Wednesday, February 26, 1997
A sheepish proposal for Cincinnati

BY CLIFF RADEL
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Well hello, Dolly.

Scientists are cloning sheep.

Scottish scientists at that. Those people will do anything to sell their sweaters.

I guess the idea is to give us better livestock. Uniform chops. Team sweaters.

I know it's serious stuff. Hard science. Ethical dilemmas. Ulcer-causing worries. But still it strikes me odd and funny at the same time.

So, in tribute to those Scottish scientists and a sheep called Dolly, I want to have some fun.

Let's clone Cincinnati. Let's clone the people who make this town a great place, a city with a thick history, a hard head and a big heart. My Cincinnati, down to its best genes. Angels. Rogues. Characters. Clowns.

Here are some of the people I think make my life better - in ways both big and small - in Cincinnati:

Barry Larkin - He hits. He fields. He exudes class. Imagine the entire Reds' roster stocked with quiet, hard-working, homegrown all-stars all wearing No. 11.

Patricia Corbett - Dedicated fireball who makes dreams come true for artists and audiences all over town.

John Johnson - Happy-go-lucky owner and blue-collar chef de cuisine serving Cincinnati's best chili from his steam table at Camp Washington Chili Parlor.

My mom - She knows the value of starting every day with a smile.

Steve Gibbs - Tenacious, guiding spirit behind the FreeStore/FoodBank, putting food in the hands of poor people.

Buck Kathman - Repairing shoes and saving soles on Sixth Street with an old-fashioned passion for a job well done.

Bob Bedinghaus - The county commissioner whose courageous stand for stadiums may actually save downtown.

My wife - Stays the course when her husband loses his bearings.

WWNK-FM's Jim Scott - His friendly voice is Cincinnati's sunny wake-up call.

WCPO-TV's Clyde Gray - Rare news anchor who's all poise and class.

WKRC-TV'S Tim Hedrick - Expert forecasts delivered with humor and humility, but no weatherman mumbo-jumbo or hairdos from GQ.

WNKU-FM's Brian O'Donnell - Plays eclectic music - old and new, known and unknown - as if he's sharing hidden treasures.

Oscar Treadwell - Has the voice (deep and resonant) and taste to champion great jazz on the radio for 50 years.

Marty & Joe - Baseball's dream-team of play-by-play announcers talk through the game with a gentle grace.

Jackie Donley - At the Root Beer Stand in Sharonville, she serves a taste of heaven in ice-water chilled mugs filled with a foamy black-brown nectar.

Bob & Dan Polking - The best car repairmen in town. (And not just because they fix my Rabbit.) Have the talent and ethics to always do an honest job.

Jim & George Batsakes - The only names you need to know about dry cleaning in Cincinnati.

Eugene Fields - Soft-spoken martial arts instructor at Project Succeed Academy teaches that life's lessons are best learned with self-discipline and hugs.

Rick Coors - Doing his best to hang on to the last dairy in Cincinnati's city limits.

Dr. Rebecca Bechhold - Treats breast cancer with the latest technology and compassion.

Sister Jean Patrice Harrington - Every student's best friend currently working her miracles as the interim president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Rabbi Abie Ingber - Honors the past, by trying to save a historic downtown temple, while celebrating the present at the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the University of Cincinnati.

The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth - After spending a lifetime fighting injustice, the longtime civil-rights leader could use some reinforcements. Even clones.

George Batsold - Riverbend's senior usher escorts you to your seat with enough flair to make a ticket holder feel like a star.

And, last but maybe not least:

Marge Schott - Clones look the same. But their personalities can be different. Let's give Marge one more Schott.

Have some more? Who are the people you feel set this town apart, and play a major role in your life? Send me your best for Clone Cincinnati. Give me their name and why. I'll share it here.

Cliff Radel's column appears in The Enquirer Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Available to speak to groups. Tips and comments most welcome. Call 768-8379 or fax at 768-8340.