By Sandra Gurvis, Author, 111 Places in Columbus That You Must Not Miss. Photos by Mitch Geiser
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of this quarantine stuff. Spring has sprung here in Ohio, and since we don’t know how much longer COVID-related restrictions are going to last, it’s time to pick up your copy of 111 Places in Columbus That You Must Not Miss from your favorite local book store offering shipping or curbside delivery, and get busy visiting outdoor sites that safely and easily accommodate social distancing. The most obvious of these include parks – the book covers about a baker’s dozen. And there are also many other spots that you can explore, even if you prefer to remain in your car.
So let’s start with everyone’s favorite: Giant Objects!
Chief Leatherlips: Hike up to the “brain” of this 12-foot-high limestone slab sculpture, by artist Ralph Helmick, of a Native American chief done wrong by his own tribe. Selfies optional.
Cornhenge: This installation, affectionately called Cornhenge, is the art installation Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees) by sculptor Malcolm Cochran. The 109 human-sized ears of corn have become a sort of Taj Mahal to Silver Queen and other popular varieties. The land was donated by corn star Sam Frantz, who developed many hybrid strains still being munched on today.
World’s Largest Gavel: As a deterrent to crime or just to impress the heck out of folks (or both), this 31-foot-long, seven thousand-pound metal behemoth, created by artist Jim Bolin and located between the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center and the Ohio State Supreme Court, is just the ticket. Be careful not to get a parking ticket while you go in for a closer look.
The Big Basket: Drive along Rt. 16 in Newark, and you can’t miss this ginormous picnic basket, seven stories high and with two seventy-five-ton handles. It’s the former Longaberger Basket World Headquarters. Socially distant picnic, anyone?
You can check out the maps at the back of the book to find places close to where you are, and also to find clusters of places, such as these near the John Glenn International Airport:
Brown Pet Cemetery: Not nearly as creepy as the Stephen King novel, this decades-old final resting place for Fluffy and Rover offers a microcosm of bygone periods of gravestone styles, often more flowery and deeply affectionate than their human counterparts.
The Original Port Columbus Airport: The cool Art Deco tower has tons of historical significance. For example, at 7:35 am on July 8, 1929, 19 passengers, including famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart, were “first in flight” from Columbus to Oklahoma via two Ford Tri-Motor aircraft.
If you’re content just to stay home, you can enjoy reading all the local stories in 111 Places in Columbus that You Must Not Miss. Learn many more nifty things about Ohio’s capital city and plan your visits safely for today and for better days to come.