Small Town... Big Name
United States
Boise
Idaho
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I got to thinking about where all you people are from and realized that I don't know enough about you to properly flame-bait you over on Chit-Chat or in the Politics forums. Furthermore, people who were raised in large cities generally have stories and backgrounds identical to other people raised in large cities... you know, the usual "Well, I was first mugged at 11, first smoked dope at 12, arrested several times before my 14th birthday, had access to all the super-hip clothes and attended University for my degree in Communications/Liberal Arts/Cosmotology, etc. I now spend my time looking for storage in my 1 bedroom walk-up and hanging out with other people in hip clothes at urban coffee shops and night clubs where we sneer at people who weren't raised in cultural centers like my city."

So, I decided to use the Geek List section to invite all you small town folks to speak out... and also to tell us what it is that makes your little one-horse town world-famous. I mean WORLD FAMOUS. Not hick stuff like "Worlds Most Confusing Switchback Road"... but something anyone who's traveled a bit and is reasonably aware would recognize.

Here's mine:

Being one of the lucky ones who is from a small town... really small... I developed a case-hardened outer skin when people would ineveitably ask, "So, where were you born?"

"Why, I'm from Cisco, Texas", I'd reply. Then I'd endure the smirks and guffaws that followed, as well as the nickname "The Cisco Kid" when I moved to the big cities of Dallas and El Paso. Real smart-asses would try and mimick Pancho by shouting out, 'Awww, Ceeeesco!"

When I moved to the UK I figured the days of being the subject of mirth (cruel mirth) would end, but I forgot to leave the Texas drawl where it belonged and so I endured another round of jokes and jibes... only this time from real pasty people with bad teeth and tea stains on their lapels.

In my defense I would often point out that most people had stayed in a world-famous hotel that was founded right after WWI in my dusty little Texas hometown. Yep, you stayed in one too... if you've ever stayed in a Hilton Hotel. Conrad Hilton started his chain of hotels right in downtown Cisco. And if it hadn't been for my hometown and old Conrad the world would never have been blessed with Paris Hilton doing the hoo-hah boogie for several hundred million of you on the internet.

Usually, people I informed about Cisco's connection to world-wide fame would laugh and say, "No way man. That's ludicrous." But it's also true . Not to mention, at one point Cisco boasted the "World's Largest Swimming Pool". I used to swim there. I actually didn't know it was a swimming pool when I was a kid. I thought it was just a couple of acres of algae-covered concrete left over from some forgotten WPA project. I'm not sure it still exists... but I hope so, the old lady who ran the snow cone machine always put extra blue stuff in mine.

Chime in... add a game that showcases why your town is special.
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1. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:14988]
United States
Boise
Idaho
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Conrad Hilton founded the Hilton Hotel chain in my tiny little Texas hometown in 1919. My Grandpa used to sell produce and meat to the restaurant in the hotel. I guess goat meat was popular as an entree back then because he always kept the beef he butchered for the family. Or maybe he sold them rabbit meat.

Cisco, Texas used to have over 5,000 people. No more though. According to the 2000 census it's now closer to 3,000 people and darn near 25% are below the poverty line. At least something's improved there since I was a kid.
 
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2. Board Game: Monopoly: Century of Flight Aviation [Average Rating:5.11 Unranked]
Destiny's got her hand way, way up in their puppets! It's an unpleasant tingling! The deepest of wriggles!
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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But my greatest power is this: When Destiny speaks, she speaks to me. She says hi, by the way.
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A few miles south of Kingman, Kansas, (pop. 3,500) is the former home of aviation pioneer Clyde Cessna. Cessna built planes and taught himself to fly them in Oklahoma, but much of his early design work was done on his Kansas farm. It was this early work that spawned the Cessna Aircraft Company.

Cessna spent the last 20 years of his life on this farm. He, his wife, their children and their children's spouses are buried near here in Greenwood Cemetery.

The local museum has a number of rare photographs of Cessna and his earliest designs, as well as a number of aviation artifacts from the farm.

The local airport, Clyde Cessna Field, was recently renovated and boasts a 4,300-foot main runway and a 3,400-foot crosswind runway.
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3. Board Game: Castle [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:2829]
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
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Castle Dale, Utah Population, 1600 or so.

Castle Dale is the county seat of Emery County. The county has a total of 10,000 people, and it is larger in square miles than Delaware and Rhode Island.

Currently, there is not one stop light in the entire county.

I met my wife at Emery High. She is originally from Soda Springs, Idaho, but she grew up in nearby Elmo, Utah, population 350 (counting the cats and dogs). She lived on Mill Creek Road, so technically, she is from the suburbs of Elmo.

For our first date after I got my driver's license, we drove into the big town of Price. I didn't know how to navigate the street lights. I was scared to death.

Elmo is named for the first four settlers of the area: Ericksen, Larsen, Mortensen, and Oviatt. Mortensen was my great grandfather.

