Seniors Like The History

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Pocatello in south east Idaho was named after a Chief of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who donated land the city now occupies to the railroad. Known as the “Gateway to the West”, or “Gate City” by the locals, pioneers, gold miners and settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail passed through city gates.

Stage and freight lines and the railroad soon followed, turning the community into the trade center and transportation junction that it is today. The history of the area reads like pages from a Zane Grey novel, finding itself along the route of the Oregon Trail. Each chapter is filled with the names of trappers and mountain men…characters like Osborn Russell, Jim Bridger, Chief Pocatello, and even Abraham Lincoln.

Pocatello has a population of approximately 54,000 and is the fifth largest city in Idaho, just behind Idaho Falls 56,813. The Portneuf River joins the far more famous Snake River at American Falls reservoir just north of  the city. Unlike most rivers in the United States, the Portneuf flows to the north along with 31 others.

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Senior visitors will discover that Pocatello is a working-class town with a strong railroad and trade union heritage. Ranked twentieth on Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers, it is evident that the city “has some heart” and an inviting atmosphere.

 Seniors Smile At ‘Smile Ordinance’

At one time the city boasted the largest rail yard west of the Mississippi River. A major attraction in town is the Museum of Clean. The Idaho Museum of Natural History is home to permanent and special collections in Anthropology, Earth Sciences, and Life Sciences. The historic Fort Hall Replica entices senior visitors to learn all about the 19th century world of explorers, trappers, fur traders and early American pioneers.

 Old Town Pocatello is a magnet for senior visitors looking for a unique experience. Clothing, antiques, housewares, sporting goods and art galleries make Historic Old Town a destination for senior visitors. The district is architecturally and historically significant and is one of the region’s most diverse and well-preserved urban street landmarks.

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In 1948, the Mayor of the City of Pocatello, George Phillips, passed an ordinance making it illegal not to smile in Pocatello. The “Smile Ordinance” was passed tongue in cheek as a result of an exceptionally severe winter, which had dampened the spirit of city employees and citizens alike. So senior visitors, welcome to the U.S. Smile Capital.

Pocatello is home to Holt Arena, a multipurpose indoor stadium which opened in 1970 on the Idaho State University campus. Known as the “Minidome” until 1988, Holt Arena was the home of the Real Dairy Bowl, a Jr. College football Bowl game. The Arena also plays host to the Simplot Games, the nation’s largest indoor high school track-and-field meet.

 Seniors will warm to the unusually desirable four-season climate where clear, sunny and dry is the norm. The “Proud to Be Pocatello” philosophy is evident everywhere you look.  jeb


Seniors Stop over in Dover

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The city of Dover, founded by William Penn in 1683, is a charming state capital, found precisely in the center of the state. This attractive city is the second largest in the state after Wilmington though it still is small enough to exhibit tons of small town charm.

Dover is a hop skip and a jump from beautiful Delaware Bay. Senior travelers, if you like water, Silver Lake is the core of a 182-acre recreation area right in the heart of the city. Delaware’s capital has its share of museums and attractions.

They say that far too many visitors fail to slow down on their way to the beach. Quelle Dommage! And you senior birders, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors 16,000 acres of marsh and wetlands, so bring your field glasses along.

Seniors Participate In NASCAR Weekends

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Dover, population 38,000+,  became the capital back in 1777, replacing New Castle. This decision to move the capital revolved around the location, providing a safer haven from British raiders who were trolling the waters of the Delaware River.

Dover has many events of interest to senior visitors that take place throughout the year, the biggest of which are arguably the NASCAR weekends. In both April and May, historic Dover tours can be enjoyed during the Old Dover Days festivals.

Today Dover continues to be a hub of state government and business. Its history is showcased at a sprawling Agricultural Museum, a Museum of American Art stocked with lavish works donated by Delaware art collectors, and the Old State House.

