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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Why Would Anyone Live There?

My mom has biases about living in most states. She’s cool with Illinois, so long as one can hop on a train and be whisked into the city for a dose of culture. Massachusetts and the surrounding New England states fare well. But other places? If a friend of hers packs up and moves to Iowa, my mom will say, “IOWA! Why the hell would anyone live in IOWA?” As if, say, the location in question in Uranus. (I am channeling my inner 12-year old tonight. Go with it.).

“Why would anyone live in URANUS!?!?!” Well. She may have a point there. But she's usually referencing some “god forsaken” locale such as anywhere but the aforementioned Illinois or Massachusetts.

I usually point out that often jobs bring people to places. Like Virginia. So I felt fairly confident that my mom would say, “VIRGINIA?! Who moves to VIRGINIA?!” She held it together and then we gave Andrea a call since I was in Illinois with my mom when this news broke. I had Andrea on speaker phone and my mom, whom we affectionately refer to as “the Bertinator”, wonders aloud, “What kind of crops do they have in VIRGINIA?! Tobaccy?”

I feel only a true Midwesterner would inquire about a region’s crops. I gloss over it and assert, “And cotton!” After we hang up, Andrea texts me and says:

“Wait. Did the Bertinator say Tobaccy?!”


But here’s the thing… isn’t the real question who names a city LYNCH-BURG?! Because that was one of my early questions/concerns.

“…and Lynchburg! What is that named after?! LYNCHINGS?!” I demand in horror.

“No! It’s named after some guy.” Andrea tries to assure me.

“Yeah. A likely story.” I mumble while googling on my phone, Is Lyncburg VA named after Lynchings?

It seems that it's not the first time that Google has fielded this question.

“Hm. Says it’s named after its founder – John Lynch.” I read, still suspicious.

Honestly, why couldn't the place have been founded by some chap by the name of Smith or Jones? I still cringe when I say, "Lynchburg."

“See?” Andrea says.

“That’s their story and their sticking to it.” I say, ignoring that I have obviously inherited the gene of geographical bias from the Bertinator.

I am sure you were not wondering what crops, aside from “tobaccy” were grown in Lynchburg. But I bet several of you were muttering, “Lynchburg. What’s that named after?! Lynchings?!"

No? Just me? Fine.

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