When anyone asks me where I grew up, I always answer North Carolina.  We moved there before I started 8th grade. It was quite a change from Central Pennsylvania. First day of school went something like this.

Homeroom Teacher: Class, we have a student who is new to our community.  Is Pat Day here?

Me: Yeah.

Teacher: What did you say?

Me, thinking she didn’t hear me: YEAH, I’m here.

Teacher, reaching for something in her desk drawer: Boy, you will address me as “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Ma’am” or I will take this paddle to your behind so fast it will make your head spin!

I could spend days writing about the culture that shocked me at first, and hooked me after a year. I could write about the food.  “Barbecue what?” as another friend from the north said.  “You can’t just call it Barbecue.  It’s gotta be Barbecue something.” I could write about the cars, the most dominant one, of course, being the ’79 JEEP CJ7.

I could write about the people, so many great people.

Here’s the thing, and maybe I would have discovered this anywhere.  Maybe it was a product of timing and not environment.  But moving to a place where I didn’t feel like everybody else gave me the opportunity to figure out who I was going to be.  It took a while, some ill-timed wiseass comments (See a pattern?), some bad haircuts (back when such a thing was even a consideration for me), and some poor music selections, but I found it.  And because of that, I can’t get that town completely out of my system.

And I wouldn’t want to.


3 thoughts on “Part 2. Let’s Go Red Devils!

  1. There is something to be said growing up in this small community. I purposefully brought my children here to grow up in a place where Yes ma’am or No ma’am is still the correct answer! While the paddles are a thing of the past, and bad haircuts are the norm, this small tight knit group of citizens still inspire the kids to grow, spread their wings and become bigger than ever imagined.

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