Here’s a review of this week’s questions:
- What midwestern city has a statue of Henry Winkler as “The Fonz” on its riverwalk, and why?
- What city was almost given the name, “Rabbitville,” as well as the name “Possum Trot”?
- What southern city is home to Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, offering 734 acres of lush greenery within the city limits?
And here are the answers:
- Answer: Milwaukee, WI. The “Bronze Fonz” has stood, thumbs up, on Milwaukee’s riverfront, since 2008. Commissioned by the organization Visit Milwaukee and created by American artist Gerald P. Sawyer, the statue stands 5’ 6” tall, the same height as Henry Winkler, the actor who played Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on TV’s “Happy Days” in the 1970s. Set in Milwaukee during the 1950s, “Happy Days” was a huge hit that drew the nation’s attention to the city of Milwaukee. Proponents of more “high-brow” art in Milwaukee were opposed to the statue, which has become the #1 “selfie spot” in town. The Riverwalk itself has become a major attraction in Milwaukee, offering restaurants, brew pubs and festivals that delight locals as well as visitors.
- Answer: Kansas City, MO. It remains unclear just how close Kansas City came to being called “Rabbitville” or “Possum Trot” back in 1838, when the outpost named Westport officially adopted the name Kansas City. The story goes that John McCoy, the owner of Westport, and 13 of his associates gathered to give a name to the parcel of land that they had just purchased in Jackson County. When brainstorming names, an old timer named Squire Bowers, allegedly “facetiously suggested Rabbitville or Possum Trot, but was treated with silent contempt,” according to Kansas City historian Matt Reeves. Another member of the cantankerous group of early KC settlers, whose last name was Fonda, recommended the name Port Fonda for the riverfront settlement. It appears fortuitous, therefore, that someone in the meeting had enough sense to call it what is now, Kansas City. Nothing in this story, however, about how it wound up being half in Missouri and half in Kansas.
- Answer: Lexington, KY. Visitors from Kentucky and the world over travel to Lexington to experience Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, operated by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund and part of Lexington’s robust park system (that means it’s free). There are 10 miles of trails to hike, over 40 species of trees and 400 plant species to observe, and displays dedicated to Kentucky history. Located south of the city, the park honors the beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades and is dedicated to protecting the area’s flora and fauna.