What makes you unique?

Knowing that many of you hail from several different states, I was wondering what makes your state unique? What mentality sets you apart? What culture, tradition, or history makes you special?

Here in Oregon, I have always been fond of our propensity to blow things up. Whenever faced with a challenge, we reach for dynamite.

Whether its a beached whale see: [url]http://www.hackstadt.com/features/whale[/url] or a shipwrecked oil tanker see:[url]http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/04/ship.aground.01[/url]



  • 30 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Yikes! I'm in California - have to think about your question for a bit before I venture into this.
  • very interesting -- I recently moved to Louisiana from Wisconsin. All the things that Louisianians tout as making them unique are things I find "odd" (OK - sometimes I just don't plain like some of them!) -- and all my "Wisconsinisms" just float over everyone's heads here...

    I think the one thing I tend to tell people here that they don't believe is that in Wisconinsin we were much more "party/drinking/festival" oriented than they are here. In LA they think they have cornered the market on festivals (with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest and little towns having periodic festivals) and life is centered around food and fests, etc.

    Let me tell you... there is NO WHERE to compare to Wisconsin when it comes to festivals (constantly - especially in summer in Milwaukee with Summerfest alone having 1 million attendees) and practically every corner has 2 or 3 or 4 taverns. I think it stemmed from our German, Scandinavian, Polish and other settlers who were #1. too cold to do anything else and #2. knew a good time when they saw one!

  • I agree with Cxjo. Wisconsiners do know how to party and have a good time.

    I also think in Wisconsin the people are very friendly and love the PACKERS, BRATS, AND BEER.

    GO PACK!!!!!!

  • Growing up in Minnesota, we always went to Wisconsin to party (hey when I was in college Wis. Kept the drinking age lower).

    Almost every intersection in Wisconsin has a bar on it. I remember driving out in the country in the middle of no where Wis. and coming to an intersection where there were 3 bars. The only other thing out there was corn fields and cows. Made me wonder if the cows were going in for a little libation and that's why the dairy products from Wis. are sooo goooood!
  • Evidently all those Northern Europeans who liked to have a good time stayed in Wisconsin. The ones that came to Minnesota thought life was hard, and you got what you worked for. A truly dour bunch. Lake Woebegone is not just a story.

    Of course, these are the same people that elected Jesse Ventura govenor, so you can't say they don't appreciate a good joke when they see one.....
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 12-10-02 AT 05:42PM (CST)[/font][p]I'm originally from Oklahoma where we call canned soft drinks "pop." Here in Tennessee, everything is "Coke." You go through the drive-thru at McDonald's and order a Coke and they ask you what kind of Coke you want! Do you want Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, or Coke? I get laughed out of the house when I ask if anyone would like a pop. They think I'm offering them a whack at my grandad.

    Other southern sayings I've picked up since moving here:
    I'm "fixin' to" go to the store.
    "howsyermomenem?" Translation: How's your Mom and them (Dad doesn't count).
    "Y'all" (of course) vs. my previous "you guys."

    All in all, though, I love Tennessee and wouldn't choose to live anywhere else at this point. Lots to do here - mountains, lakes, an abundance of trees, beautiful countryside, rolling hills, music, dancing, art & theater, college & pro sports, shopping, historical sites, volunteer opportunities, tourist traps, and theme parks.

    The thing that distinguishes Tennessee to me is that the state is full of just plain friendly people!

    Christy Reeder
    Website Managing Editor

    P.S. We're going to be in Memphis this weekend - might have to check out Graceland. Hmmmm, we'll see.
  • To add to Christy's post about Tennessee, since I was born and raised here. Other Tennessee oddisms:

    (1) The plural of "ya'll" is "all ya'll."

    (2) We don't lock our crazies up. We trot them out and show them off!

    (3) A friend of mine from the North once asked me why Southerners will say something awful about someone and then follow it with "Bless their hearts" as if that made it okay. I began to listen to my friends and discovered she was right:

    "She must have gained 50 pounds. Bless her heart."
    "That is the ugliest baby. Bless its heart." etc.
    The southern male equivalent is "God love him(her)" as in "He's the worst drunk ever. God love him."

