Friday, July 13, 2001

Grinn-Barret brings smiles

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — There are fun places to live ... and there are funny places.

        West Chester excels at the latter.

        One neighborhood crossroads — Grinn Drive and Barret Road — has earned national recognition as the funniest intersection in the United States in a State Farm Insurance Co. contest.

        The crossroads bested such gems as Hickory, Dickory and Dock streets in Harahan, La.; Ho and Hum roads in Carefree, Ariz. and Antonio and Banderas — officially Avenue de las Banderas and Antonio Parkway — in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

[photo] State Farm agent Howard Warner was one of three locally who nominated the Grinn and Barret intersection for a company contest.
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        “You just grin and bear it every day if you live around here,” said Lawrence Cox, who for 29 years has lived within sight of the crossroads.

        “When I meet someone I tell them I live at Grinn and Barret and they just laugh. It's part of life anyway — to grin and bear it — right?”

        Township Clerk Pat Williams had to make a quick call to the township maintenance department to get a new street sign in place for a photograph to meet the contest deadline.

        “There hasn't been a sign there in about 10 years,” she said.

        A Grinn and Barret sign is, well, a collector's item.

        Brian Maze, public affairs specialist at State Farm's regional office in Newark, Ohio, said 15 entries were received from the company's 26 districts.

        A panel of 20 State Farm officials at the corporate headquarters in Illinois voted Grinn and Barret the funniest, edging out one with a political bent — Bland and Gore streets, Pueblo, Colo.

        Local State Farm agents Howard Warner, Gene Snow and Nancy Hughett nominated Grinn and Barret.

        “The (judges) thought it was simple, clean, quick and something everybody says every day,” Mr. Warner said.

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