Monday, April 14, 2008

My Town Monday: County versus Town

I've recently learned about the "My Town Monday" blog posts started by Travis Erwin at and thought it was a cool idea, so here goes.

My problem is I don't have just one town. I divide my time between Anaheim and San Clemente here in Orange County, CA. OC is the smallest county in Southern California. Geographically it's located on a coastal plain and ranges from the inland hills north of Brea and Fullerton (currently green thought that won't last much longer) to our fabulous beaches. But most of the county is pretty much border to border suburbs.

For instance, a few weeks ago I was in the parking lot at a Starbuck's when my car failed to start. Naturally I called the DH who showed up sans jumper cables. We had to call AAA to get the car started. Problem was, LOL, we didn't know which town we were in: Anaheim or Garden Grove. The two cities run together on so many streets, the boundary lines aren't always marked. When I travel and people ask me where I'm from, I often say Orange County instead of naming a town. If I get a blank stare, I add Southern Calif. or LA. Everyone knows LA.

Thanks to the recent TV show, The O.C., my county is better known than it used to be. FWIW, no one I know called it "the O. C." before the show came out. We just say O.C. After all, it's not the only Orange County in the country; there are others in Florida and New Jersey and I don't know where else. So my "My Town Monday" posts may take place anywhere in the county.



Travis Erwin said...

Welcome aboard, Linda! I even been to your area once. I look forward to learning more.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Thanks, Travis. This is a great idea. :)


Debbielou said...

Hi Linda - Look forward to hearing a lot more about your town

Cicily Janus said...

Nice job Linda...Great difference between the OC!


debra said...

So you can write My County Monday!
I think that as communities spread, the boundaries merge, yes?

Carleen Brice said...

Do you know of the writer Susan Straight? Some years ago, she wrote an essay on about how O.C. is so not like "The O.C."

WordVixen said...

Too funny- I used to work in customer service and would take calls from all over the country. At least once a day I'd get a call from Bronx, NY. You learn really quick not to call it "The Bronx", but it's a habit that's hard to break. :)

Linda McLaughlin said...

Debbie Lou and Cicely,

Thanks for the nice comments. I hope to come up with some good blogs in the next few weeks. Hm, may actually have to do some research.


Linda McLaughlin said...


You're absolutely right that as communities spread, the boundaries merge. I've lived here a long time and I've seen a lot of orange groves and strawberry fields replaced by housing developments.


Linda McLaughlin said...


I don't know Susan Straight, but she's so right that most of the county isn't like "The O.C.". Most of us are just middle class folks like everyone else, though there are rich enclaves in places like Newport Beach. Did you know the TV show was actually filmed in LA county? It was cheaper. :)


Linda McLaughlin said...

Word Vixen,

I didn't know you weren't supposed to call Bronx "the Bronx". LOL, I thought that was the official name. Funny the things you think you know that are wrong.


Beth said...

I found myself doing the same thing! Everytime someone asked where I was from I first said Southern CA, if they wanted it narrowed further I said, The OC (I hate saying that too!). If they still had no idea I told them it was between LA and San Diego, they would then nod in understanding. I love living here, we have EVERYYTHING!

Anonymous said...

This will be exciting, I'm glad you'll be sharing info about your town, Linda... even if the borders are blurred.

I grew up in a different borough of NY than where I am now. There, I knew the exact beginning and end of each town. Here? Even after 18 years, I'm still confused. And there's one boulevard that runs diagonally through two towns. I get lost there ALL the time. All the time. Maybe if I start "My Town Monday", I'll finally learn something about where I live, yes? :-)

Linda McLaughlin said...


LOL, I know what you'd mean. You'd think people would at least know Anaheim since that's where Disneyland is located, but it's just easier to say Southern California. I love it here, too. :D


Linda McLaughlin said...


I think starting a My Town Monday post is great for you. There are posts from people all over the country and your area of NY would be a nice addition.


deboradale wrote: Maybe if I start "My Town Monday", I'll finally learn something about where I live, yes? :-)