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Old 01-27-2010, 08:44 AM
Location: Chicago
285 posts, read 862,085 times
Reputation: 63


I was born and raised in Johnstown but moved to Pittsburgh for school 3 years ago. My friends are a mixture of other Johnstown natives, people from other areas of western PA, and people from outside of the area, mostly Philadelphia and New York areas.

Those who are not from Johnstown insist that Johnstown people are different - not many leave, and those who do still seem to love it and seem to stick together. In my experience this has been true. My parents and grandparents were all born and raised in Johnstown. Most kids I know did not leave after high school, and at least half of those who did came to Pittsburgh, and those of us in Pittsburgh tend to stick together. It seems like people from Johnstown have a very strong sense of "home" and feel strong loyalty.

Those of you who are from Johnstown or know people who are - is this an accurate portrayal? Is this exclusive to Johnstown or do many other small towns have this same attitude?
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:00 PM
Location: Wherever I May Roam...
392 posts, read 1,068,459 times
Reputation: 238
Johnstown is a little on the insular, provincial side, but not as bad as places like Philly, Cincinnati, or Baltimore (obviously, since those are much bigger cities). It's NOTHING like Altoona, where basically anybody will be your friend.

In my opinion, Johnstown has the friendly, neighbor-helping-neighbor, small town vibe to it, as well as the "townie", cliquish attitude to it. I guess it all depends on what kind of person you are and how your outlook is.

Not many leave? Johnstown has lost in the neighborhood of 60% of its' peak population since the 1950's.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:06 PM
Location: Greensburg, PA
1,104 posts, read 2,591,570 times
Reputation: 183
Yeah, the decline of the steel industry also affected Johnstown during the latter part of the 20th century. On the other hand, Greensburg, which is my hometown, has pretty much been steady with its population for over 100 years.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:19 AM
Location: western PA
139 posts, read 366,186 times
Reputation: 89
Default other small towns

I think that all small "towns"--especially those smaller than Johnstown--are the same. I lived briefly in a small town in KY, and I went to a bank to have a large check cashed and even with a passport, license and birth certificate (all of which I just happened to have on me), they were suspicious of me and the woman I spoke to gave me the third degree--and not legitimate banking questions, either--they were all about moving, and why I moved, and why was I moving again, etc. The other women tellers who chatted with me while this woman was verifying my ancestry were in awe of someone who had lived in other places and said they wished they could move, but knew that they never would. I live in a town now in TN where almost everyone I meet has lived here their whole lives, and who can go on and on about their cousin, brother's nephew, or aunt's sister-in-law and where they live and how long they've all lived here. The only places I've lived where everyone seems to be from somewhere else were Colorado and Alaska. And, surprisingly, these are places where being a "native" can be compared, perhaps, with the way being a direct descendent of George Washington is valued in the northeast. These people have stickers on their cars announcing that they are a "NATIVE" and other bumper stickers encouraging people to leave "their" state and not come back. I have another friend who is now in his 60s, has lived all over the country, but went back to within 30 miles of where he was born in Maine to retire, and has always considered that to be his home. I was also born in PA--and am moving to Johnstown in a couple of months--and have always kept in touch with the hometown news, even though I lived in 8 other states over the last 20 years. I still log on and read the week-old "Blairsville Dispatch" news regularly. Of course, my family has lived in PA for generations, and I think that has something to do with the connection a person feels for a place. Maybe it is in your blood.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:17 PM
783 posts, read 2,022,370 times
Reputation: 657
I don't mean to be rude about your hometown, but I personally think Johnstown is kind of a dump. Very few people I know even consider it party of Western PA. It would be like saying Altoona is in western pa. None of your high schools participate in the WPIAL as far as I know, you're not touching or even close to Allegheny Co...do you even get Pittsburgh tv news there? Personally, I would feel more connected with someone from Morgantown than Johnstown. I will forever hold a grudge against Johnstown for unleashing John Murtha onto the world. I have heard that UPJ has a nice campus though.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:38 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
137 posts, read 367,138 times
Reputation: 103
Break PA up into equivalant sectors representing North and South, then West, Central, and East and Johnstown is quite definitively in South West PA.
They don't get Pittsburgh news because the Johnsotwn-Altoona market is large enough to support it's own regional newcasts on all the major networks.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:13 PM
4,277 posts, read 11,787,860 times
Reputation: 3933
It's slightly less but still definitively "pop" in Cambria County, see The Pop vs. Soda Page - Johnstown sure isn't eastern PA.
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