"More Pennsylvania Towns" by Pete Bennett
Back in October of 1998 my article was on "Pennsylvania Towns" and I mentioned a lot of them in what I thought was a neat and different way. Well at the end of that article I said that perhaps I should write another one and mention the rest of the towns. Well here it is one year later. Sort of a "Pete's travel log". I hope you find a town in our lovely state that interests you. Go ahead, just put you finger on the map and go there, or better yet just put your finger on this article. Try it.
I set down and tried to count how many towns there are in Penn's Woods but it was way more then I could keep track of . I will tell you that any that are mentioned in this article were not mentioned in the last one. Also in the fall, with its painted colors, is a great time to visit them. So get out of the house and into your car and go there and visit as long as it's in good old Pennsylvania. Maybe just to the next town or maybe all the way across the state, but DO IT! Make time.
Have you ever been to my new hometown of Butler, PA which sounds like a domestic servant? If not stop to visit! Have you ever seen the square at Kennit Square? Maybe you have run into a state trooper at Trooper or an honest guy at Lincoln. How about those sweet little towns Sugarcreek and Sugar Notch. We have a Town Hill which believe me, is on a hill and there's a Fountain Hill but don't know if it has a fountain.. Anyone from Pennsylvania can call Hometown home town I guess. I pass through Evans City quite often. It's called the "City of Black Gold", but to me it looks more like a suburb of Connoquenessing.
Wampum sounds like Indian money. I wonder where was the first homestead in Homestead? What grows on the trees in Crabtree? We have an Edinboro and a York. I wonder if it's really the pits living in Pittston, Pitcairn or Pittsburgh. I'd be careful there. What's on the river bank in Riverside? For Labor Day we have a Union City, a Uniontown and Union Deposit! What do they export in Export? Is there a prison at Folsum? Hey and our Nazareth is near Bethlehem here too!
We have some Ports in our state too. There is Port Allegany, Port Carbon Port Royal and Port Vue. Now I must admit that I did mention Port Allegany in the first article. Sorry! I never could spell Punxsutawney. Lots of beavers here too, like Beaver, Beaver Falls, Beaver Springs, Beaverdale and Beavertown. How come Reading is not reading like it looks? We have a Shickshinny, Shintown, Snow Shoe and a Shinglehouse. Think I'm running out of names. Not a chance, there's all those spring places, Spring City, Spring Garden, Spring Grove, Spring House, Spring Mount, Springdale, Springfield, Springhouse Farms and Springtown. Whew! How about Wall, Wawa and Yoe.
Tunkahannock is a different kind of name as is Zelienople which was named after a beautiful girl. What do they transfer at Transfer? Why is the lion red in Red Lion? Are there a lot of trucks in Trucksville? Is there Gold in Yukon? And who pays in Paoli and what did the pilgrims grow at Pilgrims Gardens? Our East Berlin is not near our Paris.
Has there been any progress made in Progress? Do you need a road map to find Atlas? What kind of industry do they have in Industry? How could you bear to live in Bruin?
We have a Greenville, a Green Tree, Greensburg, Greentown and a Greenwood mostly in the summer months! Then we have Brownsville and Browntown for those that don't like green. Don't like brown either try Blue Ball or Blue Bell. If Not Black Lick is the town for you. Or, how about Bellefonte which means "beautiful fountain".
Did a king ever visit Kingston? For those in the middle we have Middleburg and Middletown and Midland. There are some pleasant places around too, there's Pleasant Gap, Pleasant Hills, Pleasant Unity, Mt. Pleasant and there's a Pleasureville. Sound great huh? And the last name alphabetically in Pennsylvania is Zion!
Now as I was getting the names for this article from my Atlas of the good ole US of A, I tended to drift off a bit and I hope that I didn't get any names from Oregon or Rhode Island mixed in with Pennsylvania. Boy, I'd never live that one down, right?
And now here is my thought for the month I hope you enjoy it:
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down. 73 mph in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.
"Bob? Bob from church?" Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform.
"Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this." "Hello, Jack." No smile. "Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids." "Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain.
Good. "I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit -- just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?" "I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct."
Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics. "What'd you clock me at?"
"Seventy-one. Would you sit back in your car, please? Now, wait a minute there, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket. "Please, Jack, in the car.
"Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad.
Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip. "Thanks."
Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice. Bob returned to his car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:
"Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when she was killed by a car. You guessed it -- a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful. My son is all I have left. Bob"
Jack twisted around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he to pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived. Life is precious. Handle with care. This is an important message, Drive safely and carefully!
Before I finish this article I'd like to say "Hi" to Ty Arndt, Slim Kirk, Jim Whiting and all the guys that meet and share stories on the Parker Jackson memorial bench there on Broad Street in Emporium. They claim they just LOVE my articles and that is at least one way to get your names mentioned in one of them guys! Have a great month and please consider visiting one of the above mentioned towns! Till next time...God Bless!
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