    (4) To the contrary, southerners have wonderful manners. I always knew someone had an ugly baby when I would hear my mother ("Momma" for those of you from my neck of woods) say, "My how alert he(she) is!"

    Bye ya'll!

    Margaret Morford
  • Another southernism I have learned since moving to the south... most women are given an honorific title, i.e. "Miss" Betty, "Miss" Susan, "Miss" Amanda" etc

    I get called "Miss" at work, in the store after writing a check, by the neighbors.. everyone!

  • I still say Pop. .not sure where I acquired it. Being a military brat I am sorta of a melting pot. Here it is SODA and I, too, am ridiculed for pop. Too old to change my ways tho.
  • The beached whale story is amazing. Can't top it but we did have a manatee get stuck in a storm drain :(. It died and no one knew it was there for several days until the odor. .well you can imagine. It was quite a sight to see all the big, tough utilites guys losing their lunches while the fire department came to the rescue.
  • Although I LIVE in Arizona, I'm from New Jersey. I honor the NY minute, have the Jersey gurl reputation and think that everyone else talks funny. That's why I'm so special. ;;)
  • Short and to the point -- I don't want to sound too arrogant, but I'm from New York.
  • Well, now that I am awake we will temporarily move to the west coast. For the benefit of the Wisconsin people we have a unique TV advertisement in CA. First, there is a picture of a miserable looking cow in a howling blizzard, then the picture switches to a pleasant looking cow in a sunny California meadow and finally, the logo of the California Cheese Association appears and the announcer says "better cheese comes from happy cows." Ya'll Wisconsinites will like that, I'm sure.

    There are three California's - north, central and south and they are as different as night and day. I think that a unique characteristic of Southern California is the diversity of the people. Most of the recent immigrants in the US live here. I have a newspaper from the elementary classroom of one of my kids and it describes the class as coming from 17 different countries and speaking ten different languages, not counting English. The newspaper is 10 years old. In my little cul-de-sac street of 24 homes there are families from India, China, Japan, Korea, Phillipines, Argentina, Guatemala, South Africa, Iran and Russia and I don't know everyone at the other end.
  • On an only slightly related note, I just an article on how PETA is suing the CA
    Cheese Board (or dairy council, or whomever is responsible for the "Happy Cow" ads for false advertising and unfair business practices because the ad "improperly portrays idyllic conditions for dairy cows and misleads consumers."

    What next?
  • I live in Washington state and of course, there's the rain...but probably what distinguishes this area is that we have more coffee shops per square mile than I bet anywhere else. By my office there's a Starbucks right out the lobby door, another coffee shop across the street, and another Starbucks on the adjacent block. Not to mention that the hospital I work near has its own coffee stands in the cafeterias. Do you know that we have drive-through coffee stands? Very handy on the way to work. How about a tall, fat free, double latte' with vanilla? Not many people order just plain coffee. I was born in New Jersey and when I moved to Seattle, I had to get use to the words they use here. Kleenex for tissue (not all tissues are made by Kleenex),pop instead of soda - I still say soda, tennis shoes instead of sneakers - that makes no sense to me; we said pocketbook in NJ - no one knew I was talking about a purse. And a word used in NJ for pizza that I haven't heard anywhere else - tomato pie.

  • Interesting comments. Some states are being very quiet.

    A couple more Oregon traits, in addition to our fondness for blowing stuff up I have noticed in my 10 years here that no one uses umbrellas despite our torrential rainfall. Its not uncommon to see two people standing in the rain talking, totally oblvivious to the rain. Anyone with an umbrella is almost always a californian.

    Also, Oregon is very environmental. If you throw away a pop (soda) can into the garbage you will draw dirty looks.

  • I moved from Philadelphia (I know, it's a city, not a state), home of the Mummers...O' them golden slippers, to Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks...Woo Pig Sooey!!
  • Franfields: Don't forget Philly steak sandwiches.
  • I'm originally from Okla so am used to ya'll, soda AND pop, etc. I never noticed that I was the only one using soda here until someone pointed it out to me. On the other hand, I have heard a few terms here that I have only heard in the movies before...high-falutin, etc. One thing I have noticed abundantly here in Kansas, is the number of times an OR gets thrown in front of an SH. For instance, they don't wash clothes here. They worsh them.

