An airport by any other nameWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | firstname.lastname@example.org
K100 morning personalities Gary Shores and Harvey Steele are pursing an idea to honor Toledoan Danny Thomas. The duo, with support from City Council President Rob Ludeman, would like to rename Toledo Express Airport (motto: “The second-fastest way to Detroit!”) after the performer and founder of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Thomas is certainly worthy of respect, but we should carefully consider all the options before we re-name Toledo Express.
- Jamie Farr Express Airport: Farr is the greatest ambassador Northwest Ohio ever produced. His dedication to making Toledo a continuing part of the “M*A*S*H” storyline and his sponsorship of the annual golf tournament make him the most prominent candidate. But to honor the “M*A*S*H” spirit, the airport would need constant slow-motion helicopter traffic, that sad theme song about suicide playing over the loudspeakers and a male security staff dressed in floral print dresses.
- Katie Holmes Cruise Express Airport: Would it be a hassle to have the airport re-zoned to accommodate spaceships? Would Katie insist the airport be named the L. Ron Hubbard Space-Time Continuum Portal to Trementina Base? Would Xenu consider a Toledo airport named for Scientology to be a strategic target in the battle against the Loyal Officers of the Marcab Confederation? Maybe this is one us wogs should steer clear of.
- Gloria Steinem Express Airport: Steinem once reportedly described Toledo’s east side as a “pathologically violent and racist place and a whole society built on brutality. You bowled on Tuesday, played pinochle on Wednesday. And beat up your wife or the nearest available black on Saturday.” But the airport is nowhere near the east side, so maybe she could let bygones be bygones and return for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. I’m sure the city can find something less phallic than scissors to cut the ribbon.
- Daws Butler Express Airport: The immortal voice of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snap from Rice Crispies, Snagglepuss, Elroy Jetson, Augie Doggie, Quick Draw McDraw, Wally Gator and other mediocre cartoon characters could be honored by naming the airport after the Toledo native and requiring all flights to and from Toledo to hire pilots who can imitate Butler’s repertoire. “Folks, this is your captain speaking. We’ve lost both wings and we’re going to plummet into Downtown Swanton” wouldn’t sound as horrible if done in a wacky Huckleberry Hound voice.
- Jim Jackson Express Airport: With developer David Ball’s backing, Jackson could give the airport a major hipness makeover. As a marketing gimmick, the airport would only feature flights to places Jackson has played basketball in, which encompasses Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Oakland, Portland, Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami, Sacramento, Houston, Charlotte, Phoenix and Los Angeles. It will be imperative Jackson plays at least one season in Detroit so flights to the Motor City can continue.
- John Denver Express Airport: Denver’s song “Saturday Night in Toledo” contained the lyrics, “Just two lonely truckers from Great Falls, Montana, and a salesman from places unknown/all huddled together in Downtown, Toledo to spend their big night all alone./You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio?/Well I spent a week there one day./They’ve got entertainment to dazzle your eyes: go visit the bakery and watch the buns rise,” so we know he felt nothing but contempt for Toledo, which means he shares an attitude with many Toledoans. Since he died piloting his own plane when it ran out of fuel, there’s a tie-in to aviation. There’s a crash-and-burn joke here somewhere, if you care to look for it.
- The Toledo Zoo-Toledo Museum of Art-Mud Hens-Tony Packo’s Express Airport Presented by Owens Corning, Kroger and ProMedica: It’s an airport name and a catchy reminder of our most famous marketing elements.
- Tom Noe Express Airport: If a mode of transportation could be invented that moves as fast as Noe split for Florida, we’d have the most popular airport in the country.
- John Robinson Block Express Airport: Because he said so. Union participation not required.
- Carty Finkbeiner Express Airport: There must be a joke here about Carty and the airport, but I’ve asked for help from friends and family and my pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. He may be contacted at (419) 241-1700 or by e-mail at email@example.com.