I took these photos to accompany an article I wrote about the Grange in Perry County.
Archive for the 'Duncannon' Category
Tags: rural, Shermanata Grange, square dance, the Grange
Tags: 2013, celebration, holiday, New Year's Eve
Tags: A People's Choir, Diana Ross, Duncannon, Florence + the Machine, foliage, Perry County, Portland, positive thinking, seasons, The Supremes
1. A People’s Choir
A People’s Choir is a monthly group sing-a-long hosted by The Delicious, an artist collective based in Portland, Oregon. I had the joy of participating in their Valentine’s session while visiting my sister in the Northwest. Who could stop themselves from smiling while belting out “You Can’t Hurry Love” with twenty other people?
2. My lizard
I got a leopard gecko this year and I’ve quickly become one of those people who likes to talk about her pet even though it probably doesn’t interest most people. He’s difficult to get quality pictures of and even if I could, it wouldn’t capture one of his best features: sticky gecko feet!
3. Running to “Shake It Out” by Florence + the Machine
You can’t top the lyrics, “And it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off” for a break-up song, but beyond that, I love the feeling of these beats with my feet hitting concrete.
4. Seasons changing
Whether it was the appearance of glimmering lightning bugs in summer, a painter’s palette splashed across the mountains in autumn, or the more recent snow-sprinkled arrival of winter, Perry County has been a wonderful place to watch Mother Nature do her thing.
5. Positive reminders
So what about you? What made you smile in 2012?
Tags: antlers, buck, camouflage, deer, Duncannon, hunting, hunting apparel
Today I saw a guy driving a black truck with side panels that matched his camouflage hunting jacket. I see camo often enough here that for the first time in my 25 years I realized the (obvious?) fact that hunting camo looks different from military camo. Think forest pattern vs. G.I. Joe. After seeing the pick-up truck today, I recalled a conversation I heard a few weeks back while waiting in the check-out at Duncannon’s family-owned grocery store.
Cashier: Did he get a buck?
Customer: Yeah, but no points.
Cashier: That’s okay, you can’t eat the antlers!
Tags: autumn, fall, Halloween, haunted house, October
Happy Halloween, from me in Pennsylvania to you, wherever you may be.
Tags: country, Duncannon, fudge, home cooking, Pennsylvania, Perry County, rural, town meeting
I’m sitting in the Duncannon borough office for a special borough council meeting about police. The other attendees are the police chief, the assistant chief, and several old men from the borough council and the neighboring township’s board of supervisors. One man is walking around recording people’s names. He reaches the white-haired couple who walked in last. The husband tells the man his own name and then his wife’s name. Then he adds, “And she makes the best fudge in the whole county!”
Tags: Brown University, class, demographics, diversity, Huffington Post, poverty, power, race, stratfiication, West Virginia
Last week Huffington Post put out an article declaring the 10 “most and least diverse cities” in the U.S., based on research from Brown University.
In a country where diversity is, on the surface, an honored value, the implied message from this article is that more diverse cities are better. The problem is that the “most and least diverse” labels are one-dimensional: the only measure is how many people of different races live in those cities.
Racial percentages don’t tell you anything about the way people actually interact. Washington, D.C., where I went to college is number 4 on the most diverse list. D.C. is also the most segregated city I’ve been to. You can track the dividing line between white and non-white neighborhoods by riding a cross-city bus or Metro and seeing where skin colors swap.
What’s more, racial composition is only one of many measures of diversity. A significant omission from the picture of these “most and least diverse” cities is any information about class and economics. Is the gap between rich and poor any bigger or smaller in less diverse cities?
Take West Virginia, for example. It has 4 cities on the list of least diverse cities, but WV is also one of the poorest states in the country. What is the concentration of wealth in its cities, and how does that compare to the rural areas?
As my friend Emily, a WV native, put it:
WV is famously ‘not diverse’ in the sense that it’s about 96% white. But that means that people don’t really think about things like, where do black people and immigrants live? Because they tend to be stratified in urban centers. Or, what is the class makeup of these cities or the places around them? Or, where do people who live there come from?…So this ‘diversity’ thing tends to mask or erase other kinds of differentiation that might be more powerful in various settings.
I like racial diversity (and so does Emily). I like that when I go to Harrisburg or Philly, I interact with people of color, because it doesn’t happen much at home. That doesn’t make Duncannon a bad place, though—it has its positive and negative cultural characteristics like anywhere else. And for me, understanding who has power and who doesn’t is much more useful than simply calculating proportions of people by race when trying to understand the dynamics of a place.
Tags: 3B, autumn, Central PA, fall, ice cream, pumpkin, seasons
You know autumn will soon pay a visit to Central PA when pumpkin treats start popping up at local eateries.
Tags: Duncannon, home, palestine, Perry County, place, rural, small town, Wilkes-Barre
Something that I like about Perry County so far has been people’s responses to my not being a native. There’s not necessarily the pride of place I witnessed in Palestine, but I also don’t get the “why on earth would you move here?” response that was so common in Wilkes-Barre. It’s more of a mild curiosity of how I wandered out this way, which is only modestly intensified if they know about any of the “exotic” places I’ve lived. When I say I was tired of cities, most people respond as though that’s to be expected—while many friends I know in cities couldn’t imagine leaving their hectic metropolis for a town of 1500. I suppose I’ve never been one to go where people expect me to.