ray Kroc stopped to sell them milk-shake mixers, and fell in love with an idea.

    The last original one – still operating – is McDonald’s #3, still at the corner of Florence & Lakewood, in Downey CA.

    AD - RtR/OS! (73c6b4)

  22. We’re also proud of our smelt fish.

    Old lore says handful of fish goes for two House votes in Washington.

    Vermont Neighbor (4fbbf0)

  23. I live in Texas now, but I’ll chime in with my home state of Oregon. Home of the deepest lake in the U.S., the only state to have a state nut (how fitting), formerly covered Washington and Idaho before they got too big for their britches, the only state in which the state flag is different on either side, and home to the windsurfing capital of the world. I’m sure there is more but that will do from memory. Feels kind of cheap to have to look stuff up. The Oregon coast also has the worlds largest sea cave and Heceta Lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse. I used to drive by both of them daily to and from work.

    Now I need to turn my attention to my new home, and discover its hidden treasures.

    Douglas (6e8aa8)

  24. Yes, McDonalds. I won’t eat the food there, but I used to. The Big Mac was born on State Street in Santa Barbara.

    And Reagan just seemed like the best of California. From the cornfields to the soundstage, via sports reporting. Who was that other sportscaster who was so patriotic but controversial. Can’t remember her name. /s

    Vermont Neighbor (4fbbf0)

  25. Texas here: Big Bend State Park, fiestas, fajitas, Shiner Bock, Pace picante sauce, the Lost Pines, the second most recognized flag in the world, men like Juan Seguin, the best beef cattle in the world, Wrangles and Justin Boots.

    retire05 (2abfb2)

  26. Florida! The Gators, the Seminoles, Florida orange juice, Disney World (a.k.a. Disneyland East), (and on the downside) Alan Grayson and hanging chads.

    navyvet (8e1431)

  27. DRJ and retire05, what part of the state do y’all live in?

    San Antonio via the coastal bend here.

    BradnSA (980254)

  28. I live in Ohio, our comic state motto is “at least we’re not Michigan.”

    John Cunningham (1cb7c8)

  29. elissa-If you’re up by Chicago, let us know

    Yep, Daley, north suburbs. Guess I haven’t mentioned my association with Chicago (a city I absolutely love) in posts on here due to the current bad press over a few of our political “exports” who have been causing some havoc in Washington DC. recently.

    elissa (28444b)

  30. South Florida! Sunshine. Marco Rubio for our new Senator and Allan West for Rep for Congressional District 22. What can be sweeter than that — only the grapefruit and orange juice.

    Joanne (546f38)

  31. Surf music is hardly a “lesser note”. California also came up with hot rods, drag racing, custom cars and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. also, the Hawaiian’s may have invented surfing, but we gave it to the world, along with skateboarding. most importantly, we are the home to the Tommys Cheesburger. (extra chili, extra cheese please! %-)
    and, for better or worse, we are also where the Grateful Dead formed. 😀

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  32. elissa – We’re neighbors then. JD comes through town every once in a while and when he does, we try to get a group together.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  33. Brad,

    West Texas here, but not as far West as El Paso. I think retire05 lives in Central Texas or the Valley. Or maybe the Houston area. There are several Texans here and Patterico has ties to Texas.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  34. Navy Vet….you forgot Florida’s two other college greats….USF Bulls and Miami Hurricanes….we are blessed with a marvelous selection of major football/basketball schools….

    Plus the Southernmost point in the USA…the tip of Key West!

    Duke DeLand (569339)

  35. Well, I’ll take up the cause of several midwest states I’ve lived in or nearby.

    Minni-so-cold- for Paul Molitor, Ely, and the Boundary Waters canoe paradise- been way too long a time

    Wisconsin- for self-deprecating cheeseheads, Badger Hockey, a beautiful university, and the remnant of conservatives that hold out there

    Indiana- Rich Mullins and “Hoosiers”

    Ohio- as goes Ohio on election day so goes the nation, lakes and rivers with fish that were once a fire hazard, little farm towns, Archie Griffin, Eddie George

    Pennsylvania- Independence Hall, The City Tavern, Valley Forge

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  36. Duke-

    Is Key West further south than Hawaii? And what state(s) are northern most, western most, and eastern most?

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  37. I live in Indiana, which has brought Milan High School’s Hoosier miracle, Butler basketball, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and some corn and beans. And Red Gold tomatoes.

