Name that Flyover City! — July 21, 2022

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

  1. What midwestern city is the birthplace of comedy legend Gene Wilder?
  2. This city was the home of the Rampage, an arena football team that played at the Van Andel Arena. What city is it?
  3. JPMorgan Chase employs over 18,000 people at its offices in this midwestern city. What city is it?

And here are the answers:

  1. Milwaukee, WI. Jerome Silberman, known professionally as Gene Wilder, was born in Milwaukee on June 11, 1933. The star of the 1970s film classics “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein” graduated from Milwaukee’s Washington High School and the University of Iowa before joining the U.S. Army. His acting career took shape in the late 1950s, when his friend and fellow comedic actor Charles Grodin introduced him to “method acting,” as taught by Lee Strasberg. Wilder was performing off-Broadway in the early 1960s when he met director Mel Brooks, who eventually cast him in the comedy classic “The Producers.” Three years later, Wilder famously beat out Joel Grey, Peter Sellers, and Fred Astaire for the lead role in “Wonka.” He went on to star in “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” for Mel Brooks, as well as three movies in which he was paired with legendary comedian Richard Pryor. He married Gilda Radner in 1984 and cared for her until her death of cancer in 1989. Wilder passed away in 2016.
  2. Grand Rapids, MI. The Grand Rapids Rampage began playing in 1998. The prior year, Dan DeVos, of the Grand Rapids family that owns Amway, was granted an expansion franchise by the Arena Football League, and was awarded the remains of the dormant Massachusetts Marauders. They started to play, under coach Michael Trigg, at Van Andel Arena, which was also the home of minor-league hockey’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The Rampage won the ArenaBowl, the league’s championship, in their first year of eligibility. With their mascot, Blitz the Rhino, cheering them on, they played for twelve seasons before the team went out of business.
  3. Columbus, OH. JPMorgan Chase, headquartered in New York City, has a substantial footprint in communities across the globe, including London, Paris, and Columbus, Ohio. As the city’s fourth largest privately owned employer, JPM has contributed over $40 million in philanthropic support to the area and has spent over $130 million on Ohio businesses. The corporation began its life in 1799 as The Bank of Manhattan Company, owned by Aaron Burr. As the largest current bank in the United States, JPM is the culmination of acquisitions of over 30 different banks in the past 200 years.