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GOODYEAR BLIMP
Wingfoot Lake, Suffield, Ohio
Lat: 41°0'27.19"N Lon: 81°21'44.87"W
Somewhere deep in the midst of Ohio is a plump, oblong balloon of helium and air poised for flight. Moored inside a large, historic hangar, it is blue and yellow and utterly full of itself. It is the Goodyear Blimp and I've been with it now both on the ground and in the air.

I care about the Goodyear Blimp. I didn't even know this until one recent winter morning when I walked into its home in Wingfoot Lake, OH, casting my eyes upon its rudder-end. Somehow I felt impolite doing this as if I'd suddenly intruded upon the private lair of a living creature with which I enjoyed an acquaintance but not friendship. As one of those ubiquitous corporate symbols we all know to some degree, the blimp is a mysteriously familiar object. Like a bottle of Coke or the apple on the MacBook I'm presently writing upon, it sits upon a patriotic shelf in our American soul—one of the great, industrial icons of our free-enterprise culture.

Beautiful, grand, and utterly definite, it's not exactly enormous—192' long, 60' high—but much bigger and broader than it looks on TV. It is a taut, pristine pleasure to behold—or maybe I was just impressed by the shiny concrete surface beneath it. There's a dedicated team of personnel responsible for the blimp's operation, support, and cleanliness of house. I even met with a nice man named Joe who spoke on the blimp's behalf. What he described to me you can watch on the show, but what probably won't make it onto your television are all the fascinating, historical images displayed in the Wingfoot Hangar hallways and offices that tour you through the proud heritage of the beast they fondly refer to as, Blimp.
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