Sunday, May 20, 2007

Where Is Blue From?

So... I was on the phone, talking with S., and we got to talking about my hometown. I grew up in a place so small it had no stoplights, no fast food, no chain restaurants, no cinema, no shopping besides a grocery store, a general store, and a "nearly new" shop... a place so small that one could walk from the north end of town to the south in fifteen minutes... a place where kids could walk to school unsupervised and could run around in neighbors' and friends' backyards without parents ever fearing that they would be abducted.

A place which still had an old-fashioned soda shop where one could purchase old-fashioned vanilla phosphates -- not for the tourist attraction, because no tourists ever came here, but because people still wanted them.

(And, btw, phosphates seem to be so "out of touch with reality" that there is no entry on Wikipedia to describe them. It's essentially a homemade soda mixed by hand, using water, the flavor -- vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, etc. -- and whatever pop-rocks-type chemical you put in the water to make it carbonate. Probably, given the name, some kind of phosphate.)

In short, I lived in a sort of throwback to the halcyon days of the American 1950s. Except that instead of prefab housing, the majority of homes in my town were (slightly) renovated Victorians.

This makes me, in certain conversations, "exotic." ^__^

Did you crown a River Queen every year? S. asked, visions of funnel cake festivals and teased-hair outdoor beauty pageants dancing through his head.

Yes, I said.

Did you ever get crowned River Queen?

No -- I was never that popular. But I tried out for cheerleader... and pom pom girl... and didn't make it onto either of them.

Unfortunately, probably due more to the vagaries of American fashion than anything else (damn you, Target, and whomever thought it would be a good idea to make the Midwestern national costume an oversized t-shirt with a sports logo worn over a pair of faded blue jeans!), my hometown exoticism will never be marketed to a larger audience.

But here we are, doing our traditional native dance:

(Note from the editor: The faces are blurred to protect the innocent; the website where more of these pictures can be found has been blurred as well.)

1 comment:

Sirensongs said...

I went to college in a small town like this...and loved it. Have to laugh when people generalize about "American" norms ("in America, people dress revealingly...kiss in public...etc."). Not where I come from!