I love "coffee table" books ... you know, the big photography books based around themes like modern art or churches or Madonna's early erotic forays or babies made to look like fruits and vegetables. I had an older aunt who had a stack of these hard-and-hefty tomes stacked under her very sterile glass and chrome coffee table.
My newest scheme is to quit my job, find a financial backer who recognizes my true genius, and create a scintillating series of "art books." My first project would be a book featuring all the courthouses of Ohio. I've travelled throughout a good portion of the state and the heavy-handed designs and materials of the older structures are truly awesome. Even some of the newer "replacement" buildings are impressive with their odd-and-unique mixture of modern elements and rural "sensibilities."
The state of Ohio became the 17th such designated entity on March 1, 1803. Carved from the Northwest Territory, Ohio derives its name from an Iroquois word ... "ohi-yo" ... meaning "great river." Indeed, Ohio is bounded on the south by the mighty waters of the Ohio River. But the state is better known for other reasons. Politically, Ohio represents a juicy morsel with 20 electoral votes and strong Democratic leanings. The "Buckeye State" has also produced seven U.S. presidents.
Ohio is often referred to as a "gateway state," meaning it links the Northeast to the Midwest. In fact, Ohio has a quantifiable uniqueness ... it is situated within a one-day drive of nearly half the U.S. population and about 70 percent of it's manufacturing and industrial resources. That is some powerful geography!!
But my interest lies in the scenery ... 44,825 square miles divided up into 88 counties. And each one seems to have a legal hub complete with slabs or granite, marble, and sandstone ... or newer angled facades with brick and chrome and glass block. Some are welcoming while others exude a foreboding feeling that is downright Gothic.
I think buildings can have such warmth and strength and even majesty while made of hard materials and cold surfaces. My book would also feature some interior photos of each courthouse as well as any early sketches or blueprints. And every featured building would have a close-up inset of the cornerstone. I really want to encourage people to take roadtrips and see the elegant edifices in person.
POINT OF RANT: I would never eat a salad or side dish served by Anne Geddes without thoroughly running my fork through it looking for rattles and "binkies!"