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RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD from my childhood home is the town of Twinsburg, Ohio. When I was growing up, it was a sleepy town, quaint and quiet, lush and pretty. History buffs traveling through neighboring Cleveland routinely paid a visit to Twinsburg because of its unique past. It was settled in 1817 by 16-year-old Ethan Alling, an employee of the Connecticut Land Co. who was dispatched to survey what was then known as Township Five. The town later would be dubbed for the Wilcox twins, also from Connecticut, after they arrived and started selling off tracts of land for the Connecticut Land Co. They called it Twinsburg.

Growing up, I knew two things about Twinsburg: 1) I absolutely dreaded competing against Twinsburg High School athletes because they were salt-of-the-earth agrarians who practiced their respective sports with a puritanical work ethic­ (thereby making them superior), and 2) Every August, my community and all of the neighboring communities were deluged with an influx of twins, which made even the most perfectly­ refracted optometrist see double. The annual Twins Day Festival (which we featured in our Dec. 1, 2010, issue) began in 1976 and has proliferated steadily ever since. It’s a unique gathering, to be sure, but as I’ve found out, it is pretty normal compared to festivals that pay homage to things like The Blob, roadkill cooking, rubber ducks and racing outhouses.

The Chinese are credited with the saying “Good things come in pairs,” and our columnist couldn’t agree more. We discovered two bars in Puerto Rico that have taken credit for inventing the piña colada, so we dispatched Gus Garcia-Roberts to get to the bottom of the debate, which he did. Twice.


Click here to find out how to enter to win tickets to two thrilling college-football championship games.

Our twin endeavor into the Caribbean in this issue of American Way is to Grand Cayman. Expert divers will tell you there is no better place to scuba dive in the world, and novices will confirm that once in the country, there’s no better place to learn.

Chloë Grace Moretz is not a twin, but she is capable of dual personalities — at least on the screen. The young, versatile actress is just as at ease playing a normal child struggling with her haunted house in The Amityville Horror as she is playing lonely, awkward and vengeful teen Carrie White in the adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie, which hits theaters this month.

Ever thought about tearing down your house and building a new one? If so, forget the bulldozer. A more efficient, environmentally friendly method is starting to gain popularity, and it comes with twin benefits — a substantial tax credit for you and recycled materials that do not have to be dumped in landfills.

And then there’s the legendary Cotton Bowl. In January, the 78th iteration of this historic contest will also be the final Cotton Bowl before college football’s new playoff system goes into effect. Read about the twin virtues of the history of this memorable game and what the future holds for college football.

I knew all about twins early in life because of the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg. Looking back, I think the name was perfect for the town and the school because when we played them in football, my meeting with a pulling guard often resulted in a stinging case of double vision. I’m sure their teams are cutting a swath through the Northeast Ohio Conference, just as they did through the Chagrin Valley Conference in my day. And I’m sure the Twins Day Festival during the summer was a big success this year. I look forward to returning one day because, as an anonymous author once wrote, “I may be a twin, but I’m one of a kind.”

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Adam Pitluk