Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's Your Place Known For?

Never seen a town, no matter how small, that didn’t have its booster image. “Home of the world’s biggest pig” … “Canned horseradish invented here” … and so on.

Around here, Eberhard Faber (guy’s name) pencils, which you probably used at one time or another, were made in nearby Mountaintop, a place that doesn’t exist. It’s an area, a concept, and merely a patch of land on which sits a post office, “Mountaintop 18707.” There’s no such place, except for the Interstate exit signs to Mountaintop.

Nanticoke, the city to our south, is famous for not a whole lot. Lots of eastern European foods, for which people travel here in season to buy. The Sanitary Bakery (it has an awning to keep the coal dust out) and the yearly cabbage roll down a hill. People freeze them and there’s a prize for the winner and nothing for the cabbage.

Wilkes-Barre? Planter’s Peanuts began on South Main Street, HBO sent its first signal here, the company that invented cable tv is here (although its first hookups were out-of-town), we might have more miners’ widows than anywhere except West Virginia, and the whole city is undercut with mines. One moderate ‘quake and we’re history.

Pittston, a city just north, has the annual tomato festival. What to do with the product that went bad, is over-ripe, cannot be used or sold in any way? How about piling them in the street and letting everybody have a go at it? The tomato fight is a big thing up there. It goes on until there aren’t any tomatoes left. Add water and you have street ketchup.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stink-bugs and slate.

March 23, 2010 8:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home