Some of the locales I use are just tiny dots in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. But readers are delighted when I tell them that these quirky places are real: the Fish Camp in the Arkansas Ozarks, the Midway Bar and Grill in South Texas; or the Blessing Hotel just north of Palacios, Texas.
The names of larger US cities are dull compared to those of some small towns. Wouldn't it be nice to go back in time and meet some of the trailblazers, pioneers, cowgirls, and frontiersmen who named the burgs and find out why those names were chosen?
Back in the 1800s, there seemed to be a fascination with licking. We have Lizard Lick, North Carolina; Licking View, Ohio; Lick Skillet, Tennessee; French Lick, Indiana; Licking, Missouri; Black Lick and Lickdale, Pennsylvania; Red Lick, Texas; Lickinghole, Virginia; Lick Mountain, Arkansas; Beaver Lick, Missouri. Kentucky has the most Licks with: Mud Lick, Lick Knob, Paint Lick, and Beaver Lick. Have you noticed that all of these town are east of the Mississippi?-I'm just asking.
How about Climaxes? There's Climax, Georgia; Climax, New York; Climax, North Carolina; Climax, Michigan; Climax, Minnesota; and Climax, Oregon. It's a wonder those towns are not more populated.
And what's with orifices and butts and associated words? Think of Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Coyote Hole, Nevada; Crapo, Maryland; Broad Bottom, Kentucky; Kaka, Arizona; Big Bottom, Washington; Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania; Beech Bottom, West Virginia; and Booger Hole, West Virginia. Not to mention Butte, Montana.
Here are some that make a nice group: Pie Town, New Mexico; Coffee Springs, Alabama; Toast, North Carolina; Hot Coffee, Mississippi; Two Egg, Florida; Coffee City, Texas; Bacon, Delaware; and Sandwich, Illinois.
A few are uncommonly appropriate: Cold Foot, Alaska; Volcano, Hawaii; and Jackpot, Nevada.
Places I'm puzzled by: Sugar Tit, South Carolina; Toad Sucker, Arkansas; Roaches, Illinois; Flea Hill, North Carolina; Worms, Nebraska; Greasy Corner, Alaska; Idiotville, Oregon; Hell, Michigan; Helltown, California; Boring, Tennessee, and Bad Wound, South Dakota.
Places I would like to call my hometown: Dogtown, California; Noodle, Texas; Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania; Goodnews Bay, Alaska; Ballplay, Alabama; Nice, California; and Top-of-the-World, Arizona.
Beaver seems popular: Beaver, Alaska; Beaver City, Indiana; Beaverdale, Iowa; Beaver Dam, Kentucky and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin; Beaver Island, Michigan; and Beaver Homes, Washington; and Beaverton, Oregon.
Place names that make me laugh are: Spread Eagle, Wisconsin; Mormon Bar, California; Tightsqueeze, Virginia; Old Fig Garden, California; Monkey Run, Arkansas; Chicken Bristle, Kentucky; Tightwad, Mississippi; Atomic City, Idaho, Electric City, Washington, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; Big Sag, Montana; and Chicken, Alaska (supposedly named that because the gold miners couldn't spell ptarmigan).
Folks might not be familiar with these towns, but if you told them your were from one of them, they would never forget it.
I hope I never run out of plot ideas or characters, but I know I'll always have plenty of weirdly named towns to check out.
Kathleen Kaska---Marketing Director
For more places with odd names go to: