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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, June 12 2002 

Townies, buskids

Thinking much about Jackson Township lately while bringing to life its department here, the subject of townies vs. bus kids surfaced again. I was most aware of this basic division of the human race when in sixth through eighth grades at the Big Bend School, being one of the farm kids bussed into "town" (Twin Rocks) for middle school. Our plight was exacerbated (or, perhaps, ameliorated, depending on your perspective or circumstances) by the fact that the bus kids were kept in separate classrooms from the town kids. Those who walked to school went to the left wing of the Big Bend School; those of us who got off the bus each morning were assigned the life of right wingers (which suggests another topic, maybe for another day). I think I remember fights between townies and buskids, though none of the fights loom clearly in my mind's eyes. But that's understandable, considering I usually kept my distance from any fights.

When you're a kid, it seems natural to think that whatever's different is dangerous, fraught with pitfalls, if not temptations. We heard about the electric paddle machine they used on the town kids months before migrating to their school; we heard from the generation ahead of us some of the exploits of the race of giants down there in Big Bend. The teachers had to be superhuman compared with any we'd encountered in grades one through five, in order to survive the perils of the town kids.

A parallel situation pertains in any community that hosts a residential college campus. Both the faculty and the student body have rivalries with the permanent locals; there is always talk in such towns and campuses of the "town and gown" chasm separating those who are of the campus from those who are of the town. These rivalries, expectedly, rise to loftier heights than the townies/buskids rivalries of grade schoolers, but sometimes, if less frequently ending in blows, they're just as petty and based on miscommunication based on misunderstanding. The best movie I know of treating this subject is Breaking Away, set in Bloomington, Indiana, and told from the perspective of some native college-age boys. The TV sitcom (now in reruns only), Third Rock from the Sun, often treats similar issues in a lighter vein.

My brothers Bob and Gary both took long walks to a long busride from the farm on what's now known as Allie Buck Road to school in Ebensburg. But at least we lived in Cambria Township, then, which surrounds Ebensburg.... What must it be like to commute every day from Jackson Township, even starting the bus ride through part of Nanty Glo, to attend high school in the countyseat? There's a scary thought.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

In-flight funnies (series)

In light of all the recent air security that's been put in place, crew members try to lighten the mood. Here are (allegedly) real examples of how they make the in-flight "safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining.

"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children...or other adults acting like children."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

— Sent by Trudy Myers

Thought for today

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant—and let the air out of the tires.

— Dorothy Parker

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