Tell Us About Your Hometown

I try to avoid thinking about my hometown as much as possible because it is a garbage city full of jerks, but today I was confronted with a Facebook trending topic about how the famous Christian college in my hometown has decided to stop offering any health insurance at all to their students after the Supreme Court did not support their claim that signing a form saying they won’t pay for students’ birth control wasn’t enough to soothe their moral outrage because those reprehensible slatterns would end up having their satan pills paid for by an outside insurer when really they should be punished for any sexual relations the good old fashioned way: by having a lot of babies that they don’t want.

But enough about me! Tell me about your hometown! Was it a good place to grow up? Is it famous for anything? Did any famous people grow up there? Is it full of jerks? Do you still live there? Would you never go back there even if someone paid you a million dollars? Did it get blown up in a military experiment gone wrong and is now a giant crater?

About catweazle

Catweazle is an 11th century wizard trying to make his way through the modern world while living in a disused water tower with his pet toad.
This entry was posted in Chat and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Tell Us About Your Hometown

  1. flanny says:

    Aaah, Waterford, Michigan, bless your sweet heart. Waterford is the suburban sprawliest of all suburban sprawl, on the very far northern edge of the Detroit metro area,and populated mostly by the nouveau riche or white trash. It is home to Kirk Gibson, Jean Racine, and a dead mall. But, actually I was born and lived for eight years in Pontiac, until they changed the border of the city and suddenly we lived in Waterford. Pontiac is much more awesome, being home to the Pontiac Silverdome, the former site of a Victorian insane asylum that is now McMansions, and many abandoned car plants. Plus it went bankrupt before Detroit, so it’s got a pretty illustrious reputation. In the 80s the city tried to revitalize and built the “Phoenix Center,” which is literally a big parking structure in the very middle of the city and that is never even remotely close to full. I went to private high school in a much more tony suburb twelve miles south, and referred to the places as Watertucky and Ponticrack as well as “the armpit of America” to my well-to-do classmates because I was a snob who was slightly ashamed of where she came from. Ideally situated between Detroit and Flint (at one point the third and first most violent cities in America), there is nothing appealing at all about where I grew, besides tons of beautiful lakes, a really good frozen custard shop, and all my childhood memories. I would never move back there, but every time I head back to visit my mom, I look at all the empty strip malls and pawn shops and feel at home.

  2. taoreader says:

    I’m from a less than stable family and lived in four states by the time I was eight and we were not in the military, so I don’t really feel like I have a hometown per se. Born in Michigan, then on to Toledo, south Jersey and Pennsylvania. My father’s from Detroit.

    But, after eight I lived in a lovely little place called Harleysville in the Keystone State until I was fifteen. This is an outer suburb of Philadelphia and my father used to take us into the city often. We were members of the Franklin Institute, a science museum, which I thought was THE COOLEST THING (nerd alert) and we’d walk through the big replica of a heart which had the soundtrack of a heart beating. I did that a few years ago and almost had a claustrophobic attack. I forgot how little I used to be.

    Harleysville itself has lots of beautiful land, white people, and Mennonites. Especially after living in south Jersey, I was like, everybody is so white! One of my best friends was Mennonite and I went to two summers of Mennonite Bible school with her.

    But it’s Philly that I remember with warmth in my heart, and it turns out I’m a city girl. So whenever I have a chance to go to the great city of Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, Rocky, hoagies, and cheesesteaks, I feel at home. And I remember to say “witter” instead of “water.”

    • hotspur says:

      I was in that heart for our 7th-grade class trip! We took a bus all the way from North Jersey to see that and a bunch of Founding Fathers stuff. I remember it was 800 degrees that day. (Celsius.)

      • taoreader says:

        Yes, it’s always 800 degrees in eastern PA in the summer. And we had no air conditioning. The city had air quality alerts on wifi 92 all the time about staying indoors if you have asthma or are pregnant or are under 6 years old. Great city!

  3. welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

    When I was a kid, I complained that I just HAD to live in a town with a movie theater and a mall, because our childhood entertainment was going to Taco Bell and Walgreens, and I clearly had big dreams. It’s grown a lot since I moved to a town not that far away, but luckily I didn’t move until after I was 21 because the dive bars in my hometown were delightful!

  4. summerestherson says:

    I am from a rural Southern “city” of 10,000 people. It is not any kind of suburb to anything, it is its own entity. It is the seat of the poorest county (per capita) in my state. The surrounding county is mostly rural with lots of cattle, cabbage, and potato farms, but the town itself is actually fairly industrial, being supported by a large paper mill. It ‘s on a river and apparently was once quite the booming little river town, with rich Yankees coming through on steam ships and a lovely little cypress furniture industry, but then the whole town burnt down and that was that. It’s what you would expect of a small Southern town: mostly Protestant, sharp black/white racial divide, a lot of rednecks. All that being said, I enjoyed growing up there. In a way, it was very Friday Night Lights. EVERYONE goes to the football games (even though we sucked when I was in high school.) Everyone knows everyone. My grandmother, aunt & cousins, and brother all still live there. It’s the kind of place where your dog can escape (as my brother’s did yesterday) and you will get calls from all kinds of people saying they saw him going such and such a way and they will try to catch him for you. Or where you can be a teenage girl screaming on the side of the road after (ONCE AGAIN,) an escaped dog and someone will pull over to help you, and you’ll discover your mom taught their kid once 7 years ago, etc, etc. Of course it’s full of bigots and racists, but honestly, what place isn’t when you get down to it?
    I would never go back to live there, but I enjoyed my childhood.

