I kind of got a kick out of this editorial. Makes me miss the west...a lot!!
Some of the best I've personally ever heard.
Easterner: So, where are you from?
Easterner: Oh, Ohio?
Me: No, Idaho.
Easterner: You mean, Iowa?
Me: No, Idaho...Famous Potatoes...a big state in the west.
Easterner: Oh, I don't think I've ever been there.
Easterner: So, where are you from?
Easterner: Oh, I haven't spent much time in the mid-west.
Clueless in Costco- by Timothy Egan
For a native Westerner, the slights from the other end of the country start early, and build through a lifetime: national broadcasters on election night who cannot pronounce Oregon (it’s like gun) or Nevada (it’s not Nev-odda), or a toll-free clerk who thinks New Mexico is part of old Mexico.
“You’ll have to go through your own embassy,” a resident of Santa Fe was told when trying to order Olympic tickets for games on American soil.
Geographic illiteracy from the Eastern Time Zone is a given, especially among the well-educated. A New York book publisher, and Harvard grad at that, once asked me if I ever take the ferry up to Alaska for the afternoon. No, I replied: do you ever go to Greenland on a day trip?
Norman Maclean, the great Montana writer, had a worse experience. He complained that an editor turned down his masterpiece, “A River Runs Through It,” because it had too many trees in it.
A media titan, The Washington Post, recently announced they were calling home their remaining national correspondents, explaining that the paper was perfectly capable of covering the rest of the country from inside the Beltway. By that reasoning, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner can discern what’s happening in the capital from their home base near the Arctic Circle.
Sports is a grievance category all its own. If you Google “East Coast Bias,” up comes a long litany of stories about how the West never gets any respect from those great deciders in the East.
So, naturally, Toby Gerhart of Stanford didn’t receive this year’s Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s best college football player, despite leading elite colleges in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and points scored. Many of the voters were asleep, or Saturday-night-blotto, when Gerhart was dazzling the football world this fall. The voting map was a geography of bias.
These are all minor annoyances, mind you, in a world with daily reminders that an embittered, small-hearted senator from Connecticut can hold up health care for millions, or some people would rather read a “book” by Hulk Hogan than a short story by Sherman Alexie.
But every now and then those of us who reside on the sunset side of the 100th meridian get a chance to rub it in the other way.
Consider the fuss over Costco landing on the island of Manhattan last month. Costco is the nation’s third largest retailer, with more than 400 warehouse stores in the United States alone. Liberals love Costco because they pay their workers about 40 percent more than their big box rivals.
Conservatives love them because they sell Sarah Palin’s book by the pallet, next to the camo wear.
Costco is a brilliant retail concept, but it’s not news. It’s been around for, oh . . . a quarter-century or so. Some of the gushing posts on New York-based Web sites after Costco opened on East 117th Street have all the breathless urgency of a tourist who has discovered bagels in Boulder.
“It’s amazing how many things you can get for a fairly decent price!” One shopper wrote on Yelp New York, the online review site. Um, that’s the idea. And other observers have seemed befuddled in the big box, overwhelmed by the lure of tube sox and toilet paper to last a lifetime.
Most Westerners may not know schmear from schmaltz, but they can tell a sophisticated urban shopper to stick with the to-die-for olive oil, cold-pressed just a few weeks ago in Tuscany, and the $1.50 quarter-pound hot dog when under the high fluorescent sky of a Costco warehouse.
Speaking of my newspaper — please, it’s the holidays, a time for indulgence in all things — they recently discovered a newsworthy item from the Mountain West: Jews in Montana. Imagine!
One more bit of news on this front: the nation’s first elected Jewish governor was a Western man. And a Democrat. In Idaho. Moses Alexander governed the land of famous potatoes from 1915 to 1919.
As a longtime Western representative of The New York Times, which is well read in these provinces, I feel the rub of faux-rube pandering both ways. Here, people are amazed I can find Twitty, Texas, on a map, and — more surprising, can vouch for the peach cobbler. There, the wonder is that I know which side of the plate to keep the salad fork. Sort of.
A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.
From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.
In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.
Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.
Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.
We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.
As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.