Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Paragraph Town: Petaluma

No, this isn't a Prius. It's a Karmann Ghia, and for all I know it's headed to Berryessa.

Petaluma has some interesting old buildings, but it's full of chicken feathers and Priuses. Any hints of nostalgia or dreams or similarly valued states are rendered moot by that peculiar mix of hubris, pseudo-friendliness and quiet despair so ubiquitous in small towns. The last time I rode through, the place produced in me a torpor that lingered until I reached the wide spot known as Valley Ford, on the way to Bodega. There, an old man named Pete recounted the time back in ’68 when he went into the diner and announced that if they served his eggs over-cooked just one more time he’d nail ‘em to the wall as a warning to others. Those eggs are still there. They were laid by chickens in Petaluma.

© Pseudocognitive

Addendum: In all fairness, I must make it clear that there are a few bright spots in that hellish little town, such as the various filming locations used in the George Lucas classic "American Graffiti." In addition, the city's lone refreshing counterpoint to the usual foul nature of the fowl business can be experienced by sampling the severely tasty free range birds at Petaluma Poultry

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