No matter what city or town you are from in the coal region, there are several undeniable signs that you grew up there. You can leave and move near the city, like me or you can stay there your whole life. The coal region leaves its mark on you, whether you like it or not. You can never truly leave it behind and honestly, you wouldn't want to because it's a huge part of who you are. Here are 9 signs you grew up in the coal region of Pennsylvania:
1. You speak hick.
Another part of it is actually understanding what people mean. It's like a whole new language because others look at you like you're crazy when you reply back to the hick speak. It's hard to describe but it follows you around, like a ghost of your past.
2. Knoebels was the shit.
If you were never at Knoebels, fix yourself. It's one of the best places ever. Every year, my family would rent a cabin at the theme park and we would stay for a weekend full of fun. Some of my best memories are from Knoebels, though I still refuse to go in the haunted house.
Knobels was fun and everyone went there for family trips and even reunions. Maybe this summer, I'll go back and enjoy the swimming pools with rope mazes. Of course I'll go on Twister, the wooden roller coaster that scares you to death because you're sure you're going to die when it breaks. But you go on anyways! May the odds be in your favor!
3. If you didn't have a license you were stuck at home all weekend.
If you were one of those sad kids that never got their license then good luck having a social life. If you did have a license you had to beg your mom to let her drive your car.
"Moooooooom, please! I have to go to Jess's house for our 'project'!"
The worst thing about living in the coal region is that Walmart was a thirty minute drive away and there was literally no fun things to do. Two shitty bowling alley's: one you had to keep track of your own score (Who even does that?) and the other was shady AF. You had the movie theatre but you were poor and used all your allowance on books. Oh, wait. Was that just me? *shrugs*
4. There are huge coal quarries, literally in the middle of everywhere.
5. Sorrento's was the place to eat.
Sorrento's wasn't even that good but you went there all the time for the pizza. It was cheap and didn't taste terrible. There was their competition, Garlic Knot, that you went to for fancier occasions, like when you didn't want to see bugs and dirt on the floor. Sorrento's was kinda shady and you definitely didn't touch any white powder but the food was good and it was fun to hang with your friends at.
My preference was Garden Chen, the Chinese place. Their shit was poppin'. It still makes my mouth water. I miss it so much but found Chinese near me that does the job!
6. The Laurel Mall was the Friday night hangout place.
If you weren't at the movies then you were at the Laurel Mall. You wouldn't buy anything or have any real money but you would walk around that mall for hours, surrounded by the drama that was going around about who was dating who and why. The mall was the cool kids hangout every Friday, to be someone you had to be there.
7. You get a special day off when hunting season starts.
8. It's Duck Dynasty, but like worse.
Duck Dynasty is such a huge thing where I'm from. Hicks attract to hicks? Maybe. It's racist and stupid but it relates back to just how the coal region is. Like the characters, people exhibit some really weird behavior around home. Unsweetened tea is a huge staple, just like in Duck Dynasty. Almost everyone voted for Trump because poverty is a real thing and most people up there are close minded and uninformed. You have hope though because there are teachers out there to teach the kids to dislike a racist, homophobic, and xenophobic leader. Just don't talk politics with anyone over thirty wearing camouflage. You'll just hear, "Make America Great Again!" being yelled at you.
9. You're proud about where you came from!
Once a White Havian, Hazeltonian, or Freak Lander, always a White Havian, Hazeltonian, or Freak Lander! I'm proud that I was raised in the coal region and you should be too!
I miss where I came from and when I visit the nostalgia sweeps me off my feet, tugging at my heart because there really is no place like home.