There's a villain in the Harry Potter books that most of the characters refer to as "He Who Must Not Be Named." They're so afraid of and intimidated by this villain that they think it will bring evil upon themselves just to say his name aloud. The hero finally convinces everyone that to deal with their fears, they have to face them, and that just saying "Voldemort" isn't going to hurt anyone.
Since I started this Diary, I've been amazed how many people I've run across in town who shy away from using the N-word -- that's right, "Norristown." They think it will somehow damage the reputation of their business or organization or even themselves personally. For instance, I recently came across two businesses out on Johnson Highway, on the Norristown side of the road, who list their locations as "East Norriton" on social media. Because God forbid anyone should know they're actually 30 yards over the border, on tainted ground.
But I'm happy to say that I know of many more business and groups who are proud to let people know their association with Norristown.
Our most active
organizations, doing the most good for N-town are ones like Norristown
Men of Excellence, Norristown Area CTC, Norristown Preservation Society,
Greater Norristown PAL, Norristown Business Association, The Norristown
Project, etc. The reason they're successful is that their passion and
pride in our community is the energy behind their accomplishments.
been to meetings of many groups these last 2 years who waste a lot of
precious time just trying to think of a name for themselves. They're the
ones who always seem to tiptoe around the word "Norristown." If you
don't really believe in the community, or if you're overly influenced by
those who keep saying Norristown will never amount to anything and that
everyone should be ashamed of the place, you're not going to be able to
We need people to act right now. We don't need residents
and businesses so stigmatized they won't even admit they're from
Norristown. Sure, our borough has problems, but we don't have problems
BECAUSE we're Norristown. All of our problems--crime, bad economy, you
name it--have been experienced by other communities across America since
the 1970s. As the general US economy improves, a lot of those other
communities are improving, too. No reason we can't follow suit.
isn't under some special dark cloud. There isn't toxic waste leeching
out of our soil. No underground coal fires. No dust bowls. No sink hole
swallowing us up. We never had a curse put on us. (Even if we did, we
could put a spin on it and use it as a tourism pull.)
nothing wrong with Norristown that hasn't happened elsewhere--nothing
wrong that can't be fixed. But it WON'T be fixed if we waste time trying
to avoid the N-word.