Have you heard of Hughesville? It’s a small town in rural PA, 2,200 people and 98.9% white, and I’ve become friends with a few who went to PSU through Evan. They’d mention this town over the years in stories and I only could imagine what it was like. My idea was one room schools, Jethro and Cletus fixing tractors, moonshine & tobacco. The closer reality was self-reliant, hunters, fishers, and warm hearted people.
Here’s me at one of their childhood homes whose parents don’t own the house anymore so we had to be quick.
- The industrial area was known as the “Y”. It housed a Dunkin, Wendy’s, CVS, Weis, and a Sheetz. More modern than I thought. When I went on Saturday, the Dunkin was being run by three 80’s year olds, and the beep for a new order was going off for 15 minutes straight while 10 people waited in line.
- On Friday I had the pleasure of entering TJ’s market. The expiration date of its products ended in the 70’s and the music they were playing was from the 40’s. I snapped this great picture of Joe Pa selling bread. Another note, breakfast sandwiches started being sold at 8:30. When Adam and I asked if they were ready at 8:27am, we were told another 20 minutes. What difference does 20 minutes make when you’re stuck in a 30 year time warp?
- Spencer Lee goes down! I watched collegiate wrestling for the first time at the Thorn. Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid could have been making out and no one would have turned an eye.
- I had breakfast at Kathy’s which is the #1 spot in town. We saw the one armed shop teacher and Hafer asks, “I wonder where he parked?” This is news.
- A highlight was Hull’s on Friday night which had a cover band. The place was relatively packed and I was doing my best to fit in. It’s tough to fit in when 99% of the people in there are related. No one matter what you do, you’re an outsider. You don’t accidently end up in Hughesville. As Hafer told us, if you shit in the Muncy creek, you’ll be back.
One of the main reasons Adam, Evan, and myself visited was to see Hafer’s newly built house / bar. The house is modern with all the amenities like big screen TV, crisp sound system, plenty of space, and a Keurig that I made sure to fill back up. The Mill is Hafer’s bar where you have a rotating cast of characters that come in throughout the day to have a Busch Light. We met Chauncey, who they call Yohn because that’s his middle name, and I’m pretty sure neither of those are his actual names. Adam was the best at ping pong for the blog readers and I beat Hafer in beer pong for about 5k.
If you’re not wearing Carhartt, a hoodie, jeans, or a hat, you’re not from Hughesville. I have zero.
You don’t need as much money to survive in this area and it’s also not as plentiful. The people tend to be more reserved and may not be as well traveled. One guy said he has never gone further west of Columbus, Ohio. When you mostly see your own people, it’s hard to develop a sense of opinions. Chauncey says he’s never watched a basketball game the same way I say I’ve never hunt a deer. He can build a house and I can hammer a nail. The point is that we acquire different skillsets from the environment we are in. My environment requires a lot of money to succeed so I put my efforts to making as much as I can. Hughesville environment uses their hands to create and build in a wholesome, family oriented fashion. Neither is right or wrong, just different. I was glad to spend some time there and would be happy to go back next March Madness as an annual trip. It would be interesting to hear if people from this town want to leave or look at it as this is my life. I think you’d get 2,200 fascinating opinions.