    • flanny says:

      I think maybe your town should invest in some of those invisible fences! You have a lot of escaped dogs!

      • summerestherson says:

        It’s just my family I think! Even though my dad was CONSTANTLY working on the fence to figure out where the holes/escape routes were. When I was a kid someone found our dog at the Winn-Dixie (grocery store) which was like, 2 miles away and along a very busy highway. We don’t know how he didn’t die!

    • taoreader says:

      I think it’s awesome that you enjoyed your childhood.

  5. artdorkgirl says:

    I feel like I’ve told you guys loads about Tulsa. It’s the second largest city in Oklahoma and vastly superior to its competitor, Oklahoma City, since there are hills and actual trees there. The city was the home to one of the worst Race Riots in American history in 1921, and the city is still fairly segregated geographically today. Lots of famous people, most of whom don’t really ever go back, are from Tulsa, including St. Vincent, Tony Randall, Rue McClanahan, and Videogum favorite, Gary Busey (who went to high school with a boss of mine. Said boss described him as “insane, even then). The Outsiders is set in Tulsa and was filmed in Tulsa, as was UHF. Cain’s Ballroom, built in the 20s as a dance hall, is consistently listed as one of the top concert venues in the US, and I can vouch for it being a fantastic place to see a show. The floor is on rollers so there’s “bounce” in the floor, and boy, when you get crowd jumping, you can feel it. Another one of our theaters is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of opera singer Enrico Caruso.

    To be honest, it wasn’t a bad place to grow up, although if you’d asked me as a sullen teen I would have answered you differently.

  6. old man fatima says:

    This is the 16th place I’ve lived in my 31 years on this planet, so I don’t really have a place I’m “from” or a proper hometown. I spent 5 of my most formative years in a tiny little village on the west coast and I have very fond memories of it, so let me tell you all about Sooke. At the time, it was a little reserve town of about 4000 people, although the land was often leased to non-band members. Everyone in the town was insanely poor, so really nobody was poor because it’s all relative. In the summer the town tipled and the 2 school buses would be used for public transport. there was one parking lot in the town, shared by the grocery store/clothing store, laundromat (which changed its name 3 or 4 times a year, but always something with a bee in it like “Busy Bee Cleaners” because there was a bee on the sign), post office, and a cafe with amazing coconut cream pies called Mom’s Cafe where my mom worked. There was an annual town festival where everyone would dress up like pioneers (??) and they would set up a few small carnival rides in the parking lot and there would be a DJ and the very last song they played was always “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and my mom would pretend that I couldn’t stay up to hear it and I’d have to talk her into it. Sooke is right on the very southern tip of Vancouver Island, with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, where it is too warm to snow, and at the time was the prettiest place in all of Canada. There is a beach called the Sooke Potholes where you can go cliff diving and there are waterfalls and warm, clear water. There was a farm that shared a fence with my school and they had two horses named Classy (who looked just like black Beauty) and Keena and they would always come over to the fence and we’d give them our recess snacks. I had a friend who was terrified of horses, and one time we finally convinced her to come over to the fence to pet Keena, and Keena sneezed right in her face and COVERED her in horse snot. She had to go home to change her clothes, that is how covered in snot she was.
    I’ve always wanted to go back, but the village has been absorbed into Victoria now and I was talking to someone who lived there for work and she said it’s all condos now. My old gyno (I get regular checkups, fellas) was obsessed with Sooke and called it “Canada’s best kept secret” and planned on retiring there, but the secret is pretty well out now. I found the piece of garbage house I grew up in listed for sale for 750k a couple of years ago. I think it’s best that Sooke remains only in my memories…

    • old man fatima says:

      Oh, I forgot the most important thing about Sooke, which is that it is just LOUSY with killer whales. You can’t spit without hitting a majestic pod of killer whales.

    • Simon Spidermonk says:

      I lived in Victoria for years and I’ve never been to Sooke. I guess it was still a secret back then.

    • Lizzie says:

      Mom’s Cafe has a great jukebox. I promise I didn’t ruin Sooke!

  7. mordonez says:

    I have not gotten very far away from my hometown. Call it inertia, I don’t know. Glenview, IL was just, like, this normal place I guess? A nice small town with nice things in it and pretty good schools, but not Stuck Up like those OTHER North Shore suburbs. It’s one town west of John Hughes Teen Movie Land (literally). The Glenview Dairy Bar (which is NOT a Dairy Queen knock off, it’s it’s OWN THING) is open for its 60th year of business, right by the train tracks, even if the stupid Safety people put up a fence so you can’t get your ice cream and then go put pennies on the train tracks for to be squished like in the good old days.

