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What is the Worst Town in California? - Page 11

post #151 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
though i have to say that of all of the places we've mentioned so far, NONE come close to approaching the sheer soul-searing awfulness of Midland-Odessa.

+0.5 Although, having lived in Midland and worked in Odessa, I will say that the people there are so nice that it makes up for it a bit. I actually (believe it or not) didn't hate my swim through that little slice of soul-searing awfulness. I'm not aching to go back, mind you, but I'd go there again before I'd move to certain parts of Houston (for example).

Odessa is a pretty sad place though. However, nearly every small town between Odessa and Lubbock is worse. At least Midland has a lot of oil money for public infrastructure to soften the blow of having it located in the middle of hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I have never seen Odessa, thank God, but the book (non fiction) Friday Night Lights was set there, and the town in the fictional series is based on it. Also, the true story behind the movie The Client List (thank you edmorel) took place there.

Several of the folks I worked with were mentioned in that book. On the one hand they hated to book (it didn't paint them in a particularly good light), on the other, they would tell you, "remember the part where...that was me." One of my secretaries (in her early '30's) was so into HS football, that if Permian lost she could be expected to call in sick on Monday and Tuesday the following week.
post #152 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from Plano View Post
+0.5 Although, having lived in Midland and worked in Odessa, I will say that the people there are so nice that it makes up for it a bit. I actually (believe it or not) didn't hate my swim through that little slice of soul-searing awfulness. I'm not aching to go back, mind you, but I'd go there again before I'd move to certain parts of Houston (for example).
I know just what you mean. some of my best friends are still the folks i met when i was living in lubbock. it's kind of like friendships from wartime ... you have to stick together. the further i get from that time, the more fondly i remember it (going on 30 years now and i might be up for a return visit if forced.
Quote:
Odessa is a pretty sad place though. However, nearly every small town between Odessa and Lubbock is worse. At least Midland has a lot of oil money for public infrastructure to soften the blow of having it located in the middle of hell.
school funding in particular. iirc, there was a law that a certain percentage of oil extraction fees had to go to public schools. there were some places so remote that there would be one school for the entire county ... and it looked like a very nice junior college.

Quote:
Several of the folks I worked with were mentioned in that book. On the one hand they hated to book (it didn't paint them in a particularly good light), on the other, they would tell you, "remember the part where...that was me." One of my secretaries (in her early '30's) was so into HS football, that if Permian lost she could be expected to call in sick on Monday and Tuesday the following week.

when i lived in lubbock (four years, early 80s), i covered high school sports, from amarillo to midland-odessa (and even a bit beyond). actually drove me out of sportswriting. people were totally wacko to a really awful extent. that and the confluence between sports and born-again christianity ... god wanted me to score that touchdown (no exaggeration ... on a daily basis). yeesh. always wanted to ask if god also wanted him to spend the rest of his life pumping gas, which he would be doing in two years.
post #153 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Not even the worst town in SB County, if you ask me.

I see that we agree on the wasteland that is El Centro.

As for SB County, I have always hated Rialto. My hatred started as a kid when I had to travel there for a baseball game and the other team was yelling out "BBQ" or "Gatorade" on every pitch for some illogical reason. Not to mention the field looked more like a fenced prison with the other team climbing and hanging onto the dugout fence like caged monkeys. The city itself is rundown and dirty. The city government incompetent. When I had to work on a project in that city, the govt was fighting with Colton and trying to kill their project because they didn't feel that Rialto was being fairly compensated. Of course they had just started a much larger project, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that once Colton got word, they launched the same attack on Rialto.
post #154 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
when i lived in lubbock (four years, early 80s), i covered high school sports, from amarillo to midland-odessa (and even a bit beyond). actually drove me out of sportswriting. people were totally wacko to a really awful extent. that and the confluence between sports and born-again christianity ... god wanted me to score that touchdown (no exaggeration ... on a daily basis). yeesh.
This mindset is present throughout much of the South. It's certainly just as common in East Texas. Those 'poor' little Houston matrons had to horse whip their husbands to get sports funds released in order to build the Houston School of Performing and Visual Arts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
always wanted to ask if god also wanted him to spend the rest of his life pumping gas, which he would be doing in two years.
Religion aside, in much of the South, if you did not play sports ... you do not play -- at least no seriously -- at the executive level.
post #155 of 230
My dad's people are Okies. He grew up in Picher (zinc mining country) and they came west and settled in Redlands in the 40's. I still have a lot of family there, as well as Yucaipa, Calimesa, Mentone.
post #156 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post
I'm with Mike on this. man, what a bunch of whiney little brats. I think Sacramento is actually a pretty cool little city. great airport, very diverse, really pretty except for the summer, and, of course, Corti Bros! Stockton and Salinas definitely have their downsides, but there is really beautiful country within 5 minutes ... stockton has the delta and Salinas has the foothills. and while the small towns around bakersfield (yes, earlimart) are pretty bad, i will concede that even b'field has its own appeal. i think i'm going to have to stick with IE. or the coachella area. that's tough. SField, Chatsworth is just another suburb, just like every other suburb you've ever been in. Except for the whole porn thing.
Well that's part of the problem, I've actually been in very few normal suburbs... My experience with suburbs would be Westchester, Greenwich, and the North Shore in Chicago... these are places I either went to school or grew up in. Other than that, I very seldom find myself in suburbs. I do have quite a bit of experience with bad inner city, but very little with typical suburb. And yes, don't ask why, but the porn thing was actually the reason I was in Chattsworth. It is still the most bizarre thing I've ever been engaged to do professionally (I wasn't involved in any porn,) but I was paid to cook and it was... really weird.
post #157 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post



