You puzzled me for a minute there. "Flyover country"? I was thinking "wide open spaces with not a lot in between" why would they have lots of flyovers? Then I realized you meant Flyover, as in aeroplane not flyover as in elevated roadway - Doh!Midwest is loosely used for the area between New York state/Pennsylvania and Montana/Wyoming. Many from the eastern states call it 'flyover country' because it's mostly wide open prairie.
Akron is in northern Ohio, just south of Cleveland, and would be considered Midwest. Also, the basis for The Pretenders 'My City Was Gone'. Bob was possibly a transplant from Kentucky or Tennessee, though southern Ohio also has a southern 'drawl'.
The Appalachians is the eastern mountain range that runs from northern Canada down through the southern state of Georgia. Some great hiking all along them, and yes, where you'll find white steeples and red barns nestled in the valleys in between.
Bob did have quite a strong southern accent. he would say "thet's really gotchu hornswaggled, huh Jan? I had to really concentrate when I first started there but after a few weeks it was fine.
My daughter lived in rural southern Maryland and you'd quite often hear a strong southern drawl there. I speak with a Scot's accent but not an especially strong one. I remember once, whilst buying spare parts for my daughter's lawnmower in Lowes, The sales assistant called her friend over and said to me "could you please just say something, anything, so my friend can hear the way you speak - I just Looove your accent". Of course I obliged and her friend gave me quite a "funny" look. Don't think they'd ever heard a Scots accent down there out in the countryside.
We also had an interesting experience visiting Old Ironsides" (USS Constitution). The sailor who showed us round had such a strong southern drawl we were only picking up on occasional words. Luckily Mrs J is fluent in French and I have my schoolboy french backed up by what I've learned when over there so we got hold of one of those speaking machines (which spoke french) and she translated the bits I couldn't understand. The sailor, a lovely very big muscly chap (Mrs J kept looking at him?) might as well have been speaking Martian for all I could make out.