Cortland Has a Street Named for Ronnie James Dio, But It’s Not What You Think
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.
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.
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.
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!