If you're a long time reader of this blog, or even a short time reader, you know of my love and devotion to the city of Scranton. But, truth be told, I was born, raised, and currently live in a "suburb" right outside of it called Dunmore. I grew up with a 18509 of zipcode (one of Scranton's), and not the iconic 18512 of Dunmore's. Growing up, I spent the majority of my time on the cusp of Scranton, but attended Dunmore schools and played Dunmore sports. I don't know what it was that made my change my allegiance to Scranton (probably because I never really had one to Dunmore). Dunmore is a small town, about 14,000 people, and people always talk about the Dunmore bubble. The town has a way of sucking you in and if you're not careful, of limiting your experience to small town life. It's a town that derives its power and influence on if you have the right name or not, and I never did.
But that doesn't mean I didn't learn most of my core values from Dunmore. When you're from Dunmore you care about your neighbors, you care about your town, and you learn to respect all of those around you. You make sure your trash and recycling is picked up on time, and if it's not, you and your neighbors leave your recycle bin out in defiance every day until the borough's DPW picks it up. You don't let your neighborhood become one for the headlines of the local papers (or at least you try not to), and when Dunmore turns 150 years out, you show up in droves for the 3 day anniversary celebration.
Spending so much time in Scranton lately, I think I forgot my roots. The roots that I obviously still hold onto since I live in Dunmore (lower taxes don't hurt either). I always thought not having the right last name made me an outsider in Dunmore like I didn't know enough people to count myself as a true Dunmorean, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many people I do know in Dunmore, and how much I love the town. I get why people want to live in Dunmore (and not just because of lower taxes), but because above all else, people have pride in the little borough.
Thank you, Dunmore, for etching a little place in my heart with your small town love, and happy 150 years! May the next 150 be just as fabulous!
P.S. I love you.