On the eve of Penn State Week, I (Townie) would like to hear from you. What would you like to know about my Alma Mater?
To meet the required word count, let me fill you in on a bit of my background...you see, I didn't just attend Penn State, I grew up there. When I was in 6th grade, my dad informed us that he was pursuing a Ph.D. That required us to move from a lovely suburban neighborhood in southern New Jersey to go to BFE Pennsyltucky.
Back then, the trip required several hours on a winding, two lane highways. The drive meanders through Central Pennsylvania...over rivers and hills. Past barns and Amish farms...it was actually beautiful if you weren't in a hurry.
But damn, it sure seemed a lot further than 3.5 hours from Philly. It wasn't just rural, it was like going back in time.
The town's mall was a glorified Sears Catalog store. Much of our shopping happened at O.W. Houts and Sons...a countrified hardware store that was like a mini-walmart. School shopping required either a trip to Philadelphia (3.5 hours southeast) or over to Altoona.
FYI...Altoona is a hell hole.
My first job was on a dairy farm. I made $1.25 per hour for shoveling shit, putting in fences, feeding calves, and bailing hay. Oh, and I'd get to take home a fresh half gallon of milk. These were Jersey cows, so a half gallon of milk included about a pint of cream on top. You had to shake the milk up or else you'd get a coated tongue.
It didn't take me long to fall in love with the area. The mountains were soft and green in the summer. The breeze blew down the valley, bringing the smells of fresh hay and the lowing of cows off in the distance. And I adapted a life-long passion...fishing...to a whole new species: trout.
The small mountain streams often yielded bronze beauties. I caught everything from big, aggressive rainbows to tiny, shy Brook trout.
I still love the place.
But I forget...this is OTE. You fuckers hate Penn State. Go ahead, ask your stupid, derisive questions. I'll give you answers and help you reconcile your own inadequacies.