Pennsylvania, clutch


Pennsylvania.mapBinghamton, my hometown on the Southern Tier of New York, is less than 20 miles from the northern border of Pennsylvania. I have a lot of connection to the Keystone State.

My maternal grandmother has family from the state. My paternal grandfather was born there. For all I know, my father may have been born there as well; it remains a mystery.

When I was growing up, the parents of my friend Carol, who I’ve now known only about six decades, had a cottage on a lake just across the border. Our whole class went there a few times.

I have this fuzzy recollection of taking a bus, possibly with one or both sisters, to someone’s house in Philadelphia, where my parents already were located. First time I ever tried grits; didn’t like ’em. I have an ex, and a brother-in-law and his family who live in the eastern part of the state.

Yet my sports rooting interests, beyond the New York teams, tend to be for the teams in Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, the Pirates (baseball) and Steelers (football). Two all-time greats on the Steelers share my birthday, running back Franco Harris and wide receiver Lynn Swann.

My father liked to drive down to Intercourse, PA, in Amish country so we could all have some shoefly pie.

I once saw a Rand-McNally map of Pennsylvania that spelled Binghamton as Binghampton.

PA Pennsylvania, a mid-Atlantic state (commonwealth) in the US. Usual historic abbreviations were Penn., Penna. Capital: Harrisburg. Largest city: Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell.

PE Prince Edward Island, a maritime province in Canada. French: Île-du-Prince-Édouard. Historically, P.E.I./Î.-P.-É. It’s the smallest province of Canada in both land area and population, but the most densely populated. Capital and largest city: Charlottetown.

PR Puerto Rico, an Insular area, a different sense of commonwealth, in the Caribbean Sea. My sister and her family lived there for about seven years, and I regret never having visited.

PW Palau, a freely associated state in the Pacific Ocean.

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