Posts Tagged ‘Scranton’

My appalling birthplace (tenth in an infinite series)

July 23, 2013

On the same day I read that Scranton is a great place for upward mobility, I also read thisCovenant Presbyterian‘s not an abandoned church.  It’s a big, functioning congregation, with a particular outreach to adults with developmental disabilities — which I never thought much about as a teen attending there, but now I recall that work with a mother’s gratitude.  It’s the church where I went to nursery school, and (much later) the church where we got married, so yeah.  Leave the copper alone, please.  (This week also saw a lovely old landmark high school building in my hometown burned to the ground.  My grandparents went to school at that site.  Whatever replaces it won’t be a school — the town doesn’t need more schools — and it won’t be near so good-looking or sturdy, guaranteed.)

“You couldn’t stand to spend a weekend there”

August 25, 2009

Consider this “My Appalling Birthplace:  Seventh in an Infinite Series.”

This clip is old, it’s from the campaign last fall.  But we actually saw it last Sunday on a rerun special.  We happened to be at the end of a WEEKEND IN SCRANTON, in horrible hot sticky weather, in a hotel room that smelled like old fried food was being stored under the beds.  When he says the line, “You couldn’t stand to spend a weekend there!” (when there’s about 5:45 left in the clip) well… it was a real highlight of our trip, to see the Scranton tirade IN Scranton.

My appalling birthplace (sixth in an infinite series)

February 1, 2009

Hat tip to Kathleen for alerting me to this one–I couldn’t make this stuff up, folks:

Frozen Sewage Piled Up in West Scranton–For Now

First sentence:  “On top of their regular snow-clearing duties this week, Scranton officials are weighing what to do with chunks of frozen sewage piled up in the 300 block of North Garfield Avenue.”

Later in the article the phrase “glacier of sewage” appears.  Ah, winter in Scranton.

(By the way, this is my 100th entry at Pennamite.  “Glacier of sewage” was totally worth it.)

UPDATE: Kathleen sent along the latest news, which says that the “piles of frozen sewage” have been removed (taken to a landfill in Dunmore, of course).  But the director of public works thinks the situation was overblown, because “It was really only mostly water.”  Oh!  And that smell will go away, “once we get a good rain.”    Beautiful.

My appalling birthplace (fifth in an infinite series)

October 6, 2008

Did you see the Biden impersonator’s rant against Scranton (Biden’s birthplace as well as mine) on the opening skit of Saturday Night Live this week?  Scrantonians did.   Read the comments–half are very very angry locals, and half are ex-Scrantonians who completely agreed with the sentiments expressed and thought it was hilarious.  (The title “my appalling birthplace” probably tells you where I land.)   Here’s the transcript:

“I come from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and that’s as hard-scrabble a place as you’re going to find. I’ll show you around sometime and you’ll see — it’s a hell hole. An absolute jerkwater of a town. You couldn’t stand to spend a weekend there. It’s just an awful, awful sad place, filled with sad, desperate people with no ambition. Nobody, I mean nobody, but me, has ever come out of that place. It’s a genetic cesspool. So don’t be telling me that I’m part of the Washington elite, because I come from the absolute worst place on earth — Scranton, Pennsylvania. And Wilmington, Delaware, is not much better.”

Of course it’s not quite true that nobody but Biden has ever escaped the place.  Hilary Clinton’s father Hugh Rodham and several former Pennsylvania governors (including Tom Ridge) are also from Scranton.   And the urbanist Jane Jacobs.   And at least one astronaut came from my high school–Paul Richards (no relation) walked in space–see how far someone will go to get away from the Northeastern PA?

Heather asked for this….

October 6, 2008

A polka-style version of The Office theme on accordion:

How about steel drums:

Or maybe you prefer marimba:

My appalling birthplace (fourth in an infinite series)

October 6, 2008

New rule for the coming month:  whenever NPR starts a story with a polka band in the next few weeks, I’m likely to be cringing from the Northeastern PA accents (and “logic”) that follows soon after.  Especially if (like this morning) they also play a sample of that polka band’s version of “Margaritaville.”  Shudder.

Raiders of the Lost TV Remote

May 23, 2008

I was the first one in line to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in Scranton back in 1981 –I was 15 and riding public transit by myself, transferred buses downtown and up the highway to the Viewmont Mall cinema, hours before the box office opened. I even remember that I was wearing red overalls, for some reason. I met two other newly minted ninth-grade graduates there, Denise and Ruthie; we had a ball in line, then sat together in the theatre, and I stayed friends with them both through high school (we were at different schools). And MTV hadn’t quite debuted yet, and nobody had a VCR yet, and a matinee movie ticket was less than $5, so we went to see movies a lot. So I have very happy fuzzy feelings about that first movie, because… because I was 15, and it was summer, and I met some friends.

Have fun this weekend, kids. I’m sure it’ll be good; but it won’t be like 27 years ago.

My appalling birthplace (third in an infinite series)

May 16, 2008

Well this isn’t appalling, but the accent can be. This is no exaggeration, this guy sounds like the real deal:

My appalling birthplace (second in an infinite series)

May 13, 2008

Close enough, it’s Olyphant:

Long-burning Mine Fire in Northeastern Pa. is Finally Contained

Note that it’s not out — it’s just contained — they built an $11million trench around the thing. It’ll still be decades before the burning stops. “Olyphant Councilman Jerry Tully is one who would like to see more action to put out the fire. Tully says while the fire is still burning it is keeping people from developing the land.” Wow, ya think?

My appalling birthplace (first in an infinite series)

May 13, 2008

Karen Seifert, a volunteer from New York, was outside of the largest polling location in Lackawanna County, Pa., on primary day when she was pressed by a Clinton volunteer to explain her backing of Obama. “I trust him,” Seifert replied. According to Seifert, the woman pointed to Obama’s face on Seifert’s T-shirt and said: “He’s a half-breed and he’s a Muslim. How can you trust that?”

From Kevin Merida, “Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Incidents Pause,” Washington Post (13 May 2008): online here.

Oh yeah, so proud that Scranton is emblazoned on my passport and birth certificate. Lovely.