    Have a good one!
  • How many of YOU can claim your city was founded in 1565?

    As far as the state goes, no one is more unique when it comes to our abilty to count votes and run polls.
  • Texas has something of all the other 49. There are mountains, deserts, forests, beaches, farms and lakes. We get blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, droughts and floods. We can party with the best of them and thump a bible better than some.
  • In Kansas, particularly in sw Kansas we have more cattle than people. In my home county we have over 200,000 head of cattle and probably 9,000 people! MOO MOO BUCKAROO! Dorthy's house from The Wizard of OZ is an hour away from my home town! There's no place like home!

    We also have the world's largest hand dug well and the world's largest ball of twine. BIG tourist traps, let me tell you!
  • >We also have the world's largest hand dug well and the world's largest
    >ball of twine. BIG tourist traps, let me tell you!

    You REALLY have that ball of twine? I though that was just something they made up in the movie "Michael" with John Travolta! It may be a big tourist trap but I'd still like to see that! Does someone know anything about the world's biggest non-stick frying pan? ...God, I have no life.

    Here in Chicago we have great art, blues, the Sear's Tower, Water Tower Place, Woodfield shopping mall (that used to be the biggest mall ever when I was a kid), great pizza and we even have our own seasons; frigid windchill season, construction season, heat index season, back to school season.

    A little trivia: The "S" in Illinois is silent

    (sorry folks, it's a slow afternoooooonnnn!)

  • I haven't visited the Har de Har site lately and boy am I sorry! Here in South Carolina, we have Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott (what else can I say? - I'm SORRY!)

    Anyway, I was born in Texas so I the only "foreigner" in my family. Everyone else was born and raised in South Carolina. I have traveled extensively and say "YOU GUYS" instead of y'all.(I was banned as a southerner the first time I used this term). I also order unsweetened tea instad of Southern Wine (sweet tea). I can identify with many of you. I walk fast and talk fast (New York). I love good coffee, especially Starbucks (Washington State) I am a vegetarian, granola grazer (California). I also like cheese and like to party, sort of (Wisconsin). I also like to watch "The Sopranos" (New Jersey).

    I can identify with the soda (they call them "drinks" here).
    We also have "bald" peanuts
    We "mash" our brake pedals vs. pushing them
    Grease is one of the major food groups (that's why cardiologists are in such demand!)
    Funerals are a major social event

    There is alway something to like wherever you are. In SC, we have great weather, especially in the winter. But, summers are pretty hot (hellacious). The change in seasons is pretty - don't have to go to Vermont to see great color in the fall. Cost of living is relatively low - real estate is decently priced.

    Charleston and Beaufort are beautiful areas to visit.

    Y'all come on down, you here?
  • O.K .............I'll fess up, I'm from Massachusetts. There are so many historical sites that are within driving distance, we have great ethnic food - coffee syrup, and soda. We have dinner at lunchtime and supper at dinertime. We drop our "R's" and just elected Mitt Romney as Governor. I love this State!
  • I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and live 45 minutes from Philadelphia. We are home to the Mummers, Betsy Ross's House, The Liberty Bell, Philly Cheesesteaks and of course those 10-3 Eagles.


    We have Valley Forge National Park (George Washington slept here)and The King of Prussia Mall (one of the biggest malls on the east coast). The United States Marine Corp was established in Tunn Tavern here in PA. Crayola Crayons, Hershey chocolate, Herr's chips and Sturgis Pretzels are manufactured here in PA.

    We are home to Jim Thorpe, Daniel Boone, Jimmy Spencer (for you NASCAR followers), Bill Cosby (still goes to almost every home game of the Temple Owls), Arnold Palmer, James Buchanan (15th President), Jim Kelly, Andrew Wyeth, Lee Iacocca, W.C. Fields, and Jimmy Stewart are just a few people that wore born here in PA.

    Pennsylvania is really truly different from east to west. Western and Central PA call it Pop...here in this area (eastern) we call it soda. Since my family is from central PA, rubber bands are gum bands. Pizza is Pizza and purse or pocketbook,I've heard both used. Jumbo is bologna in the Pittsburgh area...here its just plain bologna. Pot pie here is nothing like a pie but more like a stew with noodles. We slam on the brakes (if you ever drive in Philly you will understand) not mash them (I mash and slam).

