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It’s easy to see the inspiration for the travels of Ronald and Rita Springfield of Vonore, Tenn. They have decided to travel the country to visit each town named Springfield.
“We’ve never lived in a Springfield, so we’re going to all of them and seeing what they look like,” said Ronald Springfield. “Off and on, we’ve done a little at a time, but this time we’ve decided to make a loop. The first time, it was just going to different states when we were on vacation, picking a place that had a Springfield. This time around, we decided to make one big loop of it, and next time we’ll have to make a larger loop. Most of them are on the east coast or in the midwest, but there are a few out west, like in Oregon. We’re really enjoying it.”
The Springfields were in town last Monday to see what Springfield, Ky., was all about. The couple have driven to every stop on their quest.
“That’s really the only way to get to see and do things with people,” Ronald added.
“We’re getting literature, pamphlets and all the information we can,” said Rita Springfield. “We’re making an album for our 3-year-old grandson. Each day our daughters are calling us, ‘Where are you at today? Which Springfield today?’”
The number of Springfields in the United States has been debated for years, although contrary to popular belief, not every state has one.
“I’m thinking it’s in the twenties, about 29, I think,” said Ronald. “I just met someone today who said they were from Springfield, Pa. I said ‘You mean the Springfield near Philadelphia? I haven’t seen that one yet.’ He said ‘No, we’ve got three Springfields.’ and I said ‘Well, I’ll have to check them out next time I go up that way.’”
“We actually stayed at the Springfield Inn last night,” said Rita. “We had to. We didn’t know that we owned an inn. And we own a newspaper, The Springfield Sun. Our parking probably expired, we better not get a ticket – we are the Springfields.”
Visiting each Springfield has presented some interesting sight-seeing opportunities. They visited the original Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Mo., and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Springfield, Ohio.
“I didn’t even know they had a national museum for aviation,” said Ronald. “It’s in Ohio, and it’s the largest one in the country. I always thought you go to the Smithsonian, and you think you see everything there is about aviation.”
“They’ve got everything from the Wright Brothers to the Stealth Bomber,” added Rita. “There’s six hangars and each one is full of planes hanging from the ceiling.”
The Springfields had lunch at Cecconi’s Restaurant before heading back home.
“We had to have some of their famous pie,” Rita said. “Oh, it was so delicious.”
And as for their impression of our Springfield?
“Out of all the Springfield’s we’ve visited, I think we felt the most at home here,” added Rita. “We love the town. We had a good time with the people. It was lots of fun. We’ll definitely be back.”