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Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

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Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Originally published March 21, 2008

Reprinted with permission from Bay Area News Group – East Bay.

There’s no place like home.  Well, there’s almost no place like it, if we’re talking about our hometown of Piedmont.  It turns out there are at least nine other towns of the same name in the United States.

While trying to pull up Piedmont’s website recently, I was surprised to find a whole slew of others. There are towns named Piedmont in Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.

Before discovering the others, I thought we had the market cornered.  But, it appears we have to take a number, and it happens to be number two, because our town of Piedmont came up behind Piedmont, Mo. at the time of my Google search.

Knowing a challenge when I see it, I wanted to find out more about this other guy – Piedmont, Mo.  Considering the Missouri version trumped us in an online search, I couldn’t help feeling a bit competitive.  As hometowns go, Piedmont, Mo. couldn’t possibly have everything we have.

I think about the physical beauty here.  Our town is lush with mature trees, grassy parks, and showy flowers.  There’s eye-catching landscaping all around.  To top it off, we overlook the shimmering San Francisco Bay.

But, I guess Piedmont, Mo. isn’t exactly lacking in beauty.  According to the town’s website, there are “miles and miles of trees, clear streams and rivers, beautiful lakes, fresh air and solitude.” The area is also known for songbirds and wildlife sightings.

It’s got to be pretty hard to beat our town center, though, with all its charm.  Our city hall and fire station look like something out of a toy village.  There’s also our store, Mulberry’s Market, with candy bins resembling those from old-time penny candy shops.

Apparently, this other Piedmont has more than one downtown store.  Several stores sell antiques and crafts.  The website describes the town as a tourist destination.

Considering their lakes, wildlife and antique shopping, I decided to try a little harder.  Attempting to gain some ground, I went for what I assumed was a sure bet – the weather.  But, on that day, our 58 degrees was narrowly behind their 59 degrees.  Then, I thought about our well-maintained streets and enviable public services.  According to the Piedmont, Mo. website, the town recently received six grants to improve the water system, streets and sidewalks.  What about our friendliness – that must count for something.  Flashing at the top of their online newspaper, I saw an advertisement for, “Meet other Piedmont singles – for free”.

After a little more digging, I finally found it.  In Piedmont, Mo., they only have one traffic light. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least four traffic lights here.

With all my digging, I discovered other things about Piedmont, Mo.  The fire department just got a new fire truck.  Also, Jeanette Clover was recently crowned Homecoming Queen at the high school, and the girl’s basketball team just celebrated a victory.  Then, there’s Sgt. Shawn Smith, a graduate of the high school, who is married with two children – he’s getting ready to be deployed to Iraq.

It seems there’s something familiar about every hometown.  We are all different, but we are also a lot alike.  I’m guessing we would all agree, perhaps no one more than Sgt. Shawn Smith of Piedmont, Mo., that there’s no place like home.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

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