Name that Flyover City! — Jan 12, 2023

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, ranked #10 on Forbes’ list of largest privately owned companies in the U.S., is headquartered in what city?
  2. What southern city was the home of Cas Walker’s Farm and Home Hour, a 1950s radio and television variety show that gave Dolly Parton her start in music?
  3. What city is home to the university where football legend Johnny Unitas played college ball?

And here are the answers:

  1. Answer: Oklahoma City, OK. If you have ever wondered where the “Love” in Love’s Travel Stops comes from (and who hasn’t?), the company is named for founders Tom & Judy Love, who started it all in 1964. Originally known as Musket Gas Stations, the business grew to 40 locations around Oklahoma before the founders changed the name to Love’s in 1972. They now employ 27,000 people at 500 travel stops across 35 states in the U.S. Locations have gas stations, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, shower rooms, trucking supplies and access to the internet. The company motto, “clean places and friendly faces,” is felt any time you pull off the interstate, worn out from the long drive, and enjoy their unique customer experience.
  2. Answer: Knoxville, TN. The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour, a local variety show sponsored by Cas Walker himself, ran in various Knoxville radio and television formats between 1929 and 1983. The show launched the career of the Everly Brothers and, at age 14, future country superstar Dolly Parton. Walker was a businessman who owned a chain of grocery stores throughout the region. He was also active in local politics and was Knoxville’s mayor, for only a few weeks, in 1946. He began his first local radio program, The Farm and Home Hour,” in 1929. It later became a TV show, known for its outrageous variety of guests, but which mostly served as one long commercial for his grocery stores. Besides Dolly and the Everlys, musical guests included Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff and Jim Nabors.
  3. Answer: Louisville, KY. Long before he became a legend in a Baltimore Colts uniform, NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas spent four years as an undergrad at the University of Louisville. Louisville Football has an illustrious history, where many future NFL greats, including Deion Branch, Teddy Bridgewater and Lamar Jackson played for the Cardinals. Unitas was born in Pittsburgh in 1933 and was passed over by Notre Dame’s football program for being “too skinny.” He earned a bachelor’s degree from U of L in 1955, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was then dropped by the team, who decided he was “not smart enough” to succeed in the NFL. Sensing a pattern here? Unitas was eventually picked up by the Colts, where he played 18 seasons, winning one Super Bowl and three league MVP awards. He was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1979, and passed away in 2002 at age 69.