The Land of Pleasant Living

One day in Miss Haver’s fourth grade class, I decided I was going to live in the State of Maryland when I grew up. We were studying the fifty states and their capitals and I had become enamored with Maryland’s flag. It was the coolest flag I’d ever seen. At the time, I lived in New Philadelphia, Ohio, population 14,000. It was a nice enough town, with a football team that was referred to as the ‘Fighting Quakers.’ No one seemed to catch the irony. But growing up I felt as if I had been squeezed into shoes that were too small. So, on that fateful day in fourth grade, I hatched a plan to bust out of there the first chance I got. I didn’t make it to Maryland until I was twenty-four. I started o

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