    Well that's my shout outs for PA.
  • The only reason we ain't blown up no whales is probably cuz there ain't none here. On the other hand, we did blow up quite a few Union gunboats while losing The War Of Northern Agression in 1864. Go less than 600 yards from my house and you can walk, drive or bike the Natchez Trace, an 8000 year old Indian and buffalo trail winding from Nashville through part of Alabama to Natchez in South MS, now turned into a scenic, national 450 mile Parkway. Take a sunny, Saturday drive a few miles to the birthplaces of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, BB King, Charlie Pride, Muddy Waters, Sam Chatman, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Oprah Winfrey, Faith Hill, Gerald McRaney, Lee Ann Rimes, Moe Bandy, Jimmy Buffett, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Jerry Clower, Bo Diddley, Pete Fountain, Morgan Freeman, Bobbie Gentry, Mickey Gilley, Jim Henson, Guy Hovis, James Earl Jones, Dianne Ladd, Tracy Lawrence, Dorothy Moore, Stella Stevens, Marty Stuart, Fingers Taylor, Ike Turner, Son Thomas, Howlin Wolf, Willie Morris, Jerry Rice, Archie Manning or Ray Walston.

    Go over to the East boundary and visit the birthplace of Jimmie Rogers and tip a little green boat out of the back of your pickup and float the Chunky River 100 miles south down to Pascagoula, home of one of the nation's largest military shipbuilders. Or drive just a few minutes to the West where you can see the remains of a failed tunnel General US Grant proposed to dig to cut through the Mississippi River in order to defeat Robert E. Lee at Vicksburg. In stark contrast to our shiney interstate highway system, take a Saturday or Sunday diversion, pick a direction and enjoy hours of winding country roads, twisting through endless crooks, curves, turns and dips through and over and past country waterfalls, forgotten graveyards, antebellum homes, Indian burial mounds, ancient gristmills and deep rutted roads with earthen walls rising 25 feet high after decades of machines scraping and recutting the roads' paths.

    Take a short drive over to Kiln, MS, and talk to Brett Favre's daddy and momma and see his childhood backyard. Without him, Cindy would have no Green Bay Packers! Without our Steve McNair there's another NFL team that would be winless. Without our Walter Payton...Without our Jerry Rice....

    Which state can claim to be home to four Miss America's? Linda Lee Meade, Mary Ann Mobley, Cheryl Prewitt and Susan Diane Akin.....All Mississippians who will welcome ya'll into their homes. Ours is the State where the words "no" and "yes" are typically followed by "Ma'am" or "Sir". Our state elected the first African American to the US Senate and today it has more black mayors and municipal officials than any other state.

    In closing; the proud home of Teddy Roosevelt's comment that gave rise to The Teddy Bear; the world's largest collection of Blues music, the Sweet Potato Capitol of the World (Each year we crown Sweet Potato Queens), Nathan B. Forrest the foremost calvary officer ever produced in America, the world's first human lung transplant in 1963, followed the next year by the world's first heart transplant (University of MS Medical Center), the first coed college in the US to grant a degree to a woman (Miz Somebody), the official home of the USA International Ballet Competition, Cotton Capital of the World, the graves of Emil and Kelly Mitchell who are King And Queen of all the Gypsies in the United States, the founding of Memorial Day in 1866, the very first bottling of Coca-Cola and the home of Barqs Root Beer, the sale of the first shoes actually boxed in pairs (one left foot and one right foot), the very first state college for women, the largest Bible binding plant, home of hatmaker John Stetson, the world's oldest land grant college for African-Americans and the home of the International Checkers Hall of Fame. We've got the largest Army training camp used during World War II, the first woman federal judge in the U.S., and the home of the fiber Rayon; the world's only petrified forest and cactus plantation; the first can of condensed milk and the first nuclear submarine built.

    As I think about this wonderful place, all I can remember that would compete with Paul's state blowing up a whale might be the fact that in 1887, an object fell from the sky during a hail storm near Vicksburg. The object proved to be a 6 inch by 8 inch gopher turtle completely encased in ice. This ain't no lie!