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On the city’s southern edge, Dover Air Force Base, the largest airport on the East Coast, is home to a huge aircraft museum. The John Dickinson Plantation is another big draw. The home of John Dickinson, one of Delaware’s foremost statesmen of the Revolutionary and Federal periods, was originally built in 1740. Destroyed by fire in 1804, the brick house was rebuilt in 1896.

Senior travelers, visit Delaware’s Capital Region and you will find it a thrilling getaway destination full of top-rated accommodations, wineries, art galleries, and festivals and events that go on all year long. Delaware State University is another stop well worth a visit. And if those attractions are not enough, TripAdvisor lists 32 things you will not want to miss in and around Dover.

You will be thrilled with Dover and all its amenities. jeb


Seniors Visit Gateway To Northern California

Image 22 San José is the 10th largest city in the US. This senior didn’t know that, did you? Bigger than Dallas, San Francisco or Detroit, San José’s population runs right at one million.

Can you name the top three largest cities?  Yes, it is NYC, LA and Chicago.  Houston runs a close fourth. So grab your coffee and let’s visit San José this morning.

San José is the county seat of Santa Clara County and is the largest city within Silicon Valley, which is a major component of the greater Bay Area. As the hub of Silicon Valley, San José is a popular destination for tourists and business travelers.

Senior visitors soon discover and enjoy the revitalized downtown area including fine accommodations and world class restaurants and shops. You will find downtown San Jose to be a mix of offices, shopping, hotels and restaurants as well as a convention center and the SoFA (South First Area) nightclub district.

San José, called The Gateway to Northern California, is a clean, safe, family-friendly city with a host of world-class amenities. It has great golf courses, one-of-a-kind museums and is only a short drive to wineries, the beaches of Santa Cruz, the Monterey Peninsula, Napa Valley as well as San Francisco.

Seniors Find City Enveloped in History

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Enveloped in history, San José was founded on November 29, 1777 as Pueblo de San José, California’s first civilian settlement, and the first civilian town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California. San José, the site of the first state capital, was incorporated March 27, 1850 as City of San José.

It has changed a lot over the past decades and today, industrial parks, high-tech computer firms and look-alike housing developments have come to dominate the city’s landscape, taking over where farms, ranches and open spaces once spread between the bay and the surrounding hills.

Seniors Find City Packed With Cultural Diversity

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Senior visitors will find San José to be a culturally diverse city packed with historic buildings, excellent museums and fine dining establishments. The Alviso Historic District of nine acres and a number of historic structures is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The old Bank of America Building is one of the oldest buildings in San José. In addition, once a lavish private estate, the Hayes Mansion stands as one of the South Bay’s most impressive and distinctive historical structures.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is highly popular and is located in downtown San José. Built in 1803, it was the first church in town. Wikitravel can fill you in with all the details including how to get there, how to get around and a good description of downtown San José.

Seniors, pack your bags and plan on spending a few days in San José.  You’ll be glad you did.  jeb


Seniors Enjoy Small Town Suwanee

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Suwanee is a town in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The population runs just over 15,000. Seems like many seniors and a wide host of others are always on the alert searching for what are called the “best places to live.” CNN Money picked Suwanee #10 among the top best 100 towns in the entire country.

That’s pretty high folks considering the many alluring small towns. Let’s go exploring. CNN selects only smaller towns and interviews many locals, looking for that great combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community.

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That’s Suwanee! Located a short distance northeast of Atlanta. Historically, Suwanee was put on the map when the railroad was constructed through that section of Gwinnett County in 1871.

There are various accounts regarding the naming of the town. One suggests that Suwanee is an Indian word meaning “echo” while another maintains that it is the Creek word for Shawnee. Another account credits the name to the early white settlers’ way of pronouncing the word “Shawnee.” Either way, the name Suwanee appears to be closely tied to the town’s Native American heritage.