    JD (e190da)

  38. California – We gave you George S. Patton, Cal Tech, Apple Computers, the Hollywood of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, Jesus Freaks, 80’s Metal and In-N-Out Burger

    MunDane (54a83b)

  39. Rancho Palos Verdes. We are a haven from Los Angeles that once hosted a park called Marineland — the Sea World of L.A. in its day.

    Now? We contribute, uh . . .

    Well, greater L.A. contributes . . . you know. Pollution, crime, crappy movies from overpaid lefties, and some other stuff I’m sure.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  40. At one time or another, I have called Oregon, Washington, California, Florida and Maryland home. I was born in Texas, and have family spread all across the West; and roots digging back 382 years along the East Coast. Some branches of my family tree are more newly arrived, having stepped off the boat only a couple of generations ago.

    My office spreads from Chesapeake Bay in the northeast, south to the Florida Keys and west to the Grand Ole Opry, and south again to Mobile Bay.

    I have patrolled the Russian border, and weathered the winter in the perpetual dark there. I have tanned my hide on Waikiki Beach and swum in every ocean that borders the country on all of its sides. I have criscrossed the country from West to East and back, and have only a couple of states that I have not yet been to visit, but I expect I’ll get as warm a welcome there as I have everywhere else so far.

    And so far, I haven’t found a square inch that I would trade for another country.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  41. As for the whole state, I think other people have it covered. Basically it’s a huge failing economy.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  42. California has given the world the Central Coast, and the Monterey Peninsula, God’s Personal Playground, and along with that, sunset at Asilomar Beach, Lover’s Point, Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Clint Eastwood, The Pinnacles, Poppy Hills, Cypress Point, Spanish Bay, Bayonet, Cannery Row, kelp diving in Monterey Bay, etc … suffice it to say that that I have found the Peninsula to be one of the most spectacular places I have had the pleasure to live.

    JD (e190da)

  43. I’m from New Jersey, and it’s great that I live 10 miles from Hawthorne, NJ. – Home of the World Champion Hawthorne Caballeros and the Caballeros Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps.


    Bill George (547c72)

  44. JD:

    That’s a nice tribute. It’s all Central to Northern California.

    I can’t say much for Southern California. The best I can say about Rancho Palos Verdes is that it greatly resembles the Central Coast — but is a lot quicker drive. So that’s not a bad deal.

    Nice to see you commenting, by the way. We’ve missed you in recent days.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  45. I can also say that the Rose Bowl is a great event, and Paseo Colorado in Pasadena makes for a nice Sunday morning stroll. The Water Grille, Nobu, Animal, and a whole score of other great restaurants have originated in this land named LA, so there is that.

    JD (e190da)

  46. Still cannot comment from my CrackBerry, Patterico. It is not user error, so I am getting a new one tomorrow.

    JD (e190da)

  47. California has given the world the Central Coast, and the Monterey Peninsula,

    JD and Patterico, you’re absolutely right about that area. But you forgot to mention that it also has some of the best sea otter watching anywhere.

    elissa (28444b)

  48. elissa – Agreed, but I saw a creepy thing on the news the other night where an otter attacked a person, so I left that off.

    JD (e190da)

  49. Comment by EW1(SG)

    You’re starting to sound like that Johnny Cash song, “I’ve been to…”; either that or the poem about the American flag…

    Good for you!

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  50. Since the state of my birth hasn’t been mentioned yet: Georgia. Lots of beautiful places. Home of the Masters, Augusta. And the home of Jimmy Carter, Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson. I know they are so proud.

    And I have been to every state except Teh Won’s home state. Or as he says, 56 of 57 states. I’m with EW. No place else like this country.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  51. Louisiana….SaveFarris forgot CRAWFISH!!! And, the French Quarter, the SAINTS!!!!….Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Terry Bradshaw (the “dumbest” QB in history with four Super Bowl rings!!!) Pete Maravich, only the greatest scorer/passer in the history of basketball….

    Finally….Food….the greatest food in the world….

    reff (176333)

  52. Surf music is hardly a “lesser note”.

    Comment by redc1c4 — 4/4/2010 @ 6:35 pm

    Red, I was not implying that surf music is a “low note.” I was pointing it out as something positive California gave to the world, while noting that Reagan was an even more positive contribution.

    For the commenter asking about which is further south, Key West or Hawaii: While Key West is the southernmost point in the contiguous 48 states, most of the 50th state is further south than Key West.

    Ira (28a423)

  53. Come to California and stay at the luxurious Madonna Inn. Shower in the cave room, or pick another delightfully themed motif. Pass Neverland and keep driving north until you hit pink.

    On a similar note, LA gave the world Angelyne. And her gigantic … billboards.

    Vermont Neighbor (687762)

  54. Philippe’s! The best food.

    Vermont Neighbor (687762)

  55. Pennsylvania, where Carl Stotz and the Bebble brothers founded Little League Baseball.

    matador (176445)

  56. Oregon has given the country some place to stash communists where they won’t get in the way.

    roy (0692a4)

  57. Here in Colorado, in a 45 minute drive I can be either fly fishing or skiing or hunting pheasant.

    I have the same in this part of Nevada.

    Nevada also gave us the Comstock Lode, Las Vegas, and legal prostitution.

    Some chump (c2555f)

  58. Iowa gave the world crop scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug, the man who saved a billion people from starvation. You’re welcome.

    Also: Johnny Carson, Slipknot, John Wayne, Meredith Wilson (author of “The Music Man”), the Eskimo Pie, Bix Biederbecke, Blue Bunny ice cream, Ashton Kutcher, Grant Wood, Maytag appliances, Maytag cheese, Kurt Warner, Donna Reed, Maid Rites, Jean Seberg, Elijah Wood, Jiffy Pop, Bob Feller, Dear Abby and Ann Landers, pork tenderloins, Cloris Leachman, Leslie Hall, the Duesenberg Brothers, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver.

    iowahawk (95c7b7)

  59. While Key West is the southernmost point in the contiguous 48 states, most of the 50th state is further south than Key West. – Comment by Ira

    Thanks, Ira

    BTW, The State that is the farthest North, Alaska, which gave us Gov. “sarahcuda” Palin, is also the farthest West and East (Aleutian Islands past the international date line), I’ve been told.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  60. Iowa also gave rise to Barcky, iowahawk. And Bruce Pearl. But Maid Rites almost make up for that.

    JD (959071)

  61. Wisconsin – home of the Friday Fish Fry and the Packers. We got lots of other swell stuff, but it ain’t polite to brag or nothin’.

    Dudeman (b50a96)

  62. Somebody up there ^^^ asked about the eastern-most spot in the continental US. That would be Eastport, Maine in Washington County, The Sunrise County. My wife was born there. :) (545cf9)

  63. I’m a California native, land of the Monterey Submarine Canyon and the surfboard.

    Now living in Washington, which once gave the world great hydroplanes, now is a leading contender for crooked elections, and bankruptcy through deficit spending.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (8906ed)

  64. I can’t say much for Southern California

    Joshua Tree is incredible in the winter under the light of the moon.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  65. As a sixth-generation Texan, I yield to none in my Texas pride. That said, my mother’s Kentucky gave us bourbon and Henry Clay and the Derby; and as a W&L man of early Virginia antecedents, I am constrained to note that the Commonwealth of Virginia gave us, well, us: America as we understand it, from the Founders, to Lewis and Clark, to John Randolph, to R. E. Lee and the Mighty Stonewall, to reconciliation of the reunited Union, to the nation we now are, for good and ill.

    Oh, and Smithfield ham.

    Markham S. Pyle (05e96f)

  66. #58, iowahawk’s claim to the Eskimo Pie trumps SarahW’s bid at #16 for Virginia origins, although the Old Dominion has a long and proud history with many unique accomplishments.

    #24 VN has the Big Mac confused with the Egg McMuffin. The Big Mac began in Pittsburgh, PA. And, the Egg McMuffin was first sold at the Fairview Goleta restaurant, just up the road from Santa Barbara.

    ropelight (37ae40)

  67. Consider rural CA another state, the rest of the state does. Mid to southern: the fabulous Sierras, Death Valley and the Mojave, and here in the Kern Valley where I live, cattle, the most diverse bird-watching in the US, great fishing, the best windsurfing on Lake Isabella, the Domeland Wilderness, etc.

    jodetoad (7720fb)

  68. Texas – Friday night high school football, East Texas azaleas and dogwoods in spring, team mascots like Longhorns and Lumberjacks, fishing for redfish at Matagorda Bay, Austin (the best city in the USA), and Attorney General Greg Abbott.

