Monday, January 23, 2012

Hometown Quirky: Exhibit A

I've talked a lot about my hometown. But maybe I've been a bit unclear: it's quirky. It becomes more obvious with each year that passes.


My non-local friends think "Pleasant Hill" sounds so storybook. It says something about the townsfolk that most of us just call it P. Hill.


Take the laundry mat. It's been there since the days of Methuselah. At first glance, it looks pretty run-of-the-mill.



But then you start to wonder, why is there a vintage, side-ways cash register at the wash station?

And then you get the overwhelming urge to rush home and clean out your attic and your junk drawers.

And then you get a little dizzy. Claustrophobic, even.

So you sidle up to the vending machines, where things take a turn for the bleak.

Yes, there are some peanut butter crackers and trail mix. But what troubles you most is the Lady Speed Stick and the envelope of country gravy. The box of instant pudding doesn't exactly help matters.

You can do a wash, grab dinner, and clean yourself up all in one convenient stop!

Lord have mercy.

I think P. Hill has earned the honor of being the setting in a novel. Kenny and Becky would be right at home, and so would I.


Also, Lucille Linder. She'd be at home, too.

Tell us something quirky about *your* hometown. We're all ears.


*Holly - Please note that Lucille is not chained or restrained in any manner. She's simply choosing to appeal to our sympathies when she could be running wild in the pasture. :)

54 comments:

  1. Wow! I like that they are proud of their vending machine items-all 4 of them! I wish I could think of something quirky about my hometown-it's tiny and I love it!

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  2. The crest toothpaste creeps me out! HA! Good one!

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  3. Sean and I noted that unique sign last winter when we were tooling through town headed to the girl scout camp. We found it interesting that they were marketing their NEW vending items...and were curious. Pudding makes me even more curious...where do you get the milk??

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  4. Wow, and just to be clear, are "VENDINGI TEMS" something Italian? LOL p.s. Thanks for the Chipotle' tip! =)

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  5. This is big time country. I am from a town by San Francisco so my quirky is the opposite of yours. Think of men wearing dog collars attached to a leash being pulled by a non collar wearing man. I call it whacked up.

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  6. kills me. that vending machine is hilarious. HILARIOUS!!!!

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  7. um. wow. i guess if you forgot your deoderant that day and started sweating from the clausterphobia, you're in good hands , right?
    my town? we're called home of the cavemen. as you enter off the freeway, there is a gigantic statue (should be understood without saying that it is hideous) to greet you.

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  8. You all make me laugh. We live in a small town also. Our one four-way stop intersection has a bar, a one-stop convenience market (where any item is guaranteed to be 'a lot' more expensive, a coffee shop for bikers (!), an automotive repair, and a park.

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  9. Now I see where the saying "You just can't make this stuff up" really comes from.

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  10. I am trying to think of setting as special as that and I can't even come close. Seriously. Dead loss. I love my hometown. I am so thankful it is just ten minutes away.

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  11. Ok, that was funny. My hometown is the armpit of NY. Seriously. Not much good to say. The Son of Sam lived in an apartment around the corner from me..Kay? Enough said.
    ~FringeGirl

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  12. Slightly reminds me of the village shop in the little by the sea place I spent most of my holidays and weekends as a child. It was known as Trevor's. And it had a swinging sign outside saying "We sell EVERYTHING" - no exclaimation mark or anything, and I used to think it was pretty much true, even if it was amazingly pricey and often out of date. Trevor is still there, a grey comb-over instead of a black one and charm itself. Wears a nylon white shopcoat and cheery smile. The shop is in the middle of the village, much of it still standing as it did in the Middle Ages, including the ruin of a Benedictine priory built in the 12th century and much destroyed by the soldiers of Henry VIII. The main church is still the village church, there are pictures in my blog archive, an amazing place. There's a little river and meadows, I love it there. It is a couple of miles from sand dunes and creeks of he north norfolk coast. xx

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  13. Try coming for a town named Walla Walla, "The town so nice, they named it twice." And our claim to fame? State Penitentiary. Good stuff. :)

