Handy Tips and Info For the New In Town

We are finally at the end of the tourist season and into the beginning of the student season. They’re both great–don’t get me wrong by what I’m about to do here, but sometimes, I just want to make out a little pamphlet to hand out to people who visit or move here. So, here’s my little set of observations on life in this small mountain town.

  • Traffic through town is one way. There are two lanes so that people can drive slowly in the left lane to find a parking spot while being careful not to ram into someone backing out of said parking spot. People just going through town drive in the right hand lane. The left lane is NOT for you to zoom past the rest of us and when you WHAM into the back of my neighbor’s humongous pickup as he’s backing out of his spot in front of the barber shop, I am going to laugh at you.
  • When the young guy who mows your lawn tells you he saw that your car was ready for pick up from the body shop (when you never even talked to the boy about your car. ever. ever.), he is not a stalker. He’s just being neighborly. Everybody in town knows you’re car was in the shop even if you never told a soul.
  • It is quite rude not to accept vegetables from someone’s garden when offered. Unless you’re allergic, take them and do your best to eat them. People are proud of their gardens here and you’re rejecting them when you reject their produce. This also goes for canned goods, fresh eggs, fish and venison–if you’re lucky!
  • It is not a novel or new idea to buy local.
  • No, we do not have a single chain restaurant in town apart from fast food. Really. And not everyone is upset by that fact. We also have one Chinese Buffett and we are damned happy to have it, too!
  • Yes, we have yet another auto parts store that just opened. We have one of every kind known to man, plus a few locally owned.
  • The movie theater does not take credit cards and probably never will. Get over it. You’re seeing a first run movie at half the cost of the Big City and they have candy bars that are cheap enough to not require credit to purchase.
  • Downtown Cullowhee is that spot where they told you. It’s a laundry mat, tattoo shop, a few abandoned places that used to be stores. It’s not even a “wide spot’ in the road–it’s just a spot. Once you see the pizza place, you’ve already missed it.
  • This is a college town because there is a college here, but it is not like any other college town because there is no “there” there.
  • There is one Catholic church, two Episcopal churches, one Lutheran church and 9,584,625 Baptist churches. Oh and about half that number of Methodist.
  • Yes, there are churches here where people handle snakes. They are not in the yellow pages and do not really want you to visit and take their picture. They are not the Amish.
  • When someone asks you who your “people” are, they are not assuming you’re a different race or from another country. They want to know if you’re “local” or “outlander”.
  • No matter how long you’ve lived here, you are not a “local” unless your great grandmother was born here. For some, that still might not be good enough.
  • Just because you are an “outlander” does not mean that people don’t love you or that they aren’t glad you’re here. You can be an outlander and still make this your home.
  • It does not matter where you came from, nobody can drive on ice. Snow, yes. Ice, no. People slide on ice. See all those guys in giant pickups out playing in the snow and ice? They’re all volunteer firemen with massive life insurance policies whose wives have said, “sure honey, go out and play in the snow!”
  • Be nice to the volunteer firemen because that is all we have. And they will save your life.
  • If you see a funeral with a cremation then you know the person wasn’t “local”. There’s nothing wrong with cremation but people just do not do that here. They love the land and see nothing wrong with being planted in it.
  • We do not talk funny here and we do not have an “accent”.
  • A “painter” is a panther. “Yonder” means over there. (And, by the way, Shakespeare used that word so I suggest, unless you wish to show your literary ignorance, that you not make fun of it. Many of the colloquialisms of the area are directly linked to Olde English, so perhaps we speak more properly than you.)
  • Everybody is related. Or might as well be. Gossip at your own risk.
  • Big houses on the side of the mountain makes for an ugly mountain.
  • We are not Hillbillys. We are mountaineers.
  • Storytelling is a fine art.
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One thought on “Handy Tips and Info For the New In Town

  1. Pingback: An Assortment of Items, Things and Stuff « Life in a Mountain Town

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