Rock icon Ronnie James Dio grew up in the Southern Tier city of Cortland, which is fairly common knowledge to heavy metal fans and fellow Cortlandians. The city even has a street named after him, Dio Way. You’d think would be a great honor, right? Except that street? It’s pretty damn short. Almost as short as the man himself. 

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Dio had a larger-than-life presence on stage, but as a human being, he was actually quite diminutive: according to Wikipedia, he stood a mere 5’4” tall. His slight build gave him a unique look that one might describe as a “rock and roll elf” – fitting, of course, seeing as he was once in a band called Elf. But I digress.

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Dio Way was dedicated to the singer in 1988 after it was created by the expansion of a Rubbermaid plant (now KIK Consumer Products). There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the rocker and a slew of fans in December of that year. The “street” – if you can call it that – is only a block long. If two people were standing on either end, they could probably toss a football back and forth.

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Don’t get me wrong, having a street of ANY size named for you is quite the honor. It just seems like a longer street would be more appropriate for a legend like Ronnie James Dio. I mean, it’s not even a street, it’s a “way.” What is a “way,” anyway? Come to think of it, what constitutes a lane? Or an avenue? Or a boulevard? I could probably Google that, but I choose not to. 

Have you been to Dio Way in Cortland? Have you thrown a football down it? Let us know what you thought!

Cortland's Favorite Son Ronnie James Dio and His Street

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