    As I type this I'm listening to Keith Thibodeaux on the local talk radio station. Know who he is? Little Ricky from I Love Lucy. He lives down the street. I know this is long; but, down here we feel like we have to try harder to overcome the predjudices some of you have about our South. Ya'll come! Come as you are. We'll loan you a straw sun hat and we'll provide Cokes iced down in a number 3 wash tub. If you're hungry, catfish is fryin' and momma just pulled another cookie sheet of pralines (PRAW-LEENES) out of the gas stove.
  • I come from the state of Victoria.
    Confused? I'm originally from Australia and Victoria has the southern most capital city - Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia. Like the USA there are differences between each state and city.
    Sydney, whilst a beautiful harbor setting, likes to think they are just like New York. (As I currently live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan I can't wait to go home and set them straight on that point!) Everything is a rush, meals are something you do as quickly as possible so you can get on with doing something else.
    Brisbane, the northern east coast capital is about 20 years behind the rest of the country and everything is a much slower pace of living, the population tend to add the word 'hey' to every sentence thus making it into a question: "It's lovely weather today, hey?" The advantage for Brisbane is that both north and south they have the most fabulous beaches (the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast).
    Adelaide, the southern central capital, is mostly known for churches, festivals and gruesome mass murders.
    Perth, the west coast capital, is probably the only place in the world where at 4pm every afternoon in summer everyone waits for the Fremantle doctor to arrive - this is an ocean breeze that cools the city, considering the temperature is normally above 100 degrees you can understand why this is important.
    Darwin, the north central capital, is mostly known for having been bombed by the Japanese, a cyclone that completely destroyed the city, crocodiles and the Darwin Stubby, which is the biggest bottle of beer you will find anywhere in the world.
    Melbourne, my city, is mostly known for its public transport - trams (a bit like trolley cars that run in tracks)that are the most popular form of travelling and have the right of way on the roads (not the cars or pedestrians); a road outside the city called The Great Ocean Road, with spectacular ocean views; hosting the Australian Tennis Open; and having a public holiday for a horse race: The Melbourne Cup. Melbourne tends to be a bit more European than the other cities - eating and drinking are a big part of life, it is not unusual to spend an entire evening at a restaurant having drinks,appetizer, drinks, entree, more drinks, sweets, more drinks.... you get the idea.
    I guess the biggest difference between Australia and USA happens in 2 weeks time: Christmas Day in Australia is generally hot (it is summertime there) it is not unusual for people to have a picnic lunch at the beach on Christmas Day. However my family have always been traditional - we have the hot turkey, ham, beef, baked vegetables, cauliflower cheese, gravy. Generally, this is done at home, (air conditioning is not as common in Australian homes as here)can you imagine cooking all this in the oven on a day that is more than 100 degrees, and then sitting down in the same hot house to eat this stuff?
    The conversation about soda/pop is quite relevant - in Australia we call it Soft Drink - my biggest mistake on arrival in the USA was asking for a Lemonade - in Australia that is Sprite, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Other terms that I have found confusing: take out/ delivery (Take Away), round trip (return), trash (rubbish), gas station (petrol station), car trunk (car boot), cell phone (mobile phone).
    Anyway, happy holidays!
  • Here in Michigan, the state that has two parts connected by the Mackinac Bridge, you are a Yooper (from the U.P) or a troll (we live under the bridge). We are surrounded on three sides by water, so you aren't far from one of the Great Lakes, no matter where you are. We have moose and Motown, fast cars and slow trains, cathedrals and casinos, apples and automobiles.

    Here in my part of the world you could get up at 9, be at a 2 story mall by 10, buy yourself some hunting gear, shoot a 10 point white tail deer before noon, be at Lake Michigan by 2 for a late lunch and some steelhead fishing, and still make it to the Doors concert by 8.(or the ballet, or WWF wrestling, your choice.) And don't forget to visit the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Meijer's Gardens, home of one of the world's two Michelangelo horses (I think Milan, Italy has the other.

    We tend to be somewhat isolated, and like it that way. We don't tell a lot of people how wonderful our state is, because we want to keep our open spaces open. We speak quickly, act deliberately, and most of think when we traded the bottom part of the state to Ohio for the Upper Peninsula, we should have given them Detroit too.
  • Two words to describe good ol' NJ

    "What exit?"
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