Monday, March 16, 2009
Effingham, IL: Effingham, Effingham, Effingham
For the majority of my undergrad years, I worked at my Uncle Ace's Sunoco station in Effingham, IL. The station had a small footprint just a few hundred feet from the two interstates that merged through town. Every day, thousands of travelers headed all directions to myriad destinations hopped on and off the exit for "grub and gas". Sometimes you could get a feeling for what Mark Twain must have felt watching barges go up and down the Mississippi in his childhood home of Hannibal, MO.
Now the Sunoco wasn't exactly the busiest gas station in town. This made it the perfect job for a commuting college student; which is to say it left plenty of time to complete my studies. In the summer however, the evening shift seemed to last forever. Remembering my father's early lectures on idle hands, I would find myself engaged in all sorts of activities to pass the time. After completing just about every productive task, I soon found myself drawn to the POS (point of sale) display for Rand McNally US Atlases.
Inside the atlas, a whole world of names and places revealed themselves to me. Remember this is before the internet - Bill Gates was busy dabbling with Altair computers at this time! One evening, after determining that Tennessee bordered more states than any other state (8), I asked myself: Is there only one Effingham in the United States? Much to my surprise, not only were we not alone in our unique combo name of a slang swear word / pork product moniker - there were several!
Here were the results of my non Google aided research:
Effingham Lake, Ont
Effingham Inlet, Vancouver Island
and, drum roll....all hugging the Maine border in New Hampshire
Effingham Falls, NH
Center Effingham, NH
South Effingham, NH
Did I miss any? Let me know!