when i lived in lubbock (four years, early 80s), i covered high school sports, from amarillo to midland-odessa (and even a bit beyond). actually drove me out of sportswriting. people were totally wacko to a really awful extent. that and the confluence between sports and born-again christianity ... god wanted me to score that touchdown (no exaggeration ... on a daily basis). yeesh. always wanted to ask if god also wanted him to spend the rest of his life pumping gas, which he would be doing in two years.

you're kidding
post #158 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post
My dad's people are Okies. He grew up in Picher (zinc mining country) and they came west and settled in Redlands in the 40's. I still have a lot of family there, as well as Yucaipa, Calimesa, Mentone.

my stepfather is an Okie from modesto, went to HS with George Lucas.

redlands is a lovely town, about 30 degrees too hot most of the time.
post #159 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
To me, hell is 8 lane surface streets longer than the Great Wall of China and strip malls larger than LAX, as far as the eye can see, plus no trees, no shade, no green, and blasting 100 degree heat four months a year.
Again, you're absolutely sure you're not describing Sacto?
post #160 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini View Post
Again, you're absolutely sure you're not describing Sacto?

absolutely, it's like you've never been there if you think that.

The far eastern and NEastern burbs like orangevale and citrus heights look vaguely like that but not as bad. And, anyway, once you get out that far you are getting into the foothills so it's not so flat and also not so hot. The old downtown core plus east sac, McKinley Park, land park and curtis park are lovely and look absolutely nothing like that. Downtown was laid out in gold rush times and is still largely victorian. Curtis park and east sac are WW1/roaring 20s and Land Park is 30s/40s but pre-war in style.

As far as urban/suburban neighborhoods go (suburban in style but urban in location), East Sac and Land Park are two of the prettiest areas to live in the entire country.

Honestly, the wasteland surrounding San Jose to the immediate west, south and east is more like the worst parts of SoCal than anything in Sac. I'm talking about you, Stevens Creek Blvd. You suck and you know it.
post #161 of 230
I'll +1 Manton's comment (mostly when it comes to Sacramento ... but also the part about San Jose). Sacramento isn't a town in which I would choose to live ... but it has some lovely 'older' areas and certainly doesn't qualify as one of California's worse towns/cities.
post #162 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron View Post
My dad's people are Okies. He grew up in Picher (zinc mining country) and they came west and settled in Redlands in the 40's. I still have a lot of family there, as well as Yucaipa, Calimesa, Mentone.

I had people who lived in Galena, KS (just across the line from Picher). Both Galena and Picher were company towns for the Eagle-Picher Mine Company. My people probably worked for the same mining company as yours did.

Instead of going to California, though, the ones that stayed in the mining business went up to the Black Hills in SD. The rest stayed behind in OK or whatever. Didn't have any Okies from my family that went CA.
post #163 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
absolutely, it's like you've never been there if you think that.
I've just never really found the town appealing. True, there are spots around the capitol that are nice outside of it I just found the city generic if not unpleasant. And while as a tourist I've "enjoyed" Old Town, the city itself has always felt like a grown-up Stockton. And I don't even think Stockton is as bad as people have it out to be having stayed there with family friends throughout the years.
post #164 of 230
I like Redlands, but that's because my mom went to the University of Redlands, so all I've really ever visited is the campus and the nearby neighborhoods.
post #165 of 230
I'll go with Fresno. I was there on business last year; we walked around downtown on Friday night looking for a place to eat and it was a complete ghost town. I wasn't sure if I was more afraid of what looked like B-list gang members in tricked out Dodge Neon's or the presumably post-Iraqi PTSD patient/cops that kept cruising past us and glaring. I think it was the cops.
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