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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, June 13 2001


The entry last week about feeling relatively friendless after visiting the small town of Willows brought several thoughtful and thought-provoking responses. Besides the Postcard from David Caldwell on Sunday in which he recalls his difficulty returning to Nanty Glo after living in other states, and feeling as alienated from friendships there as he did in California or New Jersey, I also received a long and excellent letter by Sallie and Dominic Covolo describing their somewhat similar experiences. Dominic is a Nanty Glo native and they actually moved back to the area where he worked for a Westmont company for a time. But their difficulty feeling like they "fit in" back home was a major factor in their return to California (along with the popularity at the time of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?").

Sallie recalls, "Our old daddy used to say, 'To have a friend, you must be a friend!'" which certainly has the ring of truth. And after returning to San Jose, she recalls, "We made friends at our church and the school people, etc., and for heavens sakes, you do not have to be friends with the whole city." Also true and well said.

My original point, I believe, was that in a small town, whether it's Nanty Glo or Willows, California, it seems to be a lot easier to make friends than in a large city. This too, however, is double-edged. Sallie said that some of her Pennsylvania acquaintances felt after their move back that they were "city people" and would get by better in Johnstown than in Nanty Glo. Even though I love Nanty Glo and always feel drawn to Willows when I visit there, I also feel I lean toward being a "city person." There's a lot I hate in the city—any city—but probably one of the characteristics about "city people" is that they love to hate aspects of their cities.

I'm not really friendless, but one of my lifelong characteristics seems to be a pervading loneliness. Even in a crowd, I can feel more lonely than when at home alone with my computer. I can't go to the movies because movies are shared experiences and there's no one to share them with. The same is true of videotaped movies; I can't rent and watch them for the same reason. When I was reviewing movies, that was a work duty, and I enjoyed the movies on many levels, but as soon as I had to give up attending the daytime "working press" screenings, I found it impossible to go to the theater. When I was planning my first driving tour of Ireland, I rented and watched a dozen movies filmed in Ireland (including Ryan's Daughter, The Quiet Man, and others) and had no difficulty enjoying them. But once the "ulterior motive" of getting previews of Ireland was gone, I haven't been able to bring myself to rent another movie.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

The Top 40 Things You Will Never Hear A Southern Boy Say

20. I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.
19. Trim the fat off that steak.
18. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
17. The tires on that truck are too big.
16. I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Five more to grow on

"The worst crime against working people is a company that fails to operate at a profit." Samuel Gompers
"The water never clears up until you get the hogs out of the creek." Cecil Cearley
"Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people." Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather)
"Luck is a four-letter word people use when they're describing the success of someone of whom they are jealous." Phil Steffen
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." Plutarch

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