Lake, Mountains and Trails Draw Senior Visitors

Suwanee, like so many other Georgia cities and towns, grew up with both agriculture and the railroads. Although it incorporated in 1949, Suwanee remained a predominantly small community into the 1970s. When highways made it easier for people to move in and out of cities, however, Suwanee blossomed.

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The city official website can fill you in on all the amenities of Suwanee.  One of the first things I noted on this site was the 100 reasons link. Check it out and then go exploring on the dozens of other links.  You will soon see why Suwanee rates high for senior visitors and why CNN selected this town as one of the Best. And Kiplinger’s chose Suwanee one of ten Best Places to Raise a Family.

Suwanee’s “downtown” encompasses two distinct, vibrant areas: historic Old Town with a quaint commercial area along Main Street and the emerging award-winning Town Center. Suwanee is one of those great small towns that keep getting better and better.

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It has excellent schools, some of the best parks in the state, great dining and shopping, and affordable housing. As a middle class suburb of Atlanta, it is close to many jobs and offers great opportunities for those that own their own business.

Only a few minutes from Suwanee is Lake Lanier and not far past the lake is the North Georgia Mountains   where you can hike, camp, and enjoy a plethora of wildlife.  And cycling trails. You will find them all over the place.

Senior visitors, enjoy this town for yourself. You will find it highly inviting and full of folks who will join in on any conversation you wish to start. jeb


Seniors Visit Morongo Basin and Yucca Valley

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They say that…”There’s more than sand in the Desert” and that’s true in southern California. Often referred to as the “gateway” to California’s outback, the Morongo Basin is conveniently situated just a short drive to some of Southern California’s great outdoor destinations.

With the majestic Joshua Tree National Park on its southern border, the basin communities play host year-round to senior visitors and outdoor recreation enthusiasts from all over the world. The Joshua tree is said to have been given its name by early Mormon settlers. Its upraised limbs and bearded appearance reminded them of the prophet Joshua leading them to the promised land. It’s actually a treelike variety of yucca, a member of the agave family.

Shosone-speaking Chemuevi and Serrano Indians occupied the Morongo Basin, about half of which is occupied by the city of Yucca Valley, until small pox epidemic decimated them in the 1880s. By that time, the area was being prospected by Americans, Mexicans and Chinese.


The California Welcome Center is found on State Route 62 in Yucca Valley and offers senior visitors information and resources for the California Desert. From Idyllwild to Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, from Palm Springs to Big Bear, the courteous Ambassadors at the Center will show you where to eat, where to stay, and where to play while you’re in the Basin and in Yucca Valley.

 Mild Weather, Clean Air Attracts Senior Visitors

Yucca Valley enjoys a unique combination of mild but seasonable weather and is proud of its clean air, dark night skies, spectacular vistas and casual lifestyle. Located in San Bernardino County the population today runs right at 22,000. The locals enjoy easy access to the Palm Springs resort communities, Big Bear mountain destinations, and the beaches of Southern California.

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Because the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center occupies hundreds of thousands of acres 20 miles to the north, the city of Yucca Valley is home to many military personnel. The Joshua Tree National Park attracts much of the tourism to the Morongo Basin and makes for some awesome scenery.

Yucca Valley started life as “Lone Star” in the early 1900s and served as a resting point for the horse-drawn supply trains between the town of Banning and the mining areas around Twentynine Palms. Development in the area started in 1923 with the first gas station at the “Lone Star Ranch.” Today Yucca Valley is considered the economic hub of the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities.

The endless hiking, camping, climbing and equestrian opportunities make the outdoors a way of life in Yucca Valley. With more than 320 days each year of sunny skies and clear nights, residents and visitors find plenty of time to enjoy nature walks, stargazing, and participating in a variety of special events in Yucca Valley and its neighboring communities.