    For my formative years, there was a Naval Air station there, so there was a bunch of military air traffic, which was kind of weird. Whenever the Chicago Air and Water show came around, all heck broke loose–you might look up to see a bunch of Blue Angel F-18s screaming over your house practicing. This one time I was driving down a nice open stretch of road when I glanced up and saw the Goodyear Blimp almost right above me. That was not terrifying at all, as a new driver.

    Since the Navy base closed, Downtown 2, aka “The Glen” has sprung up in its former location, and it’s bizarre. It’s a new Stepford Downtown/Condo development that seems generated by someone playing a life sized version of SimCity. I don’t even know anymore. The best pizza placed closed 20 years ago, but the second best pizza place is pretty good, and is in fact called the Goode and Fresh Pizza Bakery.

  8. I’m from a town in Western New York, in the second-poorest county in the state (it might be number one now, actually) with a population of less than 2,000. I think that says it all.

  9. Kate says:

    Scranton is oddly a hub of politics, a weirdly powerful berg, a vortex of liberalism, a…well you get it. My childhood street was home to the current vice president, a current US senator, a now deceased governor of PA (and the senator’s dad–we all went to the same Jesuit high school), and a couple of mayors (one my brother-in-law’s brother and one his dad). Just this past Wednesday, Hillary went to a fund raising party on that street, thrown by that same brother-in-law’s sister. Hillary’s dad lived his whole life in Scranton, and she would spend summers at nearby Lake Winola where a number of my relatives live now. So there you have it. I’m the only slacker from Scranton!

  10. facetaco says:

    My hometown, the beautiful Dripping Springs, Texas, has been in the news for the following noteworthy items:
    -A bunch of concerned parents tried to ban a book from high school for being too sexy
    -A teacher fucked a child
    -A couple kept their adopted child locked up inside the house for five years before he escaped
    -A guy got married there and his wedding picture was turned into a racist meme

    Yaaaay, hometown!

  11. hotspur says:

    From first grade until I went away to college (ladies) I lived in Denville, NJ. It is a medium-sized town and nice, with a little bit of everything. Mainly it was famous for the Viking Bakery and the Denville Dairy (ice cream) — people would drive from an hour away for those. The Dairy is still a hit; you can wait in line 30 minutes for an ice cream cone.

    The hood where I grew up had woods and a lake, so I did a lot of swimming. I was on a swim team every summer as a kid, and rode a bike all over. And for me, the place is married to the time; it was the era when everyone’s parents would say, “Ugh, go outside. Come home when it gets dark.” So we were running all over the streets and trespassing and climbing stuff and wandering the woods looking for caves at, no joke, eight. Eight! I look at my nieces and nephews at age eight and I’m like: were adults INSANE in the 1980s?

    I left because I was all “I must achieve my dreams, and I can’t do that in this one-horse town.” In truth, I could have done 90 percent of what I’ve done np, and a couple friends still live there, so I go back for a day every year or two.

    Before first grade, I lived in a place called Mount Tabor, NJ, which was also formative. I took a gf there once several years ago and she laughed and laughed. “This isn’t a real place!” she said. “It’s like you were born in a fairy tale, or a SantaLand!” The streets there are narrow and windy and the houses are tiny — and also mainly from about 1870, so it looked like a gingerbread village to her, and I appeared to be ridiculous and an alien.

    • old man fatima says:

      Wait wait wait wait wait. Once a year, you travel from CA to NJ for ONE DAY. Am I reading that right? Hotspur, you jetsetter! “Oh, I’m just going to fly to the other side of the country for lunch, so we can definitely still meet for coffee tomorrow morning if you like.”

      • old man fatima says:

        PS, I just Googled Mount Tabor and your gf was right

        • flanny says:

          I know! One glance at google and I was like, “Hotspur is ridiculous and an alien.”

        • artdorkgirl says:

          Flanny, I always thought that about hotspur. Thanks for googling!

        • Simon Spidermonk says:

          Dang, it sounds like something from a Stephen King novel. Quoting the Wikipedia page: “In the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, the changes that were occurring in the US were reflected in Mount Tabor. Many houses and buildings were not maintained as well as they should have been, and rebellious youth made their presence known. Fortunately, this trend has been reversed in the last decades, and an appreciation for the past has become strongly evident.” Oh no, rebellious youth! Good thing we have that clown in the sewers to deal with them.

        • hotspur says:

          I have revealed too much.

  12. gnidrah says:

    All of your stories are fascinating! V good idea for a post. I want to tell you loads about my childhood home town, but you’d be like, WHERE? Anyway, I grew up in Bristol, which was a pretty cool place to be in the 80s & 90s (& today too, to be honest) My generation grew up with our town as the centre of trip hop – we had the likes of Tricky & Portishead coming out & the whole world knew about it.

    I went to so many gigs. It was the time of Britpop too and I dressed like I was Alex James crossed with Louise Wener. I have no idea why my parents let me go to these scuzzy clubs aged 13, but I’m grateful they did!

    My memories are of climbing the hill – actually called Park Street, where the cool clothes and music shops were – sitting in the park, going to the community festival (where we defo saw a wizard in a tree), my friend who lived out of town letting us sleep in her barn… Happy days.

Comments are closed.