So we moved to Old Forge.
Chrissy and I found a lovely little house in a lovely little neighborhood with lovely neighbors who say things like: “Welcome! You’re a Blue Devil now!”
I received this greeting many times as I explored our new town. When I told Chrissy, she grinned and said: “That’s really nice, but I’m a Viking. I’ll be a Viking until the day I die.”
I am not making this up.
My wife’s family is rooted on Old Forge, but she grew up next door in Taylor. Chrissy played varsity softball at Riverside and still sees life as a competition she is in to win. I married Peppermint Patty. In our house, board games are a contact sport.
So this Blue Devil/Viking friction is actually a thing: Old Forge and Riverside are fierce rivals in all sports, especially football. I’ve seen T-shirts that taunt the losers of last year’s game. Both tribes literally wear their loyalties on their sleeves.
I grew up near Pittsburgh, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. My high school’s mascot was a Bobcat that looked an angry cottonball someone dropped in a dirty ashtray. As a newly minted Old Forge School District taxpayer, I guess I owe allegiance to the Devil. Also, blue is my favorite color.
The board meets Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the LGI Room of the high school. For the first time, I’ll be there as a journalist and a taxpayer, a Blue Devil married to a Viking.