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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Wednesday, July 30 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterMaps

I don't know what came first: my fascination with maps or my romantic wanderlust, a desire to travel or, more accurately, to be a stranger in a strange land. I put it that way because in spite of my adult lifelong promotion of tourism and love of touring, my wandering is not tourism in the commercial sense. I lived in the Philadelphia area for four years but never "did" Independence Hall, Valley Forge, or any of the renowned art museums. I've been to New York dozens of times but have never been inside the Empire State Building. I'm more fascinated by the everyday people living everyday lives, and would rather mingle on Broadway, Union Square, or Penn Station than tour the sights and sites.

Nor do I know whether I liked drawing maps from the earliest experiences in third-grade geography classes, or if I became interested in maps because I found that, unlike most more pointedly "art" projects, I was from the beginning quite adept at representing rivers and trails, state lines, routes, and topography on maps. To draw a map at age eight was the next-best thing to going there. And if they were maps of the great explorers' discovery expeditions, retracing their steps by redrawing their maps was a portal to being in their company.

I like being a tourguide more than a tourist. I've recounted here some time back the first big trip I ever made as a child, with my mother and my parents' friends, the Baldwins, in the Baldwins' new Hudson touring car, at age five, from Belsano to Akron, to visit Uncle Guy and Aunt Iva. After the Baldwins dropped us off at our relatives' house in Akron, a city where Mom and Dad had lived for a while earlier in their marriage, the big event was a tour of the city, the first city bigger than Johnstown I'd ever been in, the first one I ever spent the night in and heard the constant noise of the traffic in a distance through the screened bedroom window late at night and early in the morning. Uncle Guy took us all around pointing out all the sights, a form of hospitality merged with instruction that has stuck with me the rest of my life. Mom was so grateful for his doing this that it was something I wanted to do when I was able. And I did.

But the rest of the story will have to wait.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Aphorisms

30. When everything is coming your way... you're in the wrong lane.
31. Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
32. Politicians and diapers have one thing in common; they should both be changed regularly for the same reason.
33. Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.

— Franklin P. Adams

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