I could spend hours looking at maps, the older the better, fascinated by the names of towns, rivers, mountain ranges and lakes.
With regards to towns in the U.S. there is Pony, MT, Concrete, WA, Embarrass, MN, and Nowhere, CO. Some are clearly named after an industry, or captain of industry who lived in the area way back when.
But in the case of Hell for Certain, KY (Hell-fer-Sartin), it’s said a missionary was asked where he had just been. He replied with something like, “I don’t know, but is was hell for certain.”
Or take Scratch Ankle, AL, where residents were noted to scratch a lot due to mosquito bites.
The origins of other place names are lost in the mists of time.
Initially I planned to leave Melancholy nameless – there is a town called No Name in Colorado: Pop 123 at the U.S. Census in 2010 – but in the end thought it best to give it an identity. Strangely, I cannot for the life of me recall how I decided on the name of the town where Hennessey has finally put down roots.
NB: There is song in the Western musical Paint Your Wagon, a movie that stars Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg, called”No Name City”. I loved that movie so much and was thrilled when the folks bought the soundtrack record. Needless to say, that record was played ad infinitum, so I know pretty much all of the songs from the movie off by heart even now, a good 50 years later.
(And yes, Clint Eastwood sings)!
Did you know . . .
- If you are out fossil hunting and wonder if an interesting piece you’ve discovered is a fossil or a lump of rock, lick it. Yep. If your tongue sticks slightly to your prize it’s a fossil. This is due to the porous nature of bone – probably the least complicated way to explain why licking a dirty rock is even a thing.
- The Hagerman horse is the state fossil of Idaho: a curious concept. The remains of over 200 of these animals were discovered by a cattle rancher in Hagerman, Idaho, in 1928, in what became known as the Hagerman Horse Quarry. The remains were a tremendous find, important because of the volume of specimens and the fact they included five nearly complete skeletons.
- On October 13, 1860, James Wallace Black took the first aerial photo in the U.S. While up in a hot air balloon he snapped an eagle’s view of Boston.
Take care and happy reading,
P.S. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop me a line.
On my bedside table at the moment is The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness, by Malcolm Pryce.
I mean, who wouldn’t read a book with a title like that?
Also, Fortune Furlough, by Jana Deleon. (Book #14 in the Miss Fortune Mystery Series)
Ex-CIA assassin Fortune and her elderly friends, Gertie and Ida Belle, are in Florida on vacation. But dreams of sipping cocktails while lounging on the beach are put on hold when Gertie becomes chief suspect in a murder.
Are you a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum? Guaranteed you’ll love this raucous murder/mystery. In these weird times, I find myself leaning towards the escapism of cozy mysteries as much as my previously preferred more grizzly crime/mystery novels. Fortune and Co. are a great distraction from real life.
“Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.”
– Wyatt Earp