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  14. I grew up in a city, but we live in a small town now. We have a giant windmill that houses our chamber of commerce! =)

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  15. This was my thoughts exactly as my dear sweet husband showed me around my first trip to see where he grew up. I'm from San Diego, so P. Hill had my head spinning for a bit. Now, it's kinda grown on me. Oh heavens, I need get out more! :)

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  16. Hometown quirky? Our hometown has a town celebration "parade" the first Saturday of June very year. It's mostly just local business owners riding in cars, the high school cheerleaders and a few people walking dogs while handing out candy. Problem is there are train tracks that cross the main road between "downtown" and the park where the festivities continue well into the evening. Two years ago, the train actually came to a complete stop right across the road. While the parade participates remained mostly civil, the parade-goers and engineers were yelling back and forth at each other quite a bit. It was a very Gilmore Girls/Stars Hollow kind of moment. :)

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  17. We've had a sign up forever at a place (that looks more like a house than a building) that says "Physic Reader". Apparently her psychic ability didn't tell her how to spell "psychic". I'm so not kidding.

    And we have Piggly Wiggly that advertises Hog Jaws on their sign.

    It just makes you want to come visit, doesn't it?

    It's quirky in all the right ways.

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  18. Awww haha that's good. I saw a vending machine in Chicago that had lots of USB items...digital storage pandas...even cameras.
    And have you ever been to the Automat in NYC? Googlay vous. I did eat there
    once. Tuna sandwich. Mac 'n cheese.
    My town has *the shame* large animal figures (I know.) A cow in front of
    one place and a pink elephant at another with the Piggly Wiggly in between. So...to tell someone how to get to our house it is..."pass the cow, turn right at the pink elephant, pass the pig and we are just a half mile on the right."

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  19. Thanks for the chuckle- I need 'em!

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  20. That is truly hysterical! My cousin is going to school for photography. She was just asking us where to find interesting places and interesting people. I have lived in all kinds of towns and cities from Chicago and Denver, to a small town of 2,000. I told her to go the local laundromat in either a very big city or a very small town. You will see some of the craziest, most interesting things there. :)

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  21. I have had a long day, but I kept asking myself...."what's a vendingi?" I thought maybe it was a wine?? Then I came to my senses and read it as I would read a custom license plate....slow and repeat. Ahh, vending items :)

    Love your town!

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  22. So, the town I live in now has boat races. It's not what just popped into your mind, though. These are held at a race track, instead of at the lake. They coat the track with soap of some kind, and then trucks & cars pull old boats behind them. The idea is to take out the other boats :)

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  23. There is so much to see! Like the white statue of entwined lovers between vending #2 and vending #3. And they offer tooth brushes to go with the crest. Of course my favorite picture is Lucy!! Tell Holly I take good enough care of her to get Holly's seal of approval!!

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  24. Oh, I love it!
    That place is a movie set waiting to happen.
    Perhaps when Kenny and Becky hit the big screen?

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  26. Less than a mile from my house, someone posted a hand-painted sign that says, "Redneck Trash Deer Dump." I'm not even kidding. And that's really what they use it for, too! I guess there are trade-offs for living in the peacefulness of the country!!!

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  27. because apparently i'm really bored, i googled & lo-n-behold what do i see but a thumbnail of a water tower tagged P-Hill. FPFG ain't no liar.
    again i love how normal you are. ;) the first four years our shop was open i shared a wall with a laundromat. kept me entertained for hours. now no laundry & i'm googling random things like pleasant hill, oh. ha!

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  28. That laundromat is so insane, in a really good way :) I grew up in a small-ish rodeo town, and our teeny history museum was our favorite place to visit during the weekly farmer's market. I have fond memories being locked in an old bank vault and giggling with my gf's over pics of dashing men from the 1800s. Love that sweet doggy face too!

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  29. Those "vendingi" machines are so random!! I live in St. Louis, nothing too charming or quirky here... <3

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  30. Oh, Shannen, we live in French Lick. Even the name is quirky. We don't have a laundrymat or shoestore. We have 3 mini-marts and 2 world class resorts. Go figure. Loving this post.

