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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Tuesday, September 18 2001

Our inferiority complex,cont.

Lacking any input from list members on my questions about Greater Johnstown's inferiority complex, I should have sense enough to conclude it's just me. I must either have an inferiority complex or p'raps I'm actually inferior. Should shut up before I dig my metaphorical ditch even bigger, but I can't resist a couple more thoughts.

I've always had feelings along these lines. Does the world even know, much less care, that we exist out there on the top of the Alleghenies? Media have teased us about our fixation on the 1889 flood, but at least some of the people we meet outside Johnstown can vaguely recollect hearing of that, when at first they can't remember ever hearing of the city of Johnstown. I heard while still living in the area that there was also a Johnstown, New York, and automatically assumed it would be the more "real" Johnstown, an actual city, compared with our J-town. Turned out to be entirely false; the New York town is more like Ebensburg, a countyseat with under 10,000 people,

Maybe our day in the sun was the selection of Johnstown, and sister city Altoona, sometime in the 1970s, as both among the top 65 places to live in the United States in one of the early Places Rated Almanacs (the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority still maintains a webpage dating to 1993, when the then-current almanac rated our favorite city 97th among 343 US standard metropolitan statiscal areas).

It has always seemed like the main stream, even if not the mainline (speaking of the nation's main railroad) bypasses Johnstown. When the rest of the nation was buying Sealtest dairy products and Wonder Bread, Johnstown had Sanitary (later SaniDairy) and H-B's Bunny bread. But that may be a feature, not a bug, as they say in my present baileywick, Silicon Valley. H-B's unique gob cakes and lunch bucket pies became so legendary that after the bakery had long since gone out of business, those products resurfaced from new purveyors.

Maybe because we'll never get out of the shadow of that "real city," Pittsburgh, we have to try harder, as Avis used to say. For a short few months in the mid-19th century, Johnstown could boast the world's top-producing steel plant. Now what can it claim? I've never seen a better convenience store operation than Sheetz. Admittedly, it's an Altoona enterprise, but it has to claim some of the "Johnstown spirit." I do believe there is a spirit there that will survive, as will Johnstown, and Nanty Glo...and when Bethelehem Steel and Penelec can be truly relegated to the history books...Greater Johnstown will rise again.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Husbands, wives

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut after.

—Benjamin Franklin

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

An Athonite elder said: "It is a good thing for people to read spiritual books, but it is even better to apply them by living spiritually."

Sent by Christopher Haas

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