The first time I heard someone say it, Monsignor Joseph Quinn said it. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, if world is about to end, I’d rather be in Scranton because everything happens here 20 years later.
Some say 10 years but you get the idea.
I’m going to take a giant guess and say we’ll wait a lot longer than that before the national press corps stops referring to NEPA towns as “a former coal town” or as part of “the Rust Belt.”
The latest carrier of the rusty spear aimed right at NEPA’s heart: CNN, President Donald Trump’s favorite network.
CNN reporter Martin Savidge came to town the last couple days to do a story on the way local voters feel about Trump.
The CNN headline on his story: “Rust belt voters sharply divided over Trump’s economy.”
Yeah, our economy still lags and lacks true vitality, but we’re not the “rust belt” and, I’ll say it again, we’re as much a former coal town as we are a former farming town.
We don’t mine coal any more and haven’t extensively for about six decades.
Actually, we have far more farms than coal mines.
Savidge’s story actually underlines the rest of the headline — “voters sharply divided over Trump’s economy” — pretty well, even if the layoffs of steel workers in Michigan mention has nothing to do with NEPA.
It kicks off with a reference to “The Office,” which, by the way, is still one of the most popular shows on Netflix. Hit that link and you’ll find a story from the Chicago Tribune, which I read while I was in Chicago last month.
We moved our son there because he found a job he couldn’t find here. Now that’s a sharp divide we really need to tackle. He loves “The Office,” but he no longer lives where it’s set.