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  31. In my hometown, the old local movie theater had a wall of barbies. It was odd. They're closed now, but I guess the old owners just loved barbies!

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  32. as I stick around longer and longer and read more of your posts, i get this feeling that some of my family (my sister) may know some of your family (by marriage) sorry if that just freaked you out. my hometown is about 2 hours north of yours and i sure wish it had a cool laundrymat. We were the town with all houses and not much else. About 20 houses and a run down school from the 1800's that we always talked about being haunted. and that was it. nearest store was 20 miles away. sigh.

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  33. In my hometown, there is only one traffic light. When I tell people directions to my house, I say "Go straight through the light." They say, "Which one?" I say, "There's only one, you won't miss it." ~Love the laundromat!

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  34. this is solid gold. other than the anxiety inducing clutter mob, obviously.
    hmmm. i don't really have a home town, moved around so much...
    where i live now, quirkville for sure. our laundry mats for example: they have tanning beds in them.
    some of the local eateries have "amazing food": pepper dumped onto every bit of food.
    most posted speed limits are 35-40: folks drive a steady 25mph every season of the year.
    something i love though, we have a local chocolate shop downtown near my apartment. quirky place, but precious. and sweet.

    love you. listen, i am praying heaven down on you girl!

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  35. Not sure this quirky but it is funny. I come from a very small town in Upper Michigan. In our downtown area there are several bars, 2 banks and old five and dime store...typical main street USA. The funny part is there is a sign that points to downtown that says "Financial and Business District". I never noticed it until my husband pointed it out to me. I laugh everytime I see it now.

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  36. I grew up in the "Baby Food Capitol of the World", Fremont, MI home of Gerber's. For such an exalted title it's quite small. Not as small as Jugville (true name) but not large. There are so many churches I couldn't even name them all (though ninety percent seem to have reformed from ?). Most of the businesses are still closed on Sunday and the most excitement we normally get is when one of the farmers cows swam across Fremont Lake one summer.
    One year though it was discovered that the local Pizza Hut was selling marijauna. Apparently, if you ordered "extra oregano" that was code for marijuana. That was shut down quickly and the chain video store that tried to come to town and display their porno on the shelves went out of business after most of the citizens boycotted (with signs and everything) their store.
    I really hope that they fight to keep the town innocent for many years. I have moved to FL but love going home to "my" town!

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  37. I can't say I have a ton of great feelings for where I grew up. I don't.

    However, I can share a funny story:

    Years after moving away (my hometown which shall remain unnamed had a population of around 4,000 when I grew up there)I was at a local hometown watering hole seeing my sister's then-boyfriend's band. We were in our early 20's.

    It was bizarre and I saw a few people from my high school. My sister ends up seeing a classmate of hers and he sits with us and they catch up. We're laughing at the people acting crazy...one couple in particular is older (at that time, in their 40's..they were mom and dad ages) and they are dirty dancing and all over one another. I laugh and say "Oh my god! Look at those people sucking face on the dance floor! Good god!" and my sister's former classmate says "That's my mom and dad!" and I say "You're kidding!"

    He wasn't.

    They WERE his parents. The strangest thing: He didn't seem embarrassed at all. That was a Saturday night out in northern Minnesota with mom and dad.

    'Nuff said regarding where I grew up. I've rarely been back. Everyone that I grew up with lives 5 minutes from where they were born and most had kids at 18 or 19.

    Sweet Nostalgia!

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  38. My hometown has a business called Dehart's Bible and Tire Center....enough said.

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  39. My home town blew away. Well about a third of it. Joplin, Mo. It's coming back though. Lots of wonderful people there and all over are helping build it back. My Dad had a grocery store that turned into a laundramat many years later and my husband's family owned a motel and built a laundramat next door to it. My claim to fame is that when I was 5 years old I led the safety parade of neighborhood children in the opening of the newly widened highway, route 66 in Joplin, Mo. (around 1953) Don't be jealous! Peg from Decatur

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  40. I grew up in Mission Viejo, CA...where the 1984 Olympic bike race was held. We stood down on the corner and watched them whoosh by. It's quite impressive when you're 12! They even changed the name of one of the streets to "Olympiad Road" after the event. Clearly, people were proud.

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  41. That is a laundry mat to end all laundry mats. Is that stuff for sale or just to look at while the cloths dry? Or to be vintage insparation? That laundry mat is a source. One of the raw, messy, treasures in the clutter birthing grounds of the faboulous vintage blogs, you know the perky late 20's somethings who swoop in, buy stuff for pennies, take it back to LA and sell it for $$$$. Thats where all that wonderfulness comes from. Totally odd, funky, a little scary quirky laundry mats in small towns like yours. Embrace the Quirk!
    That puppy is pretty cute too!

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  42. k those vending machines made me crack up. it could be the baileys i'm drinking. but i'm pretty sure it was the pudding and the box of gravy. love it. xoxo

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  43. My small hometown doesn't have a laundry mat. Or a stop light. Or a grocery store. Well, a Dollar General just opened...so some groceries can be bought there. It's claim to fame is that one of Oklahoma's worst train wrecks occurred there in 1917. In other words, not much has happened since. Haha

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  44. Wow! it's the kind of place us Europeans dream of spending time in. I come from a very large city (London) and have lived in Spain for the last 11 years. I now live in Seville which is a small city in comparison, but not as lovely and quirky as yours ;-)

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  45. I tagged you in a post today!

    Keeping up with Kristi

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  46. People around Chicago, illinois have saw the organization develop from a small, unique start-up to a much bigger organization that has tried to stability its offbeat spontaneity.

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  47. lol I love it. I love how they have "spruced" the place up with any and everythin gyou may need. All right there. And hey, who can beat the price o f $1? haha

    I grew up in a small town called Mt. Holly. It's quaint but we have a haunted house, a greasy spoon resturant that, if you were dared, you could write your name with your fingernail on the wall in the grease. Yea. We have a closed down train depot and also "across the bridge where they sell beer" a one stop shop for any alcoholic beverage you can think of. Even some you probably didn't think exisited. OH! And moonshine. I'm not kidding.

    I haven't lived there in over 15 years but when I do get home, I'm amazed at how it seems to have stopped dead in it's tracks in the 1960's.

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  48. we call Walmart "THE WALMART" ....and we pronounce The like THUH.

    there is a railroad track that has an underpass. twenty two years ago there was a couple that went to high school with me and they were in looooooove. they spray painted TIM LOVES TINK ( her nickname) over the top of the underpass.

    every single year, without fail, the city gov't painted over it to "clean up the city" and every single year, without fail, it was re-painted with spray paint.

    finally, just a few years ago, the city decided to have it professionally painted in a nice font. ONLY IN SMALL TOWN USA.

    teenagers that don't have a clue who the couple is have painted it for years. it's become a landmark of sorts. ONLY IN SMALL TOWN USA.

    coincidently, the couple broke up and are now married to different people...but they both still live in my hometown....

    HUMILIATION AT ITS FINEST.

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  49. ok I would not have believed that vending machine or the laundromat in general if you hadn't shown the pictures!! I love that, toothpaste, mouthwash, awesomeness!!

    my hometown seems so normal and boring and really I think I like yours better :)

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  50. Loved this! Just found your blog, saw the P Hill reference and did a double take. My husband and I just bought our first home in Tipp! We are new to the Dayton are and I'm new to blogging, but just wanted to say hello. I'll be following. :)

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  51. I would not have given "Pleasant Hill" a second thought... but when you mentioned "P-Hill", well. That's a whole different thing!

    My parents both graduated from Newton, and now my nephews are both there.

    Que "It's a small world after all"

    I live in North East Indiana :)

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  53. Something quirky about my home town is Stan the Tire Man. Check out what they have out front: http://www.sillyamerica.com/photographs/illinois/mtvernon/metropolis_roadtrip_125.jpg

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  54. hysterical! The problem with reality is that no one really believes it when you use it in a book setting. :-)

    Amanda Hill
    www.hillpen.com

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