(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
This morning, reading a reference to El Greco’s stormy sky over Toledo, I was taken back ten years.
Holy Toledo! somebody exclaimed. My son, in the neighborhood of eleven years old, asked “Why is a city in Spain holy?”
His grandpa stared—the laser beam—at him. “City in Spain?” He looked away, sighed, shaking his head. “Try city in Ohio.”
Now it was Collin’s turn to demonstrate incredulous. We had been reading about the Auto-da-Fé. If he knew anything, he knew that Toledo was a city in Spain. He’d never heard of Toledo, Ohio.
They both looked at me.
Steady, I thought, steady. I smiled.
You are both correct! Toledo is a city in Spain and a city in Ohio.
That neither of them knew both facts surprised me. Americans, I think, tend to speak only English and be familiar only with America. But many classically-educated kids know details of the Peloponnesian War but not a rudimentary fact about their own state. (That, my friend, is not a theoretical example.)
It makes me curious? Did you know both* locations of Toledo?
*Per Wikipedia, Toledo is a also district in Belize, a municipality in Brazil, a town in Colombia, and a city in the Philippines, in Uruguay, in Illinois, Iowa, Oregon and Washington.