Mayor Lombardo invites us all to come for a visit. jeb


“Hub City” Attracts Senior Visitors

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Lubbock (pop 230,000) is the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas. The city is about half way between Amarillo and Midland in West Texas. Historically, Lubbock began as two smaller towns until 1890 when “Old Lubbock” and “Monterey” joined together, on a new site, to establish a town consisting of 50 people. Lubbock was founded as a part of the movement westward onto the High Plains of Texas by ranchers and farmers.

 Senior visitors will find three famed universities: Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  Lubbock’s nickname is theHub City, which derives from it being the economic, education, and health care hub of a multi-county region commonly called the South Plains.

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Some locals prefer to call Lubbock simply LUBB. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world.  Irrigation is crucial, taken from the famed Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest aquifers. A host of local wineries feature tours and tastings and the area is the second largest recognized grape growing region in Texas.

 Seniors Remember Buddy Holly

Archeology and natural history coexist here in preservation. For almost 12,000 years, this area was occupied by ancient peoples and they have left traces that scientists still actively excavate.

A trip to Lubbock would not be complete without a stop at the Buddy Holly Center. The center features a permanent exhibit dedicated to the life and music of Buddy Holly, a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll. Unique memorabilia ranging from his famous glasses to his guitar are on display.

Holly was one of the most memorable voices of the 1950s and his death sent ripples throughout the nation. Buddy Holly Plaza commemorates the man who is arguably Lubbock’s most famous citizen with a larger-than-life monument of the performer rocking out on his guitar in a dapper suit.

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Nearby, the Walk of Fame displays the names of other notable Lubbock-area residents of the past and present, including Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Dean and Roy Orbison.

Senior travelers can visit the National Ranching Heritage Center. One hundred and fifty years of ranching from 1780 to 1930 are preserved and celebrated in this 30-acre historical park. Forty-eight authentic  ranch buildings have been moved to this site, all fully explorable and all re-furnished.

Be sure to visit Mackenzie Park and view some of Lubbock’s most beloved critters at Prairie Dog Town, a living, active prairie dog community at which senior visitors are invited to watch and learn about these little critters.

Enjoy good West Texas hospitality in Lubbock.  jeb


Seniors Love La Cuidad de Mexico

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Mexico is unlike any other country this senior citizen has visited, and I love Mexico City!  The friendly people, the cultural and historical sites, the weather, the prices, the countryside and just hanging out where the locals hang out add to my many fond memories.

As Mexico’s capital it is one of the liveliest and largest cities in the world, with a renowned arts-and-culture scene, an entire district that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  and some of the best cuisine in the world.

The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325. Spanish conquistadors founded Mexico City in 1521 atop the razed island-capital, that was the cultural and political center of the Aztec (Mexica) empire.  Subsequently it was redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards.

Seniors Visit Biggest City

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La Cuidad de Mexico is an awesome city and like any great metropolis, it presents a wide mosaic of scenes. One moment you’re enjoying tequila at a grand old cantina, the next you’re listening to world-class DJs on a rooftop terrace. Senior travelers, on your first trip to Mexico City, I’d suggest a Hop On-Hop Off Bus Tour to get you acquainted with the city.

It’s called the “Biggest City in the World.”  Others say Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, Delhi or Shanghai. Daily Mexicans are pouring in, however, just as many are pouring out. Mexico City is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Entrapped in a large valley, the automobile exhaust, industrial smoke and other ozone depleting causes leave many with breathing difficulties.

History abounds everywhere with at least a dozen major working archaeological sites within the city limits. Our guide said that her family dug up Aztec ruins doing some remodeling in their basement.

Seniors Visit Historic Center

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This fascinating capital beguiles senior visitors with endless options. Many of the most visited tourist attractions in Mexico City are concentrated in the historic center, including the Plaza de la Constitucion or Zócalo that is an absolute “must see.”

Visit the National Palace located on the same square and and view several of Diego Rivera’s restored frescos.  Also on the Zócalo is the Metropolitan Cathedral. It is huge and due to earthquakes, is filled with scaffolding supporting the arches and the main roof.