The Mayor of Castle Dale is currently my brother, Neal Peacock. In his reign of terror, he has annexed a great deal of land, growing the size of Castle Dale substantially. He has also vassalized Orangeville. I believe he has plans to conquer Ferron. Shhh.

I made money hauling hay for the ranchers around there. Hauling hay is hard work. One fall, I was in the middle of two-a-day practices for football (8:00am and 6:00pm). In between the two grueling practices, I would go out and haul hay for Art. By Thursday, I was dead. I called him and told him that I would not be able to make it for the rest of the week. I hauled hay for him many times after that, yet I just saw him a few months ago (20 years later), and the first thing he said to me was,

"Yer the one that quit on me aren't ya?" Yep, ranchers are like that.

WORLD FAMOUS: Castle Dale borders on the San Rafael Swell, one of the best kept secrets of geological wonders. I find it more breathtaking than any of the five Utah National Parks. The Wedge overlook, for instance, cuts through more rock formations than the Grand Canyon, but it's all right there in front of you. Just gorgeous. Of course, I am prejudice. My Dad was the Justice of the Peace, but he was also a geologist and taught geology, chemistry, and physics at the high school. We practically lived in that desert.
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4. Board Game: Borderline: Europe/Middle East Edition [Average Rating:4.38 Unranked]
Sebastian
Germany
Hürth
NRW
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I won an Games for Geekgold Lottery with 0.09% Chance of winning. You sure you wanna mess with me?
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Schengen, Luxembourg.
1581 Inhabitants

Well - honestly it's not my hometown. I'm from Cologne.

But right now I live really close to this tiny village and if you ever heard something of European politics you'll know the "Schengener Abkommen". On a ship on the river Mosel - right where the borders of France, Luxemburg and Germany meet - in 1985 this treaty was signed. It lead to the opening of all inner-european Borders in 1995 (and expansions in the following years).

If you travel from Germany maybe through the Netherlands, Belgium or Luxemburg then France and Spain to Portugal you'll never have to show your Passport or even stop at a border.

Today you can sometimes see Japanese Tourists coming to this european attraction wandering somewhat disturbed through the tiny nice village at the mosel river because maybe they expected a somewhat bigger place...
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5. Board Game: Underground Railroad Perilous Journey to Freedom [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
I am happy.
United States
Milford
Ohio
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Springboro, Ohio was a stop on the Underground Railroad. As many as 4,000 slaves came through Springboro on their flight for freedom. Nine houses are identified as Underground Railroad stations.

Legend has it that the Slave Trackers would camp out in Springboro, knowing that it was a stop. However, the wily runners kept evading them. Later it was discovered that if a certain house had a quilt airing on the clothes line, it meant the town wasn't safe.

Of the nine houses, one is our next door neighbor's who have a huge mansion and a catacomb of passages inside their house. I like to think that our house was used as a stop, it has a tiny cellar, hidden in the back of the basement.

Finally, Springboro is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What does it take to be listed?
The National Register's standards were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a significant contribution to our country's history and heritage.
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6. Board Game: Beat Detroit [Average Rating:4.54 Unranked]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
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Man, I got nothin'. I'm from Detroit - that's not small and not famous for anything good except the 1968 Tigers and maybe Alex Karras.

I currently live in a small town, though: Plymouth, NH. It's where Nathaniel Hawthorne died - does that count for anything? Oh, and Daniel Webster ("Flies, Dan'l, flies!") pled his first court case here.
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7. Board Game: 1825 Regional Kit R1: Wales [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Lindsay Thomas
United Kingdom
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Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Anglesey, Wales, UK.

Small Town... Big Name
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8. Board Game: Bible Balderdash [Average Rating:4.18 Unranked]
Marc P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Go Huskies!...oh, well
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Well, not much fame is attached to my home town of Trenton, MI. But when I was 12, we packed up and moved to Fort Mill, SC (population 4,200 or so when I got there), where my dad opened a hardware store. I think that some minor Civil War events occurred at Fort Mill, but nothing historically important. I believe that Springs, Inc., a textile company that has since been conglomerated into Springs-Wamsutta, was founded in Fort Mill, and has battled for regional dominance with Hoescht-Celanese and Cannon for lo, these many years. But that's not what brought Fort Mill into the limelight.

No, it is a large plot of land, just outside of town, that was developed by Roe Messner for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Club (People That Love, or, locally, Pass The Loot). Heritage USA, replete with campground, water park and world class hotel (unfinished and crumbling last time I saw it), was supposed to be a place of Christian refreshment for travelers and seekers. There were a few hundred small houses built in the property that were supposed to be for contributors of a certain level. People would send them lots of money, often their life savings, with the expectation that they could just show up and be taken in. The problem was, they sold too many "promises", leading to a financial investigation and eventual ruin of the PTL empire.

I was there for pretty much the whole sad saga. My parents eventually bought one of the houses for pretty cheap and lived there for a few years.
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