Somebody asked me today whether the "Tatertown" in my email signature is a real place. I get that query occasionally, and have an answer filed away that I send whenever anybody inquires. I’ve been contemplating putting it on a web page. This seems like a good place for it; now I can just give people a link to here.
My snail mail address is Paris, KY. That’s what used to be in my email sig. Then I got to thinking. Without the rest of the snail mail address, the town name doesn’t serve much purpose. As a description of my geographic location, it’s a little misleading. I’m really about equidistant from Paris, Georgetown, and Cynthiana, and just a little farther from Lexington. It might be equally accurate (or inaccurate) to use any of them, and I don’t feel any particular bond to any of them (and they sure don’t make any effort to claim me!).
Then I thought about Centerville, which is a small crossroads community about 3 miles from me. That’s getting closer. But I decided to go with Tatertown, which is what local folks used to call a small cluster of houses just down the road from me. It’s stretching a little, I’m sort of on the outskirts, but it’s far closer and far more colorful than any of the others.
A few years ago, my horse broke down on a hunt. My regular vet (who has since ceased practicing) was out of town, so I called the clinic that the rest of my family uses (and that I now use regularly). Their receptionist was acting as middle-person between me on the phone and the vet on the radio to set up an appointment. I reminded her he’d never been to my place before, and asked her to make sure he knew where he was coming. There was a pause, and the surprise in her voice was priceless when she came back and said " Ummm … Mr. Simpson … Dr. Wornall said …. Tatertown????" I said "Yep, he knows".
So if that’s what my vet uses for a geographic reference, it seems like a pretty good description of my locality.