Close by is the Templo Mayor, a large stone pyramid with the familiar wide staircases and temples seen throughout Mexico. The Palace of Fine Arts is beautiful and has sunk several feet into the ground having been built on soft soil.

One of the most important museums in Mexico, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, contains one of the world’s largest collections of archaeological and anthropological artifacts from pre-hispanic Mayan civilizations to the Spanish conquest. A visit to this museum was a highlight for me and my students.

Senior travelers will find Mexico City to be one of the most fascinating, fun and exciting cities you have ever visited. jeb


Seniors Shout Eureka

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I look at the TV weather map daily and today Eureka California caught my eye. Eureka is unique. I learned that it lies along Humboldt Bay 270 miles north of San Francisco.

Humboldt Bay, California’s second-largest bay includes a museum, boat launch and assortment of wildlife and stands as a major attraction. The Bay, home to California’s only open-ocean boat launch, is a favorite among fisherman who enjoy catching perch, jacksmelt, California halibut, salmon, leopard sharks, clams, bat rays and crabs.

With the largest ocean fishing fleet in California, Eureka lands more rock-fish, Dungeness Crab, salmon, shrimp and oysters, than any other region in California. Reason enough right there for you senior gourmet visitors to spend a few days in Eureka.

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For senior birders, 250 species inhabit the Bay, many of which are found in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Eureka and Humboldt County are popular with hikers, nature lovers and anyone who enjoys Victorian architecture.

It is the westernmost city of more than 25,000 residents in the 48 contiguous states. Greater Eureka is the location of the largest deep water port between San Francisco and Coos Bay.

Seniors Find the Williamsburg Of The West

The rich history of Eureka is so well-preserved in the community’s “Old Town” district that the town has been officially declared the 477th California Historical Landmark. With a plethora of elaborate Victorian homes, mansions, and commercial buildings dating back to the 1850′s, Eureka is called “The Williamsburg of the West.”

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The city is surrounded by hundreds of miles of magnificent 1,000 year old giant Redwood trees, some so huge you can drive a car right through them, and, get this…taller than a football field. As Capitol of the fabled Redwood Empire, senior travelers will enjoy those Giant Redwood trees and rugged California coastlines, while enjoying opulence and grandeur in a host of super lodging facilities.

Travelers come to the California North Coast for many reasons. For some it is the majestic redwoods, for others it is a glimpse of the Victorian seaport City of Eureka, still others for the rich cultural and historic character of the area.

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 Victorian Mansions And Art Town Greet Seniors

Abigail’s “Elegant Victorian Mansion” is a National Historic Landmark dating back to 1888 and major draw to Eureka. The Carson Mansion is one of the highest executions of American Queen Ann architecture in America. The mansion is a mix of every major style of Victorian Architecture, including but not limited to: Eastlake, Italianate, Queen Anne (primary), and Stick.

The arts community has earned Eureka the No. 1 spot in “The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America”. And sure enough, TripAdvisor recommends the Redwood Highway, the Lost Coast Trail and Sequoia Park Garden.

When you are in northern California, check out Eureka, marvel at the huge redwood  trees and the magnificent Pacific Ocean.  Folks there are just awaiting your arrival to show you a good time.  jeb


Seniors Head To Beaumont

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Beaumont, in Jefferson County Texas, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan has a population of 120,000 plus. The town was named Beaumont, after Jefferson Beaumont. The Port of Beaumont is a deep water international public seaport located on the Neches River 40 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Naturally inviting, Beaumont is the gateway to the Big Thicket National Preserve where senior visitors can glide through the waters of Village Creek, hike the trails through the Piney Woods, or enjoy the sights and sounds of countless bird species.

They say that Beaumont is “Texas with a little something extra.” This senior likes the sound of that and wanted to see what was so “extra” about Beaumont. Lamar University is one reason, with its 15,000 student body.

Crockett Street is home to five historic buildings that have been restored to host Beaumont’s best nightclubs, restaurants and a formal banquet facility.

