Many of you have heard that Florence, Ore., where my family and I live, was once again named one of THE best places to retire in the United States. I say “many of you” because, at this very moment, both roads leading into town are clogged with traffic, most of which consists of giant U-Hauls driven by white-knuckled retirees from Florida. My guess is that they were told to evacuate due to hurricane [insert most recent here], and just kept heading west until they (a) hit water again, or (b) found the brake.
An article about our ranking recently appeared in USA Today, and the Florence Chamber of Commerce has been flooded with calls from news agencies wanting to know how it feels to be in the national spotlight, and if, due to the publicity, we expect Kanye West anytime soon.
The truth is, we Florentines have earned ourselves national attention twice before.
The first was in 1970 when, while attempting to dispose of a decomposing whale carcass (by utilizing a well-thought-out plan involving (1) several pints of beer at the Beachcomber Tavern and (2) a truckload of dynamite), several onlookers complained of “being injured” after being struck by a piece of flying blubber roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Continue reading