    Beth in Texas (47ec7a)

  69. jodetoad – if i’m going to head out into rural california, i’m going to head to (a) the wide open desert of the southwest, including Joshua Tree (although I’ve never made it to Death Valley); (b) the beautiful fog-shrouded coastal redwoods of the northeast; or (c) the monterey peninsula. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  70. I live in Texas and I’d like to point out that Texas gave us Willie Nelson. I kinda think that’s a good thing. I’m originally from Washington State and want to give a shout out to the delicious Rainier cherries the state produces!

    tango (3c7c24)

  71. I don’t mind Willie Nelson! Texas also makes the best damn rice in the world.

    I know that’s not the biggest deal to some, but there ain’t no rice like Houston’s long grain rice. The pecan pie is pretty great too.

    It also is the energy capitol of the world, which means they have given us some of the best and worst economic news.

    But really, the reason I love Texas is more personal. It’s a great place to live and have a family and make ends meet, without sacrificing your individualism. That’s hard to put on a bullet point next to “Broadway” or “The Golden Gate Bridge”, but it means a lot more.

    dustin (b54cdc)

  72. The Egg McMuffin. Thanks for the correction, ropelight.

    Rancho Palos Verdes gave us the first Bristol Farms, in Rolling Hills – one of the earliest luxury grocery chains.

    Vermont Neighbor (22c46b)

  73. Iowa gave us iowahawk, and everything else comes second. Nuff said.

    Vermont Neighbor (22c46b)

  74. Just think of all of the progress in CA since the Progressives took control of the state from the Southern Pacific?
    If only we could give it back….
    but the SP is gone too, as is our prosperity.
    Thanks, Hiram!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0d3e7e)

  75. Comment by MD in Philly — 4/5/2010 @ 6:21 am

    Well, Yes & No!
    The western end of the Aleutians does have an East Longitude location, but the IDL swerves around it, and then neatly bisects the small gap between Big and Little Diomede (West Longitude) in the Bering Straits, before realigning with 180-degrees Longitude.

    AD - RtR/OS! (0d3e7e)

  76. Alabama. Home of Jimmy Buffett and Forrest Gump; the Montgomery Shakespeare festival and the NCAA football national champions. Home of the REAL Mardi Gras. A place where, today, it’s a crisp 82 degrees outside.

    Virtual Insanity (1d2640)

  77. Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 4/5/2010 @ 1:50 pm

    Thank you for the, ahem, clarification, I think.

    So, do you count it as east because of the position on the globe, or as “far west” because of the arbitrary IDL marking?

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  78. It’s not my home (that’s either California or Texas, depending on how you measure it), but I’d like to put in a good word for Utah, the southern third of which is some of the most beautiful land in the world.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  79. #78 MD in Philly:

    So, do you count it as east because of the position on the globe, or as “far west” because of the arbitrary IDL marking?

    I tend to think of it as “west” because that’s the direction you go to get there, even if it isn’t as far east as some of Siberia.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  80. Comment by MD in Philly — 4/5/2010 @ 2:03 pm

    From a concept basis, since it is part of Alaska, it would be the Far-West; but, geographically, those islands West of 180-degrees are technically in the Eastern Hemishphere. The really confusing part is that the western end of the chain is on HI time, not AK time (some time back they set all of Alaska except the far end of the islands on what we used to know as Juneau Time, which was an hour after Seattle, and an hour before Anchorage. Anchorage, and the main body of AK, was on the same time zone as HI. It was a big political fight up there to reconcile the hours difference between the economic centers of the State (Fairbanks & Anchorage) and the Capitol (Juneau). Technically speaking, the State of Alaska encompasses four time zones from East to West, though they only recognize two of them for commercial purposes.

    AD - RtR/OS! (0d3e7e)

  81. For my fellow Texans…Mr. Gary P. Nunn. (545cf9)

  82. Well lets see Chicago is in Illinois, last I checked, and this fine city gave us Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Sid Blumenthal, and near by Park Ridge gave us the wonderful Hillary Clinton. God that is depressing.

    Anyway, I will put up a true Chicago hot dog against anybodys in the country!!!

    BT (74cbec)

  83. #79, #80

    But, but, … do I have to quit using this trivia question, which I learned years ago while circling for 2 1/2 hours waiting to land (the flight attendants held a trivia contest, complete with give-aways, to pass the time)?

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  84. OK, as a baseball fan I have to stick this in here. On Monday the President threw the first ball of the season for the Nationals wearing a White Sox cap. Afterwards, of course, he was interviewed about being a staunch White Sox fan. Not only did he repeat the mispronunciation of Comiskey (he again called it Kominsky) but when asked, he could not name his favorite Sox player–or apparently ANY Sox player. Just ubadee ubadee ubadee for about 30 seconds. What a poseur he is.

    elissa (5a99d8)

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