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Known for its festivals, Crockett Street regularly offers outdoor concerts and street parties. Senior travelers will discover a thriving downtown cultural district with beautifully renovated buildings, brick-paved sidewalks, restaurants, museums and exciting riverfront developments. About 5 minutes East of Beaumont in Vidor is Boomtown Lake, a fun spot to cool off.

 Seniors Kick Up Their Heels In The Dance Hall

The interior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Anthony is well worth a visit. More than just a boot scootin’ good time, Dixie Dance Hall is a Beaumont favorite and a legendary South East Texas dance hall.

And senior foodies… The colorful combination of Texas and Cajun influences found throughout local Beaumont cuisine keep folks just like us coming back for more. Dive into savory Texas barbecue, spicy crawfish dishes, gumbo, and maybe try the barbecued crabs.

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The city is so close to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico that senior visitors will never taste fresher seafood. And if you like savory spices, you must try Beaumont’s own local favorite, TexJoy Steak Seasoning.

 If you search on TripAdvisor, up comes a photo of Crockett Street and you will not want to bypass this fascinating section of town. In addition check out these 22 major attractions that include the McFaddin-Ward House Museum, the Fire House Museum of Texas and the Spindletop Museum. Yes, there are eight great museums in Beaumont.

My wife and I would head off to the Beaumont Botanical Gardens. This 23.5 acre garden of ever-changing beauty is located near the entrance to Tyrrell Park.

With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont’s population grew rapidly from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901. Oil is, and has always been, a major export of the city, and a major contributor to the national GDP.

Beaumont has much to offer senior visitors.  You’ll be glad you stopped. jeb


Seniors Visit Cities With Weird Names

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Image living in Hell, Michigan, Cow Springs, Arizona or Buck Nob, Arkansas.  Cities with unusual names abound all over the world. This senior has always liked French Lick, Indiana, home to NBA star Larry Bird.

Then we come up with Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Wales) and you are dared to say that twice in a row. Actually, you are dared to say it even once.

Image 35The world is a treasure trove of communities with eccentric names. So let’s have a cup of coffee and explore some more of the most unique — if that’s what you’d call it — names around to inspire your next quirky road trip.

Someone came up with a list of the 50 Cities With Funny Names and seniors may enjoy thumbing through the weird names.  If you want to take the the time, try reading aloud these Wikipedia Funny Names without laughing. You may end up saying to yourself “get your mind out of the gutter.”

 Seniors Search Out Wacky Names

Image 36Seniors can do some searching with Google, Yahoo or Bing and you will find many many more.  You can search by state or by country. There is always a good reason and for most an interesting history behind the name.

Happyland, CT, Lucky Stop, KY or Smileyberg, KS. Yes America’s a big country and there is lots of room for weird-named towns. From the easternmost reaches of Maine to the western Alaska islands in the Bering Sea, the list includes towns with every imaginable title.

 According to local folklore, the Michigan town of Hell wasn’t named for fire and brimstone. Since it was a town built around a grain mill that quickly became a producer of moonshine, many men would disappear in a drunken state.

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Often asked where their husbands were, the wives would simply say, “He’s gone to hell.” So when it came time to name the town, the owner of the mill George Reeves said, “Call it Hell for all I care, everyone else does.”

How about Looneyville, Texas that was founded during the Civil War and named after John Looney. Looney opened a store here in the 1870s and the population slowly climbed until World War I. Happyland is a small town on the banks of the Connecticut River.

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The tiny Oklahoma town of Slaughterville was named after grocery store owner James Slaughter. Despite this fact, the town became the subject of a PETA protest. PETA asked the town to change its name to Veggieville, with the promise of donating $20,000 in veggie burgers to the school district if they did.

Unfortunately, Slaughterville does not have its own school district, so the offer was quickly rejected. Senior readers, you can probably add some wierd names that you know of to this list.

Happy Mother’s Day,  jeb

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