Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hickory North Carolina - 7/16/09

I am visiting Hickory North Carolina for a few days. The very funny comedian, Jon Reep, is from here and much of his act relates to Hickory being a small hick town. By my standards it is far from a small town. This is coming from a guy that grew up in Smelterville, Idaho. The ultimate small, hick town. My measuring stick as to whether I am in a small town or a city is whether or not they have a Hooters. There is one Hooters in the entire state of Idaho.

The metro area of Hickory is roughly the population of Wyoming (which contains no Hooters). It does have a small town atmosphere though. While the bowels of most cities are great places to become a victim of crime, Hickory’s downtown has been developed and is a wonderful place to explore. It gives the impression of a city park. While there, we stumbled upon the Olde Hickory Tap Room and had a great dining experience. Even though it was midweek, this place was happening. I can’t wait to experience it on the weekend.

But hick town it may be. I am staying at the Marriott. I had some things to mail and approached the desk to get direction to the post office. There were three clerks at the desk. They looked at me like I had asked for the coordinates of Vulcan. They came to the consensus that they indeed could not provide me any usable information. Unbelieving, I further inquired. I was told that even though they know how to get to the post office, they could not tell me how they do it. I think Columbus had a better idea how to get to India than these ladies to get across town.

But they were helpful. They said they had stamps and offered to mail the correspondence for me. Relieved, I asked if they had a scale so we could apply the appropriate postage. They did not have a scale but said they just guess the postage. Since I wanted the parcels to actually get to their destination, I declined their offer. One of them then opened a binder and handed me a slip of paper that had directions to the post office typed out. It was older than the photo on a real estate agent’s business card but proved helpful. Instead of street names/numbers it used landmarks: Outback Steak House, ABC store, green house, white church, brown dog. No references to any street names/numbers.

I found the post office with relative ease but did realize the difficulty the clerks were having in offering me assistance. The street numbering system in Hickory is one of the most original and confusing I have ever encountered. For instance, there is a 3rd Ave SE, a 3rd Ave SW, a 3rd Ave NE, and a 3rd Ave NW. None are directly connected. It is easier to get around Baghdad negotiating IEDs.

I was relieved that the post office utilized a scale and did not guess the postage. I think my shipments have a 50/50 chance of arriving at the desired addresses. And that is about all we can hope for.


Songwraith said...

Nice post! and great photos!

Go Figure said...

Whale: Smelterville may not have a Hooters, but it had Frontier Days! Much better!