Look At It This Way (#LAITW)


by on Nov.09, 2016, under Uncategorized

I enjoyed my early childhood days in Pennsyltucky. My Mom and Dad used that word all the time to describe where we were from. If you’ve never been through the forested rolling hills of Pennsylvania, enjoyed collecting and jumping in the Fall leaves, hunted for sassafras roots to munch, a genuine earthy place, well, you should give it a go sometime. Some great historical sites, too, by the way.

Pennsyltucky is the “T” in Pennsylvania. Picture the rectangular state. In the lower right corner is a Philadelphia box. In the lower left (roughly) is the Pittsburgh (with an “h”) box. Both areas trend left. What remains is the “T”, the central band running from top to bottom and another band across the top. You might call this rural Pennsylvania. It’s the conservative Pennsylvania. It’s where my grandmother lived her entire 101-year life, in the same house since married, in Shamokin, PA. As my Mom would often mention to us kids learning to spell, “that’s Nikomahs spelled backward.” Reynoldsville. (By way of) Paxinas. Our last home in Pennsyltucky before leaving for Kansas was in Butler, an hour north of Pittsburgh. Not a long drive, but it was enough to shift political leanings from the left in Pittsburgh to the right in the “T”, Pennsyltucky. I always thought my parents were Republicans, and I actually think they were registered that way, but they definitely leaned more and more left as time passed (or at least that was my perception). Maybe they’d have stayed more “right” had we stayed in Pennsyltucky.

Until this morning, I didn’t know that Pennsyltucky is/was used to (often jokingly) refer to this “T”/rural/conservative area of PA. It was just where we were from, and I half-thought Mom and Dad coined the name somehow. I’m feeling oddly proud of that heritage today.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton. Being in California, I had the luxury of using my vote in a totally principled fashion without worrying about affecting the outcome. CA was going blue no matter what.

But it was Pennsyltucky in the spotlight last night. Who’d a thought.

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