The Town where YOU Grew Up


Most folks have a sense of pride about their hometown and enjoy telling others where they were born.  I thought my hometown was unique since it was named for a French hero in our American Revolution.  When I was very young I thought the hero must have surely lived or died there to get a statue on the “square.”

Then I found out there were another 13 cities in America named after General Marquis de Lafayette.  My Indiana Lafayette was just one of many.

Recently 4 guys on motorcycles took off from here in Bakersfield to visit the other 3 cities that had a dead Mr. Baker get his field named a city. Texas, Missouri and Vermont people also get to live in a “Bakersfield.”

If you grew up in Greenville you’ll meet lots of others who did too.  There are 49 Greenvilles, the most common-named city in America. 30 Franklins, 28 Springfields and 24 Washingtons are the next most popular city names.

Then there are the huge cities that don’t require a native-born to add the state name to his identity. I notice those folks say the name loudly, with pride. (“I’m from Houston”—“I’m from New York”—“Chicago”—“Seattle”)  Some just use the letters or the nickname….”Big D”—“L.A.” “Philly”

I suppose the pride of being born in a city of millions stems from the ego-baggage that is attached; pro sports, theatres, galleries, 5-star restaurants, multiple universities, 16-lane freeways, etc.

Then the pride of birth goes global.  We are the BEST!

The whole elitist, nationalistic, “better-than-you” thing has always felt strange to me.  The only difference between me and a guy who was born in a cave in Waziristan is plain luck. 

Remember the next time you ask someone where they are from; there is only one place in the world where the answer to that question is exactly truthful.

That place—-Intercourse, PA.

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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3 Responses to The Town where YOU Grew Up

  1. Bill Chance says:

    Nice story. I’m a big fan of Lafayette, Louisiana. I’ll have to visit your sometime.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • bakoheat says:

      Thanks Bill…I’m from the other Lafayette located in Indiana. However I too am a big fan of the Lafayette in Louisiana. I plan to write more about my one weeks adventure in Cajun Country.

  2. I was born in the Van Nuys neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. Your post led me to check Wikipedia for information on how it got its name. (A Dutch sheep rancher who sold the land for development.) I smiled at the reference to the Tyrone Street wash, located a few houses down, which did indeed flood the streets of the neighborhood in any decent rain.
    I’m actually glad I left LA – not a fan of the high cost of living, traffic, or crime levels – but I’m glad I learned to drive